John Wall is expected to return to the Washington Wizards from a two-week absence on Wednesday night, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge. Wall will miss a ninth game on Tuesday night against the Nets, but he should be in the lineup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
Wall had been out due to knee swelling that persisted throughout the start of the season. The Wizards have gone .500 in his absence, most recently losing by a point to the Los Angeles Clippers in a game marked by a bizarre ending.
Washington is only 14-12 on the season, but they clearly view themselves higher than the .500 team they’ve been in Wall’s absence. His return will be welcomed. While Wall hasn’t quite replicated his career year last season, he’s still averaging 20 points and nine assists through 16 games played.
Bradley Beal is on fire, but this isn’t his ideal role
The Wizards were embarrassed on Dec. 4 when the Utah Jazz beat them by 47 points, 116-69. The next game, Beal fired back for Washington, setting his career high with 51 points. In the two games since, Beal has scored 59 points combined.
That said, despite his hot streak, Beal is still worse as the primary role. Last week, I explained why Beal’s best value is as an uber-efficient secondary scorer. In the first five games that Wall missed, Beal scored 11 points or fewer three times.
With Wall likely set to miss a ninth game before his return, Beal needs to stay hot. He’s the only reliable, consistent shot creator in the Washington offense without Wall on the floor, who usually dominates that role. Beal can hit an array of contested two-pointers that reminds us of Kobe Bryant, but it’ll also be nice to see him knocking down spot-up threes again off John Wall drive-and-kicks.