The Washington Wizards won their second straight game without six-time All-Star John Wall, beating the Atlanta Hawks 114-98. Washington improved to 4-2 on the season without Wall. With the small sample of success there’s a loud rumbling from some fans that the Wizards may be better without Wall.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal thinks that notion is furthest from the truth.
“We’re definitely going to miss him. We hate that he’s out,” Beal said of Wall per Hoop District. “We’re not sitting here and saying we are a better team without him. That’s far from the truth.”
Washington struggled this season with Wall in the lineup, going 11-21 in the 32 games he suited up. He appeared not healthy missing two games due to bone spurs in his left heel. Last week, he opted for season-ending heel surgery, a measure in hopes to prevent a ruptured Achilles.
Often times Wall was caught standing around with little to no movement on both ends of the floor. A byproduct of the injury according to Wall. The views painted a unfavorable picture.
It’s the second straight season Wall will miss a significant amount of games. Last season he missed 41 games due to in large a knee injury that required surgery. Then, there was a contingent believing the Wizards were better without Wall. However, Washington went 20-21 in the games that he didn’t play and 23-18 in the ones he played.
Still, that won’t stop the chattering of those who somehow believe the Wizards are better without Wall.
Against Atlanta, the Wizards were very much active with their ball movement. They had 29 assists on 43 made shots. And the shot distribution was spread around with five different players attempting double-digit shots.
Beal worked through early struggles to finish with a game-high 24 points while adding six assists. Satoransky had a huge night in place of Wall with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Jeff Green added 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
But beating the Hawks isn’t hard evidence about if the Wizards are better without No. 2. They simply are not. But as Beal put it, the Wizards have to face reality. Wall will be out the next six-to-eight months and the players in the locker room have to go above and beyond if they are to push for the postseason.