The burning question for the Washington Wizards: Can they survive without the injured John Wall for at least the first two months of the season? With so much of the Wizards' success riding on the play of the third-year point guard, the answer is no.
The Wizards whole mentality offensively was centered on the fast-break style that Wall can run. Now, with Wall out with a left knee injury, the team will have to turn to backups A.J. Price, Shelvin Mack or even Jordan Crawford to fill Wall's speedy shoes -- and that's going to be a tall task. All three are decent players but theyare not starting point guard material.
Price got some minutes in Indiana off the bench but only averaged 4 points and 2 assists in 44 games last season for the Pacers. Mack backed up Wall last season and played about 12 minutes a night,averaging 3.6 points and 2 assists a game. Crawford is a scorer first but has played some point guard in the past but he would be put at the 1 only in an emergency.
Wall averaged 16 points and 8 assists last season and was pivotal in the team's six-game winning streak to close out the season. He brings a dynamic athletic approach to the floor, which will be sorely missed.
The Wizards will be cautious but center Nene has to be healthy for Washington to compete without Wall in the mix. If Nene misses time early, things could get ugly quickly. Veteran playerslike swingman Trevor Ariza and power forward Emeka Okafor will also have to provide scoring and leadership in Wall's absence.
This was supposed to be Wall's break-out season. The Wizards, though, will have to wait and hopefully, by the time he returns, it will not be too late and the season can be salvaged.