The Wizards’ Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs back in May, the final defeat that ended the best season for the franchise since the 1970s, remains fresh on the minds of star point guard John Wall and head coach Scott Brooks, though months have passed. Wall has suggested several times this offseason that his fourth quarter fatigue against Boston is a point of motivation as he trains for this upcoming season.
Now that hindsight has set in, both Wall and Brooks looked back at Game 7 on the day Wall’s new supermax contract was announced earlier this month. The prevailing takeaway was that yes, Wall was tired but they feel good about the effort they put forth.
“Game 7 was not the way we wanted it to end, but I definitely went out swinging. I didn’t go 0-for-0. I went 0-for-11. I shot the ball and played the game I wanted to play. At least I wasn’t being passive. I was aggressive like I was the whole playoffs. I can deal with losing that way and use that as motivation for this season coming up.”
Meanwhile, the Wizards’ bench only scored five points and backup point guard Brandon Jennings played just five minutes. Brooks explained his decision to rely on Wall as heavily as he did.
“Going into that game, it was either you move on and you advance or you stay home. So, I was going into the game knowing he was going to play high minutes, probably not the 24 straight in the second half. But I look back at it with no regrets. I look back at it like we were right there with the No. 1 seed in the East on their court. I thought we had about four or five minutes of not-good basketball that probably cost us the game,” Brooks said.
The Wizards will have to wait another eight months until the 2018 playoffs begin. They expect to be back there and hope to move past the second round for the first time since Wall was drafted in 2010. They are excited about the opportunity, knowing they were so close this spring.
Source: Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic
Kawhi Leonard Probable for Tuesday Debut
The Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his season debut against the Mavericks.
The club originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.
Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN
Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Clips’ Danilo Gallinari Suffers New Glute Injury
On the same night the LA Clippers will welcome back one starter, another starter re-exits the lineup due to injury.
Power forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed 13 games with a glute injury and returned to action this past Wednesday, will miss Monday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to what coach Doc Rivers says is a new glute injury suffered in Gallinari’s second game back Saturday against the Washington Wizards.
Source: Lawrence Murray of ESPN