So tough, Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman cannot think of another player he’s been around over the last 30 years who has been tougher.
But before anything else, some context: The Wizards announced on Thursday that Wall suffered five non-displaced fractures in his left hand. The announcement came one day after Wall missed Game 2 of Washington’s best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks, a tilt they ultimately lost. Wall’s status for Game 3 is now up in the air.
Yup: Five non-displaced fractures in his non-shooting hand might not stop Wall from playing. Not that this should surprise. It doesn’t surprise Wittman, after all.
Per The Washington Post‘s Jorge Castillo:
Wittman on Wall: "I’m not BS’ing you guys. I’ve been around this game for 30 years and he’s the toughest. Toughest kid I’ve been around. "
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) May 7, 2015
Well, Wall will have to be tough as nails to play through this injury. It’s a doozy. It helps that this isn’t his dominant hand and wrist, but still, we’re talking about five non-displaced fractures. Like, holy crap. That’s a lot. It doesn’t matter if they don’t require surgery, as some non-displaced ailments don’t. We’re still talking about five fractures in a single hand.
Yet, even if Wall plays, you have to wonder whether the Wizards stand a chance anymore. The Hawks picked them apart in Game 2 without him, and Wall isn’t going to be made of Teflon once he comes back. There’s a strong possibility he’s hesitant when attacking the rim and barreling into the paint. And if he cannot do that without thinking, he’s not as valuable to the Wizards. Attacking and barreling is his whole game.
Still, it’s better to play with him than without him. That much is for sure. The Wizards won’t stand a chance in hell of pushing this series against Atlanta beyond six games if he doesn’t return. They don’t have another three victories in them, or even two wins. Paul Pierce could catch fire circa 2008 and Bradley Beal could do his best James Harden impression, and the Wizards would still be sunk.
Atlanta, when on, is that good.
Wall is that important.