Wait For Wall Has Wizards Climbing Walls

In one of the unfortunate hamhanded moments in the otherwise revered film, “The Godfather: Part II,” Kay Corleone says to her husband Michael, “You once told me, ‘In five years the Corelone family will be completely legitimate.’ That was seven years ago.”

Diane Keaton’s character has nothing on Washington Wizard fans. At the time their franchise player John Wall went down with a left knee (patella) injury, they were told the 2010 No. 1 draft pick would be out eight weeks. That was 10 weeks ago.

Ten weeks ago, with Washington sputtering along at 2-14, with head coach Randy Wittman’s job hanging by threads, with attendance near the NBA’s bottom (28th of 30) and the Wizards’ offense even worse (a 97.6 offensive rating that ranks dead last).

Now Wall’s recovery time has been adjusted to “8 to 12 weeks,” according to Michael Lee‘s item in the Washington Post Friday. That buys them all another fortnight, though there really is nothing to be done if Wall continues to sit and watch and squirm even beyond that 12-week mark. Wall will be ready to play when he’s ready to play – you can’t hold rehab and recovery to a deadline.

All Washington really can do is help Wall cope with the frustration he feels and be as ready for his return as it can be. The 2-14 Wizards have gone 2-3 over the last two weeks (including the big upset of Miami Tuesday), compared to 0-11 before that, so it’s unlikely they would be way better had their preferred point guard returned to action according to the initial eight-week prognosis.

Heading into Saturday’s game vs. Golden State, Wittman told Lee the team’s style of play is set up to minimize the load on Wall when he does return, first seeking to get his legs and game under him.

“Like I tell him, ‘You just have to be John Wall and let the chips fall where they may after that,’ ” Wittman said. ” ‘What you can bring and what we’re missing from you would be beneficial for our team.’ That’s all he has to worry about.”

Wall can leave it to the other Wizards to pick up their pace to play alongside him. To the doctors as to whether this latest injury could recur or hamper him all season. And to fans and experts as to what this means to his career, Wall’s third season in three as a pro in which he’ll play 69 or fewer games.

Last year gets an asterisk, of course, due to the lockout; Wall suited up for the entire regular season. But the NBA traditionally counts its games 82 at a time and the warehoused Wizard has yet to come close to that (69 as a rookie, 66 in 2011-12). He’ll max out somewhere south of 59 if he’s not back in 10 days.

Long-term durability, of course, is less a concern right now than Wall’s longer-than-expected recovery.

17 Comments

  1. A comment was made about how the wizards are playing great and can’t finish the game…Ya….If they don’t win who cares how well they play…John Wall will not change the team…They need to hold paychecks to make these players play at there full potential…I mean they’re all kids right? Show them some discipline…

  2. Kupz says:

    If Wall can produce 28+ points per game with no turnover then he’s absolutely valuable person to have at their current situation. He need to be like a great point guard like Rondo or at least Jeremy Lin. I believe Crawford is the star player who consistently deliver like a number one pick. All I can see is, he’s another bad pick for Wizards like Kwame if he don’t develop or produce this year.

  3. Jumppong says:

    better luck next year though. Okafur is like a robot down there.. Beal should carry this as much as he wants to prove something at a 3rd pick many fans expect something to this kid..

  4. Astilita says:

    Seriously?

    Is anyone truly watching Wiz games? 90% of lost games with 7 points or less. Every game is close and quite a few have gone overtime. Currently finnishing is the problem.This is a good team that is hurt by injuries, who’s current star player is back (still not fully recuperated) to help the team. When Wall is back situation is definitely going to change.

    • Glaarthir says:

      This. The Wizards actually have a lot of young talent. Crawford and Seraphin will be good play makers for the wizards in the coming years and everybody talking about firing the coach and how bad the system is don’t seem to watch wizards games at all. Beal is a cutter! He’s not Dwayne Wade, he’s not going to put the game on his shoulders and drive the ball all day, he’s going to be a spot up shooter to compliment Wall.

  5. Ernie Grunfield and the Owner like the title “losers”…They need a headmaster to run the team and to hold a few paychecks until the “fellas” can play like they were paid to do…I mean this is a team sport…Human Beings vs. Human Beings isn’t it???????? I pay to watch the Wizards here in Vegas, kinda like a season ticket holder, Ted loves me…Matter of Fact maybe “TED” should stay as the big teddybear as he portray’s…

    I have been a fan of Bullets/Wizards since 1977-2012 all my friends and family call me nuts…
    Somebody here made a comment about Hiring Maryland Coach…He’s a winner, Hire him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Bboy says:

    Wizards are so bad right now. Too bad that john wall is injured, I thought Bradley Beal was going to be much better. THis season is going to be a tough one for Washington and hope they can get a star pick and player in the offseason

  7. CONCERN CITIZEN says:

    try patrick ewing as head coach to the wizads, surely they will improve…

  8. mvp says:

    the wizards have all the talent in the world with beal and wall. they can be the best backcourt in the league for many years along with the warriors. these 4 guys: beal, wall, curry and thompson are guys that have so much potential, that they can be future legends in this league. washington neads to have a new system, never tought that beal would be playing so bad, but it isnt his fault. when wall comes back, he needs to play like an all star this season. we could see both wall and beal be consistent 20 ppg scorers in the future. this 4 guys in gsw and was have a great future.

  9. tyrone says:

    Fire Wittman! He’s making Bradley Beal terrible! Or try to get Cody Zeller or James Mcadoo

  10. Debra says:

    I know it’s killing John to sit on the bench and watch,however injuries does occur.They’ll get it together.Chicago Bulls are in a similiar situation with Derrick Rose out.Hopefully they won’t rush the time it takes to heal

    • James says:

      Not even close. We are winning games… the Wiz aren’t. Chicago is playoff bound… and hopefully have our star by then.

  11. RememberThisDay says:

    such a shame washington is such a great city & people there love their basketball hopefully there will be something too cheer about soon..

  12. CCB says:

    I don’t understand bad teams sticking to their “even worse” coaches as if everything was going OK. Wittman and Rambis both killed the Wolves until they (finally) understood the problem – look at how they’ve been playing since they got Adelman. The Wizards are going for Bobcats’ worst record of all time this season (they may get an even worse record), unless they do something about coaching..

  13. Kamote says:

    i think i like Lin better than Wall… at least he’s trying…

  14. Big Euro says:

    Why the rush? This teams looks so dysfunctional as it is, I doubt he’ll improve them significantly. His return will probably just decrease the quality of their lottery pick. This season should be another re-building one for them, get a pick and see what moves you can maneuver in the off-season.