WASHINGTON, D.C. — The John Wall injury saga continues.
Washington coach Randy Wittman announced that his All-Star point guard will miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks while still recovering from five non-displaced fractures in his left hand and wrist. It is the third straight game Wall has missed due to the injury, which he suffered in the second quarter of Game 1.
Wittman remains non-committal on Wall’s future status this postseason.
"As long as we stick to our strengths as individuals, we can have success," Wittman said of his team’s Game 4 prospects without Wall.
During Sunday’s practice, the fourth-year Wizards coach said Wall’s injury is "headed in the right direction," but as of Monday’s shootaround he had yet to even dribble a basketball because the swelling was still too severe.
If Wall is still going to play in this series — or in the playoffs in general — the Wizards can afford to delay his return after winning Game 3 on Paul Pierce’s buzzer-beater to take a 2-1 series lead. That shot bought the team time. Washington dominated for the majority of the game with Wall watching from the sidelines, just the franchise’s 11th win in 51 games without the star guard since his 2010-11 rookie season.
Wall suffered the injury in Game 1 after Hawks point guard Jeff Teague undercut him on a drive to the basket. He instantly grabbed his wrist in pain, but played out the rest of the game, finishing with 18 points and 13 assists, to lead Washington to victory.
Wall, who made his second All-Star appearance this season, remains one of this postseason’s top performers after averaging an NBA-best 12.6 assists to go along with 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds.
In his place, reserve guard Ramon Sessions will start his third game of the series. Sessions played well in the Wizards’ Game 2 loss (21 points), but his shooting fell off when the series returned to the Verizon enter — he scored eight points on 2 of 10 shooting in the roller-coaster Game 3 win.