Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall said he does not need surgery for the fractures in his left hand and wrist that kept him out of three playoff games. Wall said Monday that he will head to the Cleveland Clinic this week or next to see a specialist about the injury and find out what he needs to do to heal properly.
He was hurt during Game 1 of Washington's second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks and sat out Games 2, 3, 4, then returned for Games 5 and 6. The Hawks took the final three games of the series to win it 4-2.
Wall said his hand "was very sore" when he returned to action, but "I wasn't complaining about guys hitting it; I knew it was going to happen."
The former Wildcat averaged 17.5 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals after the injury.
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Wall was emphatic that if he had been healthy, his Wizards would have advanced to the conference finals.
"You take away Al Horford or Jeff Teague from their team for three games I think the series would be totally different," he told J. Michael of CSN Washington. "I'm a big key to this team. This team still did great things without me, those guys did great, competed, gave themselves a chance to win, but I feel like if I was there we had a better opportunity of winning this series and probably could've went up 2-0 on the road like in the Toronto series and came home with some momentum.
"If we didn't have injuries, we would've been past this round."
Noel named to All-Rookie first team
Former University of Kentucky star Nerlens Noel was named to the NBA's All-Rookie first team. He received 125 of 130 first-team votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada. Noel averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. His numbers were up over his final 22 games: 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.0 blocks. Noel led all rookies in rebounding, steals, blocks and double-doubles (18).
Noel is the first ex-Cat to be named to an All-Rookie team since Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were named to the first and second teams, respectively, for the 2012-2013 season.
Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins of Minnesota was the only unanimous selection for the first team. The rest of the first team was Chicago's Nikola Mirotic, Orlando's Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson.
The second team included Boston's Marcus Smart, Minnesota's Zach LaVine, Brooklyn's Bojan Bogdanovic, Denver's Jusuf Nurkic and New York's Langston Galloway.