Within half an hour, two NBA bombs were dropped – neither Wizards star Bradley Beal and leading Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will be participating in the upcoming NBA restart in Orlando. Beal is opting out because of a shoulder injury, while Dinwiddie was advised not to play due to his testing positive again today. Both players have held reservations about the restart prior to this, which presumably effected their decisions at least a little, but this is still big news.
First of all, this does impact the Clippers schedule. The Clips are set to scrimmage against the Wizards, and without Beal (and second-leading scorer Davis Bertans), the Wizards will essentially put forth their youngsters and G-Leaguers in Orlando. It probably won’t be much of a scrimmage, and it’s doubtful how much the Clippers might take away from it (though getting pressed by the Wiz’ youngsters could be good).
More importantly, Dinwiddie’s absence means that the Clippers’ regular season against the Nets, already one of the easiest on their schedule, is now far and away their lightest matchup. If the Clippers come in with a serious mindset, they should blow the Nets off the map for an easy win.
There are other implications as well. Beal and Dinwiddie might have injuries (or have COVID), but they’re the two biggest names to opt out of Orlando thus far, and it could encourage other players to follow suit. The Clippers seem to be all set on going, but more players dropping out could make their road ahead that much easier.
Finally, while Dinwiddie’s situation is much different than Landry Shamet (the Nets are an also-ran 8th seed, while the Clips are title contenders), his doctors’ precaution in holding him out of Vegas might tie to Shamet as well. We don’t know how serious Shamet’s case is (and we hope and pray that it’s completely or virtually asymptomatic), but the long-term impact of playing on or recently after the disease is completely unknown. If Dinwiddie’s doctors and support preach caution, it’s possible (and not unwise) for Shamet’s to do the same. We will just have to wait and see.