Bradley Beal injury: Will Wizards star be healthy for Celtics matchup?

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Beal won't be 100% vs. Celtics after 'hardheaded decision' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Bradley Beal dropped 25 points Sunday to help the Washington Wizards defeat the Charlotte Hornets and earn the No. 8 seed entering the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. But at what cost?

The Wizards star, who had missed the previous three games due to a hamstring injury prior to Sunday, admitted Monday he won't be at full strength for Washington's play-in tournament game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

"There was no setback, which is good. I didn’t injure it worse than it was," Beal told reporters, via NBC Sports Washington. "Obviously, it probably won’t be 100 percent. It’s just a matter of managing it the best I can."

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With that in mind, should Beal have sat out Sunday so he could enter the play-in tournament at 100 percent? Apparently there was some internal disagreement on that front.

"I kind of made a hardheaded decision and played, probably when I shouldn’t have, but we made the best of it," Beal said. "The medical staff, they weren’t 100 percent with it. Some guys were, some weren’t."

It's hard to fault Beal for his decision. If the Wizards lost Sunday, they would have fallen to the 9-10 matchup, where a loss would have eliminated them. Even if Washington loses to Boston, it will face the 9-10 winner for a shot at the No. 8 seed.

The All-Star guard factored rust into the equation, as well.

"I didn’t want my first game back to be the play-in game, which if we lost then all the marbles would be on Tuesday," Beal said.

"Even if that meant I could set myself back, even if that meant I might not be able to play on Tuesday. I understood how important this game was just in terms of a position standpoint."

The Celtics could benefit if Beal is limited in any way. He averaged a career-high 31.3 points per game this season (second in the NBA) and torched Boston in all three of their matchups, averaging 40.7 points against the C's. While Russell Westbrook has been central to the Wizards' late-season surge, Beal is the team's go-to scorer who can get buckets in crunch time.

Beal should still be a handful for Boston at less than 100%, but his injury is something to keep an eye on when the teams tip off Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET at TD Garden.