The Washington Wizards will have to continue their playoff push without superstar John Wall, as the star point guard will miss two months as he prepares for knee surgery, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post:
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 30, 2018
Wall was second in team scoring (19.4 points per game), but leads the team overwhelmingly in assists with 9.3 per contest. Before the news broke, Wall had already missed 12 games this season.
Entering play on Tuesday, the Wizards sit at 27-22, which is good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. They are only 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third seed, however.
The Wizards do have a pair of standouts in Bradley Beal (23.9 points per game), and small forwards Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. All three will have to step up during Wall’s absence, though replacing him is obviously impossible.
The Feb. 8 trade deadline is looming, so the Wizards could feel enticed to trade for one or two players. The Los Angeles Clippers have made DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams available in trades, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Tyreke Evans has also been mentioned in trade talks.
A five-time NBA All-Star, Wall has lived up to the hype after being drafted first-overall by the Wizards in 2010. He’s averaged 18.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game throughout his career. The Wizards have made the playoffs in three of the last four years, and fell just one game short of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017.
The Wizards are just 4.5 games clear of the ninth-seeded Detroit Pistons, who just acquired Blake Griffin in a blockbuster trade. They’ll have to hold their ground until Wall presumably returns in early April – when the season will be down to its final weeks.
We’ll see how the Wizards respond without Wall, and if the front office has many moves coming up.
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