Wizards all smiles as they prepare for Nets
NEW YORK -- A heavy burden has been lifted from John Wall, who didn't have Bradley Beal, Nene and Martell Webster during a four-game losing streak that ended with a win vs. the New York Knicks. Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets are on tap and everyone should be on the court.
"I've got three guys that have been through some basketball. Having Bradley back gives us another ball-handler which was sorely missed. John had to do so much of that with Bradley out," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "Now John can throw the ball ahead, go to the weak side, Brad run a pick-and-roll and create. That's a big plus for us from that standpoint."
Beal was out for nine games with a stress reaction to his lower right leg. Wall scored 19 points in the first half of Monday's 102-101 win at the Knicks. Beal sealed it with 14 points, including the game-winner, in the fourth quarter. Webster, who missed one game with a sprained left ankle and wasn't sharp in his first two games back, led the way with 30 points coming off the bench.
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"If he stays healthy, he can run pick-and-rolls, I can run pick-and-rolls. It just gives defenses different types of looks in how they've got to guard it," Wall said of sharing the backcourt with Beal. "It opens things up. It felt great having him back. I didn't have to have all the pressure putting the ball in my hands."
After missing four games, Nene (sore right foot) is on schedule to return vs. Brooklyn (CSN, 7:30). Wall has tallied 26 turnovers in his last five games without the full complement of players on the floor.
"It just lightens the load for everybody. A team can focus in with Brad out, with Nene out," Wittman said. "Teams were like John Wall has got to make a play here. Let's get it out John Wall's hands. That makes it tough on a guy. … Now you've got options of who to play through where a team can't sit there on somebody."