John Wall: Wizards’ Weak Bench Was Team’s ‘Downfall’ Against the Celtics

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Following his Washington Wizards’ Game 7 defeat to the Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals, John Wall addressed what he thought had been the squad’s biggest shortcoming in falling just shy of an Eastern Conference Finals matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Forty-eight to five—our bench had five points,” he said of his squad’s production outside of the Wizards’ effective starting five.

On Sunday, Wall doubled down on the assertion by noting that the Wizards must improve their bench going forward.

“We need to help our bench,” he said, according to CSN. “Just to be honest, that was our downfall in each series that we had in the [Eastern Conference] semifinals, our bench got out played.”

Specifically, Wall said he wished bench wing Kelly Oubre had played more.

“I think Kelly Oubre could’ve played a little bit more,” he said. “… But Coach [Scott Brooks] makes the decision, and we stick behind him 100 percent.”

Wall also owned up to missing his last 11 shots in Game 7.

“I heard Marcus Smart say after the game that I had no legs,” Wall said. “He’s basically right. I don’t make excuses. I’m going to play. If I miss shots or make shots, I’ll live with it. I know people will say he finished 0-for-11, but I play—it took everything I had in me to keep fighting.”

After averaging 36.4 minutes per game in the regular season, Wall averaged 39.2 in the seven-game series against Boston, including 41:50 of playing time in Game 6 and 44:04 in the final contest.