Wake-up call: Wall facing crossroads again

Wake-up call: Wall facing crossroads again
January 18, 2014, 6:00 am
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Dec 18, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall celebrates against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Barclays Center. The Wizards won the game 113-107.

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Only two players have played more games than John Wall to get above .500 for the first time -- and coincidentally they were No. 1 overall picks, too -- and that's Joe Smith (1995) and Michael Olowakandi ('98). Saturday, for the third time this season, Wall has a chance to get the Wizards over that hump for the first time since he was taken No. 1 overall in 2010.

"I don't want to think about it, really. I just want to get over it," said Wall, who has gone 222 games without a winning record. "I think we get too anxious about it and too nervous and hyped and trying to finally get over it then we don't come out and play the right way. So the main thing for us is to try to stay focused. We'll get some rest and come play a tough Detroit team that we know is coming to try to get another road win."

The Wizards first blew a chance at 9-9, with a home game vs. the lowly Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 6. They lost 109-105 in overtime of a game they led by five points with 54 seconds left in regulation. Three consecutive losses followed.

Then, when the Wizards got back to 14-14 with a shot to begin the new year with a win at home vs. the Dallas Mavericks, they blew another late lead. In control 74-70 with five minutes left, they lost 87-79. That turned into a three-game losing streak from which they've recovered again.

They've won won two of three against the Pistons.