Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: Bradley Beal’s Injury, Alan Anderson and More


Washington Wizards Mailbag Monday: December 14, 2015

It’s Monday — the start of another week full of potential, growth and exploration. Or, if you’re consumed with negative pixels, Monday marks the start of another dreadful week of existence. Let’s hope you all buy into the former.

The Washington Wizards are hoping to start their week off with another road win against the Memphis Grizzlies. They’re going to be shorthanded without Bradley Beal, Nene, Kris Humphries, Drew Gooden and Alan Anderson, but they have John Wall — D.C. basketball’s only hope and glory.

To those who participated in Mailbag Monday — thank you. To those who haven’t, do so. Tweet us. @WizofAwes.

Today’s questions come from Twitter and Reddit.

Thanks for being you and have a wonderful week.

Do you all agree with Joe House’s theory that Beal’s injuries are a hint that Beal is still growing? – via Gr8WallofChinatown

I’m not qualified, but I really don’t think that’s the case. How many players are there in the NBA that are younger than Beal, yet haven’t had four stress reactions in as many years? Plenty. I mean, that could be the case, but I think other factors played a bigger role in the reoccurring issue.

First off, Beal is playing a ton of minutes — 36.5 per game, to be exact, which is the most he’s played in his career. That’s an issue. Randy Wittman and crew know that Beal has a problem with his legs, so why do they continue to play him so often?

His minutes have steadily increased even though he continues to have this issue flare up. At some point, the Washington Wizards need to consider having a minutes restriction on Beal even when he’s cleared to play.

Beal just might have bad legs. That might be the case too. I don’t know, really. The theory that it’s happening because he’s growing just seems a bit off, though.

With Alan Anderson due to return soon (hopefully), what impact does this have on the playing time of Gary Neal, Garrett Temple, and Kelly Oubre? – via Boymankid

Is Alan Anderson going to return soon? He was supposed to make his debut late in November or in early December, but we’re already two weeks into the month. He’s dealt with ankle issues for the past several seasons. Right now Anderson is the highest paid cheerleader/assistant coach in the NBA. Sadly, I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

When Anderson does return, he should be the primary backup small-forward. Otto Porter has played way too much recently and injuries seem inevitable when minutes are high. Anderson is a solid defender and can obviously score the ball. He’s the perfect 3-and-D player in Wittman’s new system.

His minutes shouldn’t affect anyone besides Garrett Temple, who’s played way more than originally expected as a result of injuries. Temple has played 28 minutes in each of the last two contests. Oubre hasn’t gotten much playing time and that will continue when Anderson returns. The veteran forward should be ahead of both in the rotation.

So, with that said, you can expect Anderson to take Temple’s minutes. Gary Neal remains safe in the rotation because he’s lighting the world on fire and he’s the only player on the roster not named John Wall and Ramon Sessions that could create for himself.

I think it potentially could. Whenever you’re investing millions of dollars into a player, injury history is undoubtedly something that should be highly considered. Beal is prone to injury and hasn’t been able to stay on the court since he was taken third overall by the Washington Wizards four years ago. He’s worthy of the max as a player alone — he’s averaging roughly 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game this season — but he needs to be able to stay on the court.

Washington won’t have much of a choice unless they want to trade Beal. Personally, I think they should really consider moving him in a blockbuster deal for someone like DeMarcus Cousins, who’s consistently in the trade rumor mill. Beal’s stress reactions are terribly concerning and I don’t know if it’s worth such a large investment.

I wouldn’t bet on Beal leaving the district, though. The Washington Wizards have always taken the safe route. Expect him to sign the four year max-contract in the summer. Let’s just hope management is smart enough to attach some sort of health clause.

Well, we can’t expect him to morph into prime Peja Stojakovic every game during Beal’s absence. We can, however, expect his shot totals to increase, What does that mean? Porter is going to have plenty of open looks, it’s just going to be a matter of him knocking them down — just like he did against the Dallas Mavericks recently.

No one really knows if Otto can shoot. Sometimes he looks like the second coming of Peja and other times he looks like Brian Cook. He’s a tough player to guard, too. Opposing teams might go underneath screens, allowing him to shoot, or they might close out on his shots and consider him a threat. He’s been so inconsistent from the perimeter that it’s become a game-by-game thing.

Otto’s confidence is high and he’s going to have a bigger opportunity to score the ball. The Hoya needs to keep shooting it with slender steez.

It’s Andray Blatche, obviously.

But really, it’s Cousins. Not only was Boogie dominant, but he loved John Wall. They’re a match made in heaven and everybody else is just a placeholder. Wall will meet other people along the way, but Boogie is the only person he needs. They both know it, too. Someone needs to set this up. Wall and Boogie are perfect for each other. They’ll spoon feed each other — both on and off the court. They’ll eat cereal together, watch Netflix and chat about their days.

Boogie has built a reputation of being a “headcase”, but what has he really done? He’s played for the worst franchise in sports for over half-a-decade. That takes a toll on you. He’s played with more point guards than there are point guards.

If there’s a team out there that can handle Boogie, it’s a team equipped with John Wall.

This isn’t JaVale McGee or Jordan Crawford — it’s Boogie Cousins, a franchise center and arguably the best big man in the NBA. An occasional technical foul is more than OK.

Next: Wizards' Lack of Homecourt Advantage is Troublesome

That’s it for today’s edition of Mailbag Monday. If you want to check out the older editions, click here. If you want to be featured in next week’s edition, let us know on Twitter.