The Washington Wizards got some horrific injury news regarding starting center Thomas Bryant on Sunday morning.
According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the 23-year-old big man suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. Bryant went down in obvious pain during the first quarter of Washington’s game against the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Now, the Wizards center will miss the remainder of the season.
Once star shooting guard Bradley Beal found out about Bryant’s diagnosis, he took to Twitter to issue a one-word reaction to the devastating news.
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) January 10, 2021
That just about sums up the thoughts of all Wizards fans around the world.
Even more heartbreaking is that Bryant looked to be in the midst of the best season of his young career. Through 10 games in 2020, the fourth-year center averaged 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, on 64.8 percent shooting from the floor. Many Wizards faithful hoped that the young big man would take the leap this season and establish himself as a steady contributor in D.C.
Despite Bryant’s strong play, Washington got off to a 2-8 start. Now, head coach Scott Brooks will have the rebound without his best interior player available.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, the team clearly has more extensive problems than a hurt Bryant. After trading franchise point guard John Wall for Russell Westbrook this offseason, Washington looks to have gotten the short end of the stick. Westbrook, now 32-years-old, looks shaky to start the year, averaging an inefficient 19.3 points per game in seven appearances. Beal continues to drag the team along, but defensive mistakes have led the Wizards to eight early losses, all by 10 points or less.
In Bryant’s absence, veteran Robin Lopez figures to take over the majority of minutes at center. Back-up Moe Wagner should also see an uptick in playing time. However, the most likely outcome for the Wizards will be an adapted version of small-ball, featuring Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans filling in at the five.
The Wizards will return to action on Monday night at home in Washington D.C. against the Phoenix Suns.
Update: The Wizards have announced the injury, saying that Bryant suffered a partially torn ACL in the loss to the Heat.
The Wizards have announced the ACL tear for Thomas Bryant is a partial tear.
Press release: pic.twitter.com/b0JmKkj2Ia
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 10, 2021
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