Well, the curse of the Sunday game at the Palace has been lifted.
Tonight was an evening that gives one a better perspective of the player that John Wall can be on a night when his teammates work to his skillset. After a rough first quarter in which Wall once again attempted to force the action on both the fast break and in the passing lanes, he exploded late in the third quarter to put forth a dominant stretch of basketball and simply imposed his will upon the game. Whether it was finding McGee on the alley-oop, making a pinpoint pass to Jan Vesely, finding Nick Young in the corner, or simply hitting his own jumper or disrupting the passing lanes, Wall terrorized the Pistons on both ends of the court and basically blew them out of their own building. For those who have been waiting for the John Wall we are all promised, this should serve as example A as to what he is capable of when focused and only playing at 80% of his ability. It was the first game we have seen from Wall where he dominated without scoring, a CP3esque trait, and one hopes it will not be the last.
Quick hits before we all celebrate our second road win
- JaVale McGee had a great game tonight and appears to be coming out of his fugue state. He played within his ability, frightened every Pistons shooter who came near the paint, and was rewarded for his efforts on the other end with picture perfect oops. His defensive positioning was solid throughout, and he even committed to a a few hard picks on the offensive end.
- Jan Vesely had his best game of his young career, filling up the stat sheet and flying all over the place. His value on the floor increases tenfold when the opposition has to close out Wall and Young, allowing more space for Jan to position himself for the cutter and easy putbacks. Defensively, he battled on the glass and for the most part retained position and outhustled his Piston counterparts.
- Minor quibble - I think both Wall and McGee should have been allowed to rest when the lead was extended past 20. It might be a coaching tactic on WIttman's part to allow the team to enjoy the win, but the next few legs of this road trip are going to be murderous.
- Following up on that thought, Wittman cannot expect to run eight men deep and expect continued success.
- Nick Young started with some poor 1 on 1 but starting leaking out to the perimeter and as the game went on resemble the Nick Young of last year. It will be interesting to note going forward whether Young's play improves along with the play of Wall as Young has been forcing the issue for much of the season. Worryingly, his defensive intensity didn't seem to be there tonight, but on the whole it was a solid night's work.
- Someone needs to find who kidnapped the real Chris Singleton and replaced him with a pod person.
- I wish Rashard Lewis would show up for games every 2 out of 5 games rather than every 1 of 8.
- Jordan Crawford had another very bad, no good, horrible game.