The Washington Wizards appear to like enjoying with out John Wall. Within the three video games since Wall went down with a knee damage, Washington has racked up three wins by spreading the ball round to everybody. The rock strikes with out Wall on the ground and the group has observed.
Wall’s backcourt-mate Bradley Beal had the next to say after Thursday night time’s win over the Toronto Raptors:
“Everyone eats. That’s our motto once we transfer the ball.”
Although Wall is second within the NBA averaging 9.three assists per recreation, with out him within the final three video games, the Wizards have totaled ninety seven assists. The group-common of 32.three per recreation is one of the best within the NBA throughout that point. They even racked up forty assists Saturday night time towards the Atlanta Hawks within the first recreation with out Wall. That was the perfect complete for the franchise since 1992.
Earlier than Wall’s damage, the Wizards had been an enormous disappointment this season. They’re presently fifth within the Japanese Convention with a 29-22 document however have been anticipated to contend. It’s been a forgettable yr to date.
Rumors a few rift between Wall and Beal have swirled for a very long time and it may be that the Wizards are simply flat out higher with out Wall round. Chemistry is an actual factor, and the group clearly enjoys spreading the ball round, as an alternative of enjoying solely by means of Wall.
Wall and the Washington Wizards are in a bizarre place. The group signed the purpose guard to an enormous, $207 million extension that may maintain him in D.C. via 2023. Since agreeing to that deal, Wall’s play has fallen off. His PER this season has dropped to 19.34 from a profession-excessive 23.28 final yr. His per recreation averages in factors (19.four), assists (9.three) and rebounds (three.6) are all down, whereas his area aim (forty one.7) and free throw (seventy one.9) percentages have dropped considerably.
If the Wizards are higher with out Wall, they’re going to have actual hassle shifting him. He’s 27 and when that massive new deal kicks in in the course of the 2019-2020 season, he’ll be making $37.eight million within the first yr and an insane $forty six.87 million within the fourth at age 31. Nobody goes to tackle that contract.
Washington could also be higher with out John Wall, however the franchise is caught with him.