Washington Wizards wisely keep an eye on Thomas Bryant’s minutes

Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Following a 20 game hiatus for a stress reaction in his foot, Thomas Bryant has reentered the Washington Wizards’ injury-plagued lineup on limited minutes.

When describing the game of Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant, “passionate” may be an understatement.

Whether it be the extra shake he gives the rim after a dunk, his consistent focus on both sides of the court, or his animated encouragement even while resting on the bench, Thomas Bryant’s energy is definitely something the Washington Wizards have been missing for the past month and a half. Which is what makes his return so exciting.

After a 20 game hiatus due to a stress reaction in his foot, Bryant finally ripped off his warm up attire and hit the hardwood midway through the first quarter of last week’s 127-116 loss to the Utah Jazz. Although spoiled by the loss, Bryant’s return was a successful one.

Despite only logging about 15 minutes of game time, Bryant finished with 8 points on 4/6 shooting, and also scooped up 3 rebounds, according to Basketball Reference. Although clearly these numbers aren’t at all eye popping, Bryant looked healthy and energized again in his limited time on the floor, which is a great sign for the Wizards.

Part of keeping the young Wizards center healthy in the week he’s been active thus far has been restricting his minutes. In Bryant’s first three games back from injury, he averaged under 15 minutes played per contest, way below his normal average. Despite not getting the same production from Bryant as we’re accustomed to seeing, keeping an eye on Bryant’s minutes helps the Wasington Wizards in more ways than one.

On the one hand, the Wizards are now getting a fully rested and rejuvenated Thomas Bryant who can give all he has without worrying about saving his energy for later in the game, where he has been used sparingly. On the other, by restricting Bryant’s minutes, the chances of Bryant re-aggravating his foot injury or developing a new one drop significantly.

As we all know, this is a year of development for the Washington Wizards. Sure, you never want to watch your team “tank” or consistently lose, but there is absolutely no reason for the Wizards to rush Thomas Bryant’s full, unmonitored return. With a laundry list full of players sidelined due to injury, this season has been and will continue to be about finding and developing new talent which will help fuel the Wizards and give them quality depth for when the stars are healthy and ready to make a playoff push.

Thomas Bryant IS one of those stars. If the Wizards are looking to make noise in the playoffs in the near future, Bryant will need to be the Thomas Bryant we all know and love, and that starts with being 100% healthy. Thus, continuing to manage his minutes should and will be a huge priority for the Washington Wizards.

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