The Washington Wizards are facing the Phoenix Suns tonight at 8 pm EST in what was previously a highly-anticipated matchup. It was supposed to be the first time Bradley Beal faced the Washington Wizards after 11 seasons with the team. However, Beal's struggles with injuries are continuing to derail his and Phoenix's season. After rolling his ankle landing on a jump shot against the New York Knicks on Friday night, Beal will miss several weeks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Not only does this put a damper on tonight's matchup, but it also prevents the newly-formed Suns from finding their rhythm and integrating the Big Three. Beal has only appeared in six games and the trio of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal have only played in two games for a total of 24 minutes together all season. This setback will further delay their meshing, lowering the odds of their postseason success.
For a team with championship aspirations, this is a major issue. The Suns put all their eggs in this basket, trading away all of their assets and young players to form this team. They already underwhelmed in last season's playoffs because Durant and Booker didn't have enough time to gel with the rest of the team. Another similar outcome would be a disaster.
The Wizards fans are all too familiar with Bradley Beal's absences. Beal has missed a combined 90 games in his last two seasons in Washington. The Wizards fans who wanted to see their former All-Star player Beal go up against them must be rightfully disappointed. They will just have to wait a little longer.
The Suns and the Wizards go up against each other on February 4, 2024, in Capital One Arena. Hopefully, Beal can play in that game to receive the warm welcome he deserves.