Early in the third quarter of the Wizards' Game 2 win over the Hawks on Wednesday, John Wall sent a message to Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroder in the most emphatic of ways.
First, Wall stole the ball between Schroder and Dwight Howard, then took it the length of the court for a left-handed slam. Schroder trailed him the whole way and because of that got dunked on.
Perhaps not liking that Schroder made contact near the rim, Wall stared him down after the funk. And, as caught on camera, he had some words from Schroder, a variation of the question: "what are you doing?"
Here's the play:
If you recall, Wall and Schroder have a little bit of history. During the Wizards-Hawks second round playoff series in 2015, Wall said Schroder intended to re-injure Wall's wrist after he hurt himself in Game 1 and missed the next three games.
"I did. A couple of them," Wall said. "Then Dennis Schroder told Kent Bazemore to smack me. I was like, 'You come smack me.'"
Was that banter serious or just to get in Wall's head, to make him less confident about driving to the rim? He injured himself in Game 1 when he fell hard in transition on a layup attempt with Jeff Teague nearby.
"No telling. Competitive game," Wall said of the perceived threat to his wrist and hand. "What made me feel very comfortable is I made the move on Jeff Teague, scored a left-hand layup and (I) fell on it. I got up and then I ran into a screen and got hit. It's going to take nicks and bruises. There's going to be a little bit of pain in there. If I can deal with it. I'm fine playing."
Could that be why Wall was jawing at Schroder? Maybe, maybe not. But it's interesting.
There was also this: Schroder in 2015 told Grantland that Wall talked the most trash of anyone he had played against in the NBA.