NEW ORLEANS -- The numbers tell the story. John Wall has returned to All-Star form though it's difficult for the point guard to be celebratory about anything. Friday, they lost yet again and dropped to 9-12 despite him almost getting another triple-double.
"The effort we're giving, we're not coming out with a win," Wall said after falling 107-105 to the New Orleans Pelicans in a game they led by seven with six minutes left. "I don't care if I'm averaging 30 and 30. I'm not winning, it doesn't mean anything to me."
Wall was terrible during one stretch early in the season when he had eight turnovers twice. But in seven games in December, Wall is averaging 27.4 points on shooting 55% (73 of 133), 10.1 assists and 2.7 steals.
"Got a little healthy, that's the most important thing, being more aggressive. My ankle was pretty sore, my knee was pretty sore," Wall said before tipoff Friday.
The knee was known about. Wall had a collision a week ago when he ran into Jeremy Evans of the Dallas Mavericks. He already had a bruise on his right knee and that made it worse though he didn't miss a game. The ankle issue explains why he posted shooting performances like 6 of 17, 6 of 16, 4 of 13 and 5 of 14.
In one of the Wizards' signature wins, a 102-99 triumph over the San Antonio Spurs, is when Wall hurt the right ankle. To his credit, at no point did he ever speak up for himself when the Wizards lost three consecutive games after that by an average of 21 points. And he didn't want anyone else to do it on his behalf, either.
"I play with injuries most of my career. ... I've sprained it about five straight times," said Wall, who now wears a compression sleeve on the ankle. "I'm not a guy that wants to make excuses. If I have a bad game, like I told you all, until I play better we won't do well. I'm not making excuses, if I'm playing like (expletive), I'm playing like (expletive)."
Wall assumed the responsibility and responded with a season-high 35 points in a win at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 1.
"That's why I didn't have lift," Wall said about his lack of shooting accuracy. "If I'm going to bitch and complain, sit out."
If the situation with the ankle arises again, Wall won't be able to because backcourt mate Bradley Beal has a sore lower right leg which could keep him out extended time. The Wizards haven't won consecutive games in almost a month.