First of all, the assumption here is that at some point in the near future, maybe as soon as game 5, Wall would be able to play basketball at a Wallish level. Considering how he played in the second half of game 1 after the injury, 12 points on 42% shooting with 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 turnovers, I don’t think it is unreasonable to think he could perform through some discomfort. Now if he can’t dribble the ball that’s a different discussion, or not really a discussion at all since he obviously can’t play, but for the sake of this post I’ll assume that he can.
If Wall can play at 90% Wall capacity, should he be on the floor? Do the Wizards owe it to Wall, and to themselves, to protect him? From some of the comments I have read people are worried about another Arenas situation, and Wall should not return until he is 100% healthy. Personally I could not disagree more.
I am pretty optimistic about the Wizards future, from the development of Beal and Wall and even Otto, to the Gortat contract and even our odds in the KD sweepstakes. But very little about that future is guaranteed, including the promise that we will be competing for titles. Right now though, we could be. The Eastern Conference is wide open and the Wizards, up until Wall’s injury, were playing like the best team in the East. Isn’t this the type of opportunity we would theoretically be saving Wall for?
Additionally, I am not a doctor and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but is there really a threat of some serious injury from Wall playing? This is not an Arenas situation, knees are a different beast. Are there any examples of someone’s career being significantly affected by broken bones, or any injury, to a non-shooting hand? So what are we really putting at risk, John’s offseason workouts?
I don’t want to belittle surgery, I have had a few of them and they are no fun. And I would never try to suggest that an athlete owes it to us as fans to put his health at risk. But if you are asking me what I would prefer, Wall risk further injury for the opportunity to take this weak East, personally I would want him to play.