“First time all season that we’ve had this much confidence,” A.J. Price said. “We haven’t wrote ourselves off. Anything can happen in this league.”
Back home two days after going 2-3 on their road trip through Sacramento, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland and Salt Lake City, the Wizards didn’t appear to show any signs of fatigue and took advantage of a shorthanded Timberwolves team that has lost eight of nine and was missing all-star forward Kevin Love, starting center Nikola Pekovic, Alexey Shved and Brandon Roy.
The Post Sports Live crew discusses the Wizards’ improved play since John Wall’s return from injury and the emergence of some of the role players.
Insight on the Wizards and all the latest news from Post reporter Michael Lee.
Wall visited with doctors upon his return home and hasn’t experienced any setbacks since his return. He supplied numerous highlight-worth plays, appearing to move with considerable ease and comfort. Wall drove inside, spun midair and made an over-the-head bank shot as he drew a foul from Timberwolves center Greg Steimsma. He later zipped past Rubio and caused Andrei Kirilenko to stumble for an uncontested layup. Then, in the third quarter, Wall used a crossover dribble to get Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio off-balance then buried a jumper over him.
“You’re not going to hear any good thing about your team or your organization if you’re not winning games,” Wall said. “That’s all we’re trying to do is win. We don’t want to end up being a last-place team.”
Rookie Bradley Beal had been struggling with a sore right wrist after an awkward landing in Denver during the Wizards’ five-game West Coast road trip, but he bounced back with 16 points and recorded a career-high four blocked shots, including an impressive chase down on Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour.
Martell Webster was bought out by the Timberwolves after two injury-plagued seasons in Minnesota last summer and forced to seek employment in Washington. He got a little revenge as he connected on three three-pointers and scored 13 points. Nene added 14 points and Kevin Seraphin had 10 points before fouling out.
“It’s time for John to be back in the starting lineup. He’s the point guard of our team,” Wittman said of Wall. “If you would’ve told me, we’d play half our games without out all of our players, I might’ve said, ‘Give me 10-31.’ But right now, we’ve got to focus in on what we’re doing now.”