WASHINGTON -- John Wall had one of the worst games of his career when the Toronto Raptors last came to town, going 1-12 with seven turnovers in an eight-point defeat in late February. Since then, he has significantly improved his game.
I asked Raptors coach Dwane Casey what has caused Wall's improvement. Here's his answer in full.
"His jump shot has really gotten my attention. When he's knocking that down, knocking threes down, he's almost impossible to guard because of his speed. That sets everything up. Now, if you come out on him for his jump shot that he's making, he goes by you. He's developed it. I understand he's been working with a shooting coach that's really helped his game. When he gets it to where it's automatic, that makes him tough to guard."
I followed up by asking if this recent surge means Wall must be defended differently than before. Casey said yes (emphasis mine).
"He's gotten everybody's attention. That 47 [points vs. Memphis] will do it for you. It shows you better come out and guard him and challenge his shot. Before, you could go under him automatically on pick and rolls. You can't do that now. You've got to read where he's on the floor. He's done a much better job of taking what the defense gives him. He's become a much, much smarter player since he's come back. He's gotten the experience of going against different defenses, but his improvement is unbelievable, especially with his shot and how it's setting everything else up," he said.
Casey also said he's been impressed by Wall's defense, which surprised me.
"His defense on the ball is unbelievable, because of his speed, strength, quickness and the length of his arms. He's cat-quick on the ball. I'm just as impressed with that as I am with his offensive output," he said.