CHARLOTTE — Just as it seemed as though the Washington Wizards were finally going to move forward with their full supply of wing players healthy, Garrett Temple exited Monday night’s blowout 95-69 win over the Charlotte Hornets with a strained right hamstring and a murky outlook.
“I just drove left on the wing and just pushed off my right leg,” Temple recalled. “It didn’t feel too good. I felt it strain a little bit, pull a little bit.”
Hamstring strains vary in severity, but Temple has a relevant history that may shed light in how long he will be out. The guard explained that he suffered a similar strain to his left hamstring while playing in Italy three years ago. He returned after a week and a half but admitted he came back too quickly. He also sustained a less severe strain to his left hamstring last summer.
“I’m more of a stride runner than a push-down, marching-type so I’m a little more prone to have that happen,” Temple said. “So I got to get my running mechanics back the right way but hopefully it won’t be too bad and we got to continue to play like we did tonight and get this push for the playoffs.”
After falling out of the Wizards’ rotation for nearly two months, Temple worked his way back in at the end of the January, while also making five starts in Bradley Beal’s absence. He is averaging 5.8 points and shooting 37.8 percent from three in 19.7 minutes since Jan. 28.
“We’ll obviously evaluate and see how long I should take and come back when I’m ready,” Temple said. “These soft-tissue joints, you got to be careful with them.”
On the bright side, Beal returned to action after missing Saturday’s game for precautionary reasons and logged 31 minutes, scoring 14 points. While he left the court Monday with a noticeable limp, Beal reported after the game that he felt fine.
Wall recovers explosiveness at home
John Wall, a native of Raleigh, N.C., played in front of friends, family (including his mother watching from the fourth row behind the Wizards bench) and 24 players from his soon-to-be-launched AAU program Monday night, and displayed the explosiveness he used to torment defenses with before the all-star break.
Wall explained that Coach Randy Wittman challenged him to be more aggressive, pointing to how the point guard played in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring against the Indiana Pacers when he scored 27 points in a victory. Wall, who is battling various nagging injuries, responded by attacking the rim relentlessly in the first quarter, which he completed with 11 points. The point total matched what he compiled in Saturday’s loss to the Bucks. He finished with 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds.
Up next: Memphis Grizzlies
The Wizards begin a seven-game stretch against Western Conference opponents with their first matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies this season Thursday at Verizon Center. The Grizzlies (45-18) will be on the second half of a back-to-back after facing the Boston Celtics Wednesday. Memphis is currently second in the Western Conference.