John Wall blamed himself. His left knee, swollen with fluid, hindered his speed. So on Friday night, as the Washington Wizards‘ offense looked out of sorts through a listless first half against the Miami Heat, Wall knew why.
“Me,” Wall said, explaining the root of the problem during Washington’s 29-point first half. “I could barely move out there, so I couldn’t get the team going. It kind of hurt us.
“So I was looking like some butt out there.”
The Wizards lost, 91-88, to Miami and Wall was held scoreless through three quarters before finishing with a pedestrian line of eight points on 3-of-12 shooting and eight assists.
Following the game, a bigger problem came into focus as the Wizards’ four-time all-star struggles to play while dealing with the swelling in the knee. When asked if he felt he would play Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, Wall did not have a definitive answer.
“I don’t know,” Wall said. “Depends on how I feel tonight and how I feel tomorrow.”
Last Saturday before the Wizards faced the Atlanta Hawks, Wall felt ill and missed the team’s morning shootaround. While under the care of the Wizards’ medical staff, Wall received intravenous fluids and played later that night. However, Wall has since revealed that fluid has built up in his left knee, causing swelling.
By Monday night, Wall felt the swelling while scoring 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting against the Sacramento Kings. Before the Wizards played in Miami on Wednesday, Wall again ticked off his nagging injuries: a right ankle sprain from the Kings game, a sore left shoulder from Nov. 3 and the swollen left knee, which Wall said was a carry-over from the IVs. On Friday night, the Wizards scored just two points in transition while falling into a 50-29 halftime deficit. As the engine to the Wizards’ fast break, and almost everything the team does offensively, Wall sputtered.
“Just me, I was feeling like some [expletive]. So that was basically it,” Wall said, again pinning the poor fast-break play on himself. “We really didn’t have no up-tempo to our game and it was me because I couldn’t push the pace and get us into our rhythm that we usually get.”
Wall said he had previously felt relief from warm temperatures but a chillier environment inside Capital One Arena exacerbated the injury.
“It was cold, so it’s kind of holding me back but it’s no excuse. We still lost,” Wall said. “We still didn’t come out with no energy in the first half and have no effort.”
Wall has dealt with the knee issue for less than a week but does not know how long it could linger.
“I have no idea to be honest. I mean, it just came up out of nowhere,” Wall said. “It was feeling good and then it just popped up. I trust my training staff and those guys and our doctors to do what’s best for me and they’ll tell me if I need to sit and what I need to do to get it back right. I’ve been preparing myself by doing all of the exercises and corrective work they want me to do, so I’m just going to stick with the plan I’ve been doing.”
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