Playing four games in five days is tough enough, but the Wizards are doing it without two of their four guards for most of it.
Coach Randy Wittman admitted that his point guard, John Wall, tired in the third quarter of Friday’s 96-87 win vs. the New Orleans Hornets when he played 34 minutes.
Now they play Saturday in a home game vs. the Phoenix Suns. It’ll be the Wizards’ second set of back-to-backs this week.
Garrett Temple registered 45 minutes, pulling double-duty at shooting guard and ball-handling duties when Wall is out of the game. Temple's role has expanded out of necessity because the Wizards haven’t had Bradley Beal for six games (sprained left ankle). When Wittman went with forward Trevor Ariza in the starting lineup for the first two games with Beal out, the Wizards didn't have as much success as he lacked Temple's ability to quarterback the offense.
A.J. Price, usually Wall’s backup, has missed two games in a row with a groin strain. Still, the Wizards have won both. Fatigue isn't a concern.
“At this stage with Bradley out…I got to keep ball-handlers on the floor to help John alleviate (pressure),” Wittman said. “Garrett does that. This kid will play forever. He’s in great shape, ready to play. Some nights he plays, some nights he doesn't play but he’s always ready. He’s the last guy I’m worried about playing too much.”
Wall had a season-high 29 points and nine assists Friday. He also made all three of his three-point shots, the equaling his career high from his 2010 rookie season.
Wall already had played 43 minutes Wednesday in a 106-93 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. Temple was on the floor for 41 minutes of that game.
“I feel like a kid still,” said Wall. “I have a lot of energy. So long as I’m getting in the cold tub, icing my knees, making sure I’m going home getting my rest I’m doing pretty good.”