Bradley Beal on knee injury: ‘I’m always going to compete if it’s not broke’

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Andrew Gillis
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Beal on knee injury: 'Always going to compete if it’s not broke’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Bradley Beal’s left knee was a question mark before Friday’s game against the 76ers, but even a fully healthy Beal likely wasn’t pulling the team to a win.

In a 127-101 loss at Capital One Arena, Beal played through left knee soreness after a collision with Xavier Tillman of the Grizzlies on Wednesday. The play left Beal down on the floor for a few brief moments before he rose to his feet and stayed on the floor.

Friday, Beal gave it a go, and to the untrained eye, nothing appeared massively wrong.

“He wasn’t moving like he would normally move but he felt good enough to get out there,” coach Scott Brooks said. “Like I said before the game, we wouldn’t put him out there, even if he wanted to, we wouldn’t put him out there if he wasn’t ready to go. He passed all the tests that our performance team had him go through. Brad’s tough, and they did a good job.”

Beal played just 28:52, the fourth-lowest total of the 34-game season for him so far. He still played the second-most minutes of any starter, behind just Russell Westbrook (32:45). The fact that the 76ers were so far ahead for the majority of the game certainly factored into those minutes as well.

“I felt good, I felt better than the other night after the game,” Beal said. “I had a lot of treatment on it today and it actually felt good. You guys know me, I’m always going to compete if it’s not broke. I went out and played and competed as much as I could.”

The on-court result for the Wizards, though, wasn’t a pretty sight. 

Beal shot 61.5 percent from the field on 8-of-13 shooting with 19 points. It was the first time he didn’t score at least 20 points since Feb. 5 against the Heat, though with a few more minutes on the floor, he likely would’ve surpassed that mark. 

There weren't any glaring signs of injury or pain from Beal, but Matisse Thybulle did a strong job on him throughout the night and held the NBA’s leading scorer down for the majority of the evening.

With Davis Bertans (calf) likely a game-time decision for Saturday's game, the Wizards will need Beal as rested and healthy as he can be for a game against the Bucks in less than 24 hours.

“They put two on the ball,” Brooks said. “We’ve got to start making some shots and he has to just keep making the right plays, and he does and he will. And our guys are going to start knocking some shots down and it’s going to open it up and he’s going to get more opportunities to attack. He didn’t play the last 14 minutes because we were down. He would’ve had easily a 30 point game or so, even with a really good defender on him.”