TORONTO — John Wall could miss a game for the first time this season while dealing with a left shoulder injury.
Wall, who has started all eight games while averaging 20.5 points and 10.4 assists, received treatment Saturday on his sore and sprained shoulder but is considered “questionable” to play ahead of the Washington Wizards’ Sunday night matchup against the Toronto Raptors, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The previous night as the Wizards hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wall made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with 6-foot-11 forward Channing Frye and dropped to the hardwood where he remained longer than usual. Following the Wizards’ 130-122 loss, Wall underwent X-rays, which came back negative, and exited the arena with his left arm in a sling.
“I feel like [Frye] threw a shoulder into mine because I’ve split screens before and hit somebody’s shoulder and their body and never had that type of injury,” Wall told reporters Friday night. “I think his impact and the way he was coming kind of gave me a stinger.”
Despite the injury, Wall played through the fourth quarter — although later, admitted, “I shouldn’t have been out there” — and led the Wizards by logging 38 minutes 28 seconds. Wall deserved competitive kudos for playing on but finished with his worst shooting night of season (4 of 13 overall with seven missed free throws) and scored his lowest total (13 points).
Through the first eight games of the season, Wall has not found his shooting rhythm, producing the lowest field goal percentage at .406 among the regular starters, not including Markieff Morris, who made his season debut Friday. Even so, losing Wall would immobilize the Wizards’ high-scoring offense.
Only Wall and the league’s reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, are averaging point-assist double-doubles so far this season. Wall has scored in double figures in every game as a part of Washington’s torrid offense that scores 113.5 points per game, third highest in the league. When Wall’s shot does not fall, he still contributes by sharing the ball. In the loss to the Cavs, Wall dished 15 assists, the most in the NBA on Friday night. Wall ranks third in the NBA in assists-per-48 minutes and needs only seven more assists to reach 4,700 in his career.
Last season during his all-NBA campaign, Wall missed four games and only two due to injury. Wall underwent double knee surgery before the start of the 2016-17 season and recovered in time for games, but the team limited his activity in back-to-back games early in the season. However, after sitting out games on Nov. 5 and 12, Wall started 70 consecutive games before Coach Scott Brooks rested starters in the final two regular season matchups.
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