Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

John Wall could start physical activity Tuesday, but don’t expect him back soon


There is not a lot of patience around the return of John Wall in Washington. That happens when the team’s best player missed the first quarter of the season and the team is 3-18.

Wall has been cleared to “ramp up” his physical activity, but that did not mean just stepping into practice on Monday — he told CSNWashington.com he wants to wait for the swelling to go down.

When the swelling goes down he works out and… is there pain?

“That’s a 50-50 chance you got,” Wall said. “You never know how it’s going to go. Hopefully, it heals the right way and I’ve been doing the right things I’m supposed to do, just rest, do my exercises, try to stay in shape as best as possible without going out and injuring myself and hurting myself for the rest of my career. I want to be out there and play basketball with my teammates, but I just got to make sure I’m fully healthy to do that.”

That make you feel optimistic, Wizards fans?

Wizards coach Randy Wittman thinks more physical activity could start Tuesday. Wall thinks he will be back this season, I expect the same although my guess is it is will be well into 2013.

And Wizards fans, then you can start thinking about if and what kind of extension your team should offer Wall this summer (or should they wait a year and risk him becoming a restricted free agent)?

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.