The breakout year for John Wall, in an open-floor style offense that's supposed to play to his strengths, isn't happening. After his fourth game with at least six turnovers, he's averaging near career lows in assists (8.1), rebounds (3.4), foul shooting (75%) and scoring (16.7).
Tuesday's 123-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers aside, Wall appeared agitated by his latest performance in which he had 18 points, made 3 of 4 three-point shots even, but had more turnovers (eight) than assists (five). He's averaging 4.5 turnovers per game, third highest in the NBA behind Russell Westbrook (5.0) and James Harden (4.8).
"I had three careless turnovers of trying to get a man the ball," said Wall, before quickly adding, "they weren’t looking."
Three years ago, Wall made a similar remark about having high turnovers in a game because his teammates weren't catching his passes and it led to a blowup in the trainer's room with then-center Emeka Okafor.
The Wizards trailed 62-61 at halftime despite Paul George and C.J. Miles combining to make 9 of 9 three-point shots. They had a chance to grab a lead as the Pacers committed three turnovers to start the third quarter. But after 2:15 elapsed, Wall had three turnovers, too.
The game got away from there was the Wizards, who had kept their giveaways down during their three-game winning streak, had 21. Combine these mistakes with Indiana knocking down 19 of 26 threes, there's no chance to win.
In that pivotal third quarter, Wall took just two shots and had four turnovers as they went from being down by one point to trailing by 11 entering the fourth.
"It’s been up and down. Frustrating for me," Wall said of his season that was promising after the first two games when he was dominant alongside Bradley Beal. "I think I was playing well at first today then I only had nine shots in 30 minutes. It gets frustrating but it’s all a part of me trying to make the right reads, trying to find guys. Give credit to those guys they did a great job defensively getting their hands in the air, knocking away some passes. I was trying to be aggressive. … It could’ve been a big assist night for us. We just didn’t make a lot of shots."
Wall was 5 of 9 overall shooting. Beal was 9 of 22.