The Asphalt: John Wall Rising
John Wall, the Washington Bullets’ (never Wizards) point guard, had a pretty tough game last night in Boston. They lost to the Celtics, Wall only had 7 points, and 8 assists, and his counterpart, Isiah Thomas, went for like 37. It happens in the NBA. You get firebombed; lots of players can ball.
Wall had a hand issue during the game not to mention it was a back to back for the Bullets so who knows. But don’t let this be your image of John Wall; the first pick in the draft many years ago, is doing the do this year like a lot of players. Take note.
In a season of pretty amazing offensive performances from various point guards (Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Thomas, Irving) how much better has John Wall gotten this year? The answer is pretty good and he is starting to fix some of his issues and reach cruise control in his career.
For starters, Wall is averaging over 23 points per game. That is nearly 5 points more than his career average. He is also averaging 10 assists per game which is also higher than his career average. To add, Wall is second in the league in steals behind Chris Paul.
He is second in the league for point guards for double doubles trailing only Russell Westbrook and third in blocks amongst point guards again proving as was self evident he is a pretty good on the ball defender.
There are other serious differences as well which explain why Wall is having a great season. For one, Wall’s FG shooting percentage overall is up. His career average is 43 percent; this season he is at .466 percent, which is important. He is shooting free throws at 82 percent (higher than his career average) and three point shots at 31 percent (about his career average) though he does not make the mistake of taking an excessive amount of three jacks. Yet, Wall is taking more shots this season than in any other season, taking it upon himself many nights to get more points and to do what is necessary to get his team a win.
Wall has 19 games with at least 20 points, 5 games of 30 points or more, and a 52 point performance against Orlando on December 6. In fact, in the month of December, Wall was Eastern Conference Player of the Month, averaging 24.5 points, 10.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.7 steals. He shot 49 percent from the field during the month of December as the Bullets (never Wizards) went 10–5 and climbed out of the hole they were in due to a slow season start. They are now 19–19 and though they, like many teams in the East, have trouble when they go West, are, at least at the point of respectability, at least for now. Wall is doing all of this with less touches per game as he has two proven scorers on the team in Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.
Other interesting statistics on Wall come from the NBA. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are one and two in Points From Assists Per Game and Potential Assists per Game, Wall is in third place in both categories.
Wall does still struggle on the road like many players as his statistics are not as good on the road as they are at home. The Bullets also have trouble beating the teams out of West and the better teams in the league as well such as Houston, Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma, Golden State, and San Antonio. However, Wall is having an All Star type season. Perhaps he was in New York or some other more passionate NBA town (the fans in D.C. are transient, pedestrian, and usually, only interested in the stars coming through the city), Wall elevating his game this year would be noticed more. But oh well, such is life in Wizards, I mean Bullets land. Why not change that name back to Bullets anyway right? Maybe that would add an edge to the NBA atmosphere in the city?