What if Wall had been healthy all season?
The Wizards were honoring the Chinese New Year with special warmups before last night's game against Brooklyn but they might as well have been wearing Wizards’ New Year gear because, since the return of guard John Wall, the Wizards look like a completely different team. Wall came back in mid-January, and since then the Wizards are 9-7 with him in the lineup, including the 89-74 win over Brooklyn Friday night at Verizon Center.
"It feels great," Wall said following the win over now 29-21 Brooklyn. Wall controlled the tempo and ignited the Wizards’ offense, scoring 15 points and dishing out 9 assists to go along with 4 steals in the start-to-finish win over the Nets.
"We are finally trusting each other and playing hard," Wall said.
Wall saw Washington big man Nene have his way down low, putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"Nene knows little tricks of the trade,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "He's sly. He gives angles. He takes angles away. He's a student of the game.
The Wizards have proved to themselves that they are extremely tough to beat at home, having won eight of their last nine at Verizon Center to improve their overall record to 14-35.
"This week has been a good," Wizards forward Trevor Ariza said. "We've beaten some really good teams. Teams that everyone are talking about as contenders. I think we are on the right path."
The Wizards now go on the road -- where they have struggled mightily all season -- for two games before the all-star break, starting at Milwaukee Monday night and then at Detroit next Wednesday.
"You've got to play better on the road," Wittman said. "That's the bottom line in this league. People may or may not believe in home court advantage, but there is."
Just ask the Wizards.