The Wizards have won five straight games without their five-time All-Star John Wall, though the point guard and starting center Marcin Gortat clearly have differing views on Washington's good run of form.
After a huge victory over the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 1, Gortat posted a cryptic tweet, calling the game a "great 'team' victory." Wall wasn't overly appreciative of the shade seemingly being thrown his way.
"It was more just shock to hear it from him, understanding he gets the most assists from me and the most spoon-fed baskets ever," Wall said on ESPN's "The Jump" on Tuesday.
Despite Wall's down year, he still managed to make the All-Star squad while his team sits fourth in the Eastern Conference. It's a positive sign that the Wizards are surviving without him, but the 27-year-old doesn't think it's fair to assume they're better in his absence.
"It was funny to me at first, just to see some of the things that people were saying and certain type of comments," Wall said. "But I've seen these guys put in a lot of work every day, and we always say the motto is next man up no matter what. I think we moved the ball well early in the season, we just couldn't make shots. And we couldn't defend at all. I think now guys are stepping up and the first unit and second unit are playing very well.
"But it was kind of shocking to hear a couple people say the ball is moving a lot better, when that's what I pride myself off of, being more happy when my teammates are scoring than I am."
Wall is considered one of the best passers in the NBA, sitting second league-wide with 9.3 assists per game, and has been in the top three in each of his last five seasons. However, the Wizards' three best team-assist games have come without their star. So far this season, they are 22-16 with Wall in the lineup and 10-6 without him.
Much of Washington's success has centered around Bradley Beal, who earned his first career All-Star nod this season. But regardless of the club's recent progress, Beal recently laughed off the notion of the Wizards being better without his running mate.
Wall underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his left knee last Wednesday, and was reportedly given a recovery timeline of six-to-eight weeks as the Wizards fight for playoff positioning.