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John Wall to Play in Game 5 vs. Hawks

Just a few days ago, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall still couldn’t dribble a basketball with his injured left hand. However, Wall took that next step in the recovery process on Tuesday, and he did more dribbling work on Wednesday in advance of the Wizards’ Game 5 matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. The star point guard was reevaluated and will play:

The swelling in Wall’s hand has gone down over the last week, but he’ll have to withstand pain and will risk further injury to his fractured hand. Earlier Wednesday, he said he wanted to make sure he had confidence he’d be effective before deciding to return, according to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

“If you’re not confident in your ability to do what you want to do,” Wall said, “then there’s no point in playing.”

Wall hasn’t played since Game 1 of the series against Atlanta. Washington has gone 1-2 in Wall’s absence, and the point guard was missed dearly when Jeff Teague went off in Game 4. Wall is a major upgrade over Ramon Sessions on both ends of the court, and Castillo notes how much better the Wizards have performed in the postseason with Wall on the floor:

They went 5-0 with him in the playoffs and their net rating plummets from a plus-15.6 with him on the court to a minus-0.8 with him off it in the postseason. The question in Wall’s mind is whether he can perform close to that level with five fractures.

Even a less than 100 percent Wall will likely provide a boost, so it’ll be great to see him back on the floor in this pivotal Game 5 with the series tied at 2-2.

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