Wizards look to prove themselves on road trip
While so much is being made of Nene and the tone he sets on the defensive end of the floor as the Wizards take their two-game winning streak to play the Oklahoma City Thunder, John Wall reverses field.
Yes, having the 7-footer has helped immeasuably was the Wizards have pulled out wins at the Philadelphia 76ers and at home vs. the Brooklyn Nets in overtime after opening the season with three consecutive losses.
But, Wall said: "The main thing starts with me. Coach wanted me to be aggressive, being on the ball and even though we lost a tough game in Miami. The way I was being aggressive and not letting them get comfortable its the biggest key. it leads to my teammates doing other things. ... I'm a catalyst. Give us a lot of energy on both ends of the court. I have to do a better job of getting in better shape because pressing 94 feet isn't easy."
Since training camp opened in the last weekend of September, teammates have said where Wall has shown the most leadership is on the defensive end.
Now he is battling back spasms which will make it tougher for Wall who has been limited offensively. He is getting various treatments in hopes that they work themselves out and he doesn't have to miss time. He has missed previous practices because of the lower back problems, but did practice Sunday morning in shootaround.
Trying to contain Russell Westbrook of the Thunder is difficult enough to deal with when healthy. It may be time for Eric Maynor, who backed up Westbrook earlier in his career, to finally show his value as his first season in Washington hasn't been smooth.
It also could mean more playing time for Garrett Temple, who has been used sparingly but at 6-6 is valued for his defensive ability and his length.