When John Wall knocked down a dagger 3 hard off the glass in the closing moments to ice Boston at the Verizon Center, it felt like luck. Boston missed several wide open shots and it was an improbable win that pleased the fan base, but was just one more variation on the theme of 'the basketball gods are unhappy with the Celtics'. While it cheapened the win, and I hate it when I hear it, I couldn't argue with it too much, although in my opinion, it doesn't matter how lucky you are if you're down by 20. When you're in position to win and you get lucky, you fought to the point where it was just that close. But even a stalwart apologist would have a hard time not putting an asterisk on Wall's tour-de-force in a gritty come-from-behind victory over the Nets sans Deron Williams, right?
They say that a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. And, with God as my witness, I am that fool!
The ghost of Christmas Future shows you John Wall, for the win. Smile, boys, smile.
So where do I get off saying Sunday afternoon's game gave me a little swagger? What had the crowd on their feet and cheering their heads off for a result that could only weaken our draft position? I mean, heck, we all know the kid is greased lightning. Maybe we're all easy marks.
The rational fanboy inside my head contends we just saw the part of the movie where the young warrior/sorceror becomes temporarily invincible to slay the beast, and we feel privileged to be along for the ride. For the more sane reading this, when the score was tied 90-all and the game had slowed away from the transition-fueled comeback that had us reluctant to leave our monitors, there was the distinct feeling that we've been here before. It was disgrunted or MR who had remarked earlier in the season, 'Well, we've avoided our customary first and second quarter collapses. If we can avoid our customary third and fourth quarter collapses, we're home free.'
Basically, the Wizards need a basket and can't beg or borrow one without perhaps a thunderous putback from Trevor Booker. With Nick Young out, John Wall put on his Captain America duds. When he came into the league, we all said, with a jumpshot, this kid will be unstoppable, and that day he showed us why. It doesn't matter who's guarding Wall when he drives if the shot is falling. If they cheat back a half step, he'll pull up for the jumper. Staying tight? Just try to keep up. The story on defending John has been cheat back and force him to shoot, and on consecutive possessions when the stakes couldn't have been higher gamewise, he did just that.
Call me whatever you like, but for a moment I felt a wisp of the magic Gilbert Arenas used to bring. That's what brought the fans to their feet. We've watched John jacking as the season went on, cringing, but knowing his skill could only come after he was confident enough to take the shot without secondguessing himself. We could talk about John gaining confidence in his jumpshot, but that's ridiculous. John has stayed confident, we are the ones who can relax when he pulls up shy of the rim, at least a little. Like Prada said, the man put the team on his back. After that, it was just a little further to close it out, but those last few inches to the finish line have been elusive this year, to say the least.
John Wall smiling from ear-to-ear, relaxing and throwing daggers in the closing minutes is just like winning games in general. That is, first you do it at home against the teams you're supposed to beat, and then the only place left to go is up. I'm not saying we've arrived at the top, just that it's nice to be on the elevator. Now if Javale McGee keeps up his effort level...