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John Wall holds out hope for return from wrist and hand injury

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John Wall holds out hope for return from wrist and hand injury

While the end appears near for John Wall this postseason, he's not giving up hope that he could actually play again in this series with the Atlanta Hawks that is tied 1-1 with Game 3 Saturday at Verizon Center. Or at some point in the playoffs if the Wizards can advance to the Eastern Conference finals. 

Friday, he avoided giving any specifics on a timetable for his return from a left hand and wrist that has five non-displaced fractures.

"It's moving better but there's still pain there," said Wall, who led the Wizards to a 104-98 win in Game 1 with 18 points and 13 assists. "I haven't tried dribbling again so I'll probably try it tomorrow. Just the same pain has been there even if the swelling goes down a little bit.

"I have no idea (if I can play again). Depends on my swelling and how all the pain goes away. I finished Game 1 with it not knowing I had anything wrong and then I came back and got evaluations so I have no idea."

The Wizards are going forward with Ramon Sessions as the starter with Will Bynum and Garrett Temple as the backups. Bynum has yet to log any significant minutes in the postseason, only playing in garbage time of a Game 4 sweep of the Toronto Raptors. Temple, who had been out with a right hamstring strain, played for the first time Tuesday in a 106-90 loss to the Hawks since he went down March 9. 

"We've practiced for two days without him. We know what we have to do with him or without him," coach Randy Wittman said of losing Wall. "I don't want anybody to try to be John Wall. Ramon has to be Ramon. Will has to be Will. They're not going to be John. We're not going to have that.

"Don't come out and try to be John because you're not going to be very good. ... That's kind of the message."

Ninety minutes before tipoff of Game 2, Wittman said Wall would be available. About a half-hour later, Wall was a scratch because he couldn't control the ball with his left (non-shooting) hand. Wall drives and finishes a lot to his left even though he shoots right.

"We were anticipating that John is going to get it taped up, go on the floor and try to play," Wittman said while recounting that sequence of events. "I knew that it was painful or the kid would've played."

Sessions and Bynum were late-season acquisitions to give the Wizards more pace to the second unit and to compensate, in the event of an injury to Wall, for his absence. Sessions has been a spot starter throughout his career and scored 21 points in Game 2 vs. the Hawks. Bynum is more of a question mark after having spent his season in China, coming off a hamstring strain of his own in late March and playing limited time.

"How we have to play doesn't change because John's not here. Doesn't change," Wittman said. "I thought they did a good job of that (in Game 2). We turned it over at the end and the game got out of hand. But with four-and-a-half minutes, it's anybody's game. When you're on the road against a good team like that, put yourself in a position to win. These guys have proven when they do that they have a great chance of winning games."

So ultimately who makes the call if Wall plays again or not? Wall avoided being too specific. The only good thing about this is the bone has not become dislodged from its original position. A non-displaced fracture heals quicker than a displaced fracture and doesn't require surgery. They typically take 4-6 weeks to heal.

"I can't just jump the gun," Wall said. "I've got to be patient. If the pain goes away, then I can try. I already played through it not knowing what was wrong with my hand. My adrenaline was going. I was excited. Once the game was over the pain came and it swelled up. 

"I can't do anything if I can't dribble. You got to be able to dribble. If not, it's basically just taping my hand behind my back and saying play with one hand. It's not happening in this league."

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Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE

8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017

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Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Due to an ongoing buttocks injury, Dwight Howard is listed as "out" for the Wizards' Monday night game in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Howard did not travel out west with the team for the five-game trip, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

The news comes just four days after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told the media that Howard would "definitely" make the trip. 

The veteran power forward was signed to the Wizards on a two-year free-agent deal in July worth $11 million, but has missed the Wizards' first two games of the regular season and all five of the team's preseason games. 

In Howard's absence, Brooks has turned to Ian Mahinmi, but his foul trouble has proved worrisome for the Wizards' lineup so far.

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