WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — An All-Star still in search of a spark is the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, who scored 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and committed five turnovers against the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
For the series, he’s 16 for 51, including 1 for 11 from 3-point range, and has 12 turnovers in the last two games. Fans were chanting the name of his backup — Andre Miller — in the fourth quarter to reward the veteran’s solid game, but coach Randy Wittman nevertheless went back to the franchise player to run the show for the final 5:14.
Here are three comments from Wittman, Wall and forward Al Harrington about Wall’s play.
Wittman: “It’s a process. He’s just got to continue to stay aggressive. That’s my main point. He can’t worry about anything else. Cause that’s who he is. That’s who he’s been since he’s been in this league. He’s been the guy that’s been extremely confident, extremely aggressive and that’s who he’s got to be and who he’s got to stay.”
Harrington: “It’s tough because we’re trying to talk to him and he’s telling us all the right things saying he’s right here, he’s fine, he’s confident and stuff like that. So we believe him. We just gotta keep pushing him. Himself single handedly, he can help us win this series. So we’ve just got to keep encouraging him and try to get him back playing the way he was playing.”
Wall: “I’ve been as aggressive as I can be. Just trying to pick and choose my times. You give credit to their team. They don’t go to the offensive boards like they usually do. They usually have Paul George crashing. For this series they’re all running back to the paint. I’m just trying to do my best job of getting to the paint… I’ve still got my confidence. It’s just not going in the basket.”
In that final 5:14, the Wizards scored only one field goal. Wall was wide open for a 3-point attempt that could have tied the game in the final minute, but he hesitated and passed to Beal, who missed a contested 3.
“I was screaming, ‘Shoot it!'” teammate Al Harrington said.
Wall: “The play was for Brad. I see Brad come up and he had a wide-open look. He’s made shots throughout the game, so that’s what the play was for. I made the right decision I think in my head, in my opinion.”
Wall also indicated he was frustrated about officiating calls not going Washington’s way in the closing few minutes, but said he didn’t want to say more for fear of being docked pay by the NBA. Nene also made what sounded like a hidden complaint about officiating, saying: “I want to say the truth, but I can’t say the truth. … I don’t want to get fined.”
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