Even for those who’re sick of the “Are the Washington Wizards higher with out John Wall” debate, contemplate this: Since the Wizards misplaced their level guard, they’ve gone 10-three. They’re not beating all lottery groups, both – six of these wins are towards groups at present in the playoffs.
However the most essential stat for the Wizards throughout this stretch: They lead the NBA in assists per recreation throughout this thirteen-recreation stretch with out their level guard.
In Tuesday’s win in Milwaukee, the Wizard had 30 assists. With Wall out, the Wizards are beginning 6-foot-7 small ahead Tomas Satoransky in his place, and are primarily enjoying with no level guard.
Shooting guard Bradley Beal does most of the ball dealing with, however every night time, there’s no telling who will lead them in assists. Beal had eight vs Milwaukee. Satoransky had 10 in a blowout of the 76ers. Energy ahead Marcus Morris had eight in a loss to the Hornets, which was on the 2nd night time of a again-to-again.
Beal has in all probability benefitted the most from Wall’s absence, unlocking his playmaking talents, and having fun with his greatest all-round season up to now, posting profession-highs in rebounds (four.5), assists (four.four) and factors (23.7).
Final yr, with Wall enjoying the greatest season of his profession (third staff All-NBA), the Wizards gained forty nine video games however misplaced in the 2nd spherical. The Wizards would wish to complete simply thirteen-eight the remainder of the approach to match final yr’s win complete.
You by no means need to overreact to a three-week stretch. However when everybody will get higher, don’t you must no less than discover the concept of a commerce in the offseason? After final yr’s profession yr, he’s again to being a forty one% area objective shooter, his assists are down, and his scoring is, too. He’s capturing a profession-worst seventy one% at the line.
What if final yr was nearly as good as he’ll get? That is his eighth yr in the NBA, and he’s nonetheless largely the similar participant – not a three-level shooter, will get you 19 factors a recreation, and a bunch of assists, however the Wizards are not any nearer to contending.
Check out the Clippers. They misplaced Chris Paul and have been anticipated to go in the tank. However Doc Rivers has executed his greatest teaching job ever, and with out CP3 and Blake Griffin, the Clippers are presently the eighth seed in the West regardless of a litany of accidents.
I’ll toss this on the market: John Wall is a Klutch Sports activities shopper. Should you’re the Wizards, do you name the Cavs and ask if they need Wall with eyes on that Nets decide? Kevin Love and the Nets decide might be an excessive amount of to ask for, until the Wizards tossed in Kelly Oubre, who is just 22, and simply beginning to understand his potential (37 % on three-pointers, eleven.9 ppg).