John Wall: Wizards' Playoff Hopes Rest on Star PG's Speedy Recovery

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards watches his team from the bench during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on October 30, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards' season opener went the way of their last couple seasons. For this squad to make a playoff push, they need a healthy John Wall more than ever.

In the NBA’s golden age for point guards, you better have a decent floor general or you will get left behind. The Wizards learned that lesson with A.J. Price starting in place of the injured Wall.

Price shot 2-for-13 from the field, while no Wizard player scored more than 11 points. Washington’s best scorers simply didn’t get enough shots, and it falls on the point guard to get them their touches.

Price merely isn’t starting material, rather a capable backup who is in over his head.

Unfortunately, the Wizards are stuck with Price for at least six weeks with Wall out, so they’ll need their star to get off and running when he returns to the lineup.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s young point guard was on the court and looked like the face of his franchise. Kyrie Irving tore up the Wizards, making plays much like how the Wizards brass imagined Wall would in his third year.

The Wiz have been considered a sleeper pick in the open Eastern Conference, contingent upon getting healthy. They acquired Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor from the Hornets to add some experienced veterans to the roster.

Along with Wall, Nene and rookie Bradley Beal, Washington has a recognizable cast of NBA players with realized potential. They need their star point guard to put it all together. To run the break, direct traffic and make sure the studs gets their touches.

Experience can only take a team so far. The Wizards have their best talent sitting the bench at this moment. When Nene and Wall suit up though, those lost Wizards will still look to their stars to lead with their ability.

Talent rules in the NBA. John Wall certainly has shown flashes. Surely his career path hangs on his third-year performance, but the Wizards' season trajectory depends on that as well.