Brooks: Wizards need Wall despite success without him
The Washington Wizards are 10-4 and playing their best basketball since John Wall elected to have knee surgery.
Their recent success has sparked discussions as to whether the Wizards might be better off without their star point guard. However, head coach Scott Brooks was eager to dismiss those claims.
"John is elite," Brooks told Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post. "We don’t want to take his pick-and-roll game away. We don’t want to take his speed coast-to-coast away. We want to make sure he understands we want that and we need that. But the other guys are still going to have continue to play well and continue to grow as well."
Wall, a five-time All-Star, has a proven track record of being a game-changer on both ends of the floor. However, this season has been a struggle for him as nagging injuries have undercut his speed, and his mid-range jumper has been off for most of the campaign. Wall has tried to force his offense to get back on track, but that came at the detriment of the team.
His replacement in Tomas Satoransky has been the exact opposite. Although he's not nearly as explosive nor as capable, Satoransky has helped usher in a more fluid team system characterized by quick passing. The results speak for themselves as Washington has surged in the standings while claiming wins over Toronto, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and Milwaukee.
Brooks' hope is to blend the team's new identity with the superstar talents that a recovered Wall can deliver.
"There’s no question that we can add some of the things that we’ve done. But we also want to make sure he brings what he brings," Brooks said. "The guy is the fastest guy in the league going basket to basket. He generates four or five easy buckets for himself, and he generates six or seven easy 3-point shots for our perimeter shooters, let alone our bigs for layups. We need that."
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