The Washington Wizards’ Game 4 win over the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers in their first-round playoff series on Monday night was bittersweet, as sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans went down with a calf strain in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Bertans is expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with what’s now being described as a Grade 2 calf strain, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Prior to the injury, Bertans was on a roll, putting up 15 points on 3 of 6 from deep. The Wizards still managed to come away with a win against the Sixers, in part due to Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid going down in the second quarter. However, being without Bertans for Game 5 is a significant blow to a team that is facing elimination Wednesday night as the Sixers have a 3-1 series lead.
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The timing of Bertans’ injury is even more brutal considering he was just starting to get into a groove after struggling throughout a majority of the series. In the first three games, Bertans averaged just 7.3 points, while going 5 for 17 from long range and shooting just 35 percent from the field. It’s an uncharacteristic performance from the 6-foot-10 forward, who shot 42 percent from deep last season and established himself as one of the best spot-up shooters in the league. His shooting outburst in 2019-20 earned him a five-year, $80 million contract with the Wizards last November, but he was largely invisible in the first three postseason games.
It’s a shame that right as Bertans was starting to find his shooting touch again, he went down with the same injury that kept him out for two weeks in March. With him sidelined, it will make things even more difficult for Washington to extend this series any further against the top-seeded Sixers.