Confined to a comfy seat next to the Wizards assistant coaches, John Wall has rolled his eyes, shaken his head, stared blankly at the scoreboard and appeared deathly ill on numerous occasions this season. Watching his teammates get off to the worst 21-game start in franchise history in his absence, has been extremely difficult — especially when Wall knows he could've made a difference if not for a bum left knee.
The team was constructed to complement Wall's speed and athleticism, but now appears rudderless as he takes fashion risks on the bench – either red pants or a bow tie. When asked on Monday how he could help the Wizards (3-18) when, or if, he returns this season, Wall said, "I can get into the lane and get guys open shots. That's where my game is, to make the job a lot easier for my teammates. I can see that we have a lot shooters and it would be great to help those guys out."
Wall averaged about eight assists in his first two seasons. An individual player has recorded at least eight assists in just four of the Wizards' 21 games this season.
A.J. Price had games with nine assists and 14 assists in successive nights last month. Jordan Crawford has had eight assists twice, last reaching that total on Dec. 8 when Price went down with a broken right hand against Golden State.
The Wizards rank 25th in assists (20) this season, a stat that is reflective of their inability to make shots and also the struggles they have had with floor leadership and direction. In four games since Price got injured, the Wizards have averaged just 16.8 assists per game, which would easily be the worst in the league. They have also averaged just 84.5 points – more than five points fewer than their league-worst season average – and have scored fewer than 78 points twice.
Wizards missing the point without John Wall, AJ Price
Washington Post | Dec 18