I was on duty for SBNation.com last night, but I watched the entire game. And ... I hate to quote from something I wrote somewhere else, but I think it's worth noting that John Wall was somehow even better than the numbers indicated.
When he attacked, he made sure to make plays. When the play wasn't there, he made the right decision. The Rockets, like everyone else, gave him room, and tonight, Wall stepped in and confidently stroked the mid-range jump shot. So many of his turnovers come because he's not confident taking that shot. If he can continue to knock it down, team have no chance.
The other thing that goes unnoticed by his numbers is his defense. On the whole, the Wizards held the fifth-most efficient offensive team in the league coming into the game to 91.9 points per 100 possessions, and Wall was a huge reason why. He did an outstanding job of double-teaming the Rockets' post players and then rushing back to his man. That ability to roam killed so many Rockets possessions down the stretch and keyed the Wizards' ability to hold the Rockets scoreless for a four-minute stretch at the end of the game. Those are things that don't show up in the stat sheet, but were instrumental to the win.
So yeah, Wall was even better than his stat line (19 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) indicated, if that's possible.
More links below the jump:
- We now join our regularly-scheduled Andrew Sharp John Wall lovefest, already in progress. [SBNation.com]
- The most significant stat of John Wall's performance yesterday? The one turnover. [Jay Glassie, ESPN 980]
- And that one turnover came on a suspect call. [Stouffer]
- Lost in all the Wall hoopla was that Al Thornton was once again very impressive. [Truth About It]
- So much for that Yao vs. Yi matchup. Way to get injured, Yao. [Gene Wang]
- A breakdown of a play that got Yi Jianlian a 17-footer. [Truth About It]
- John Wall was CBS Sports' Game Changer of the night. [NBA Facts and Rumors]
- Ted Leonsis writes that the hard work is paying off for the Wizards. He also unleashes two very cringe-worthy puns. [Ted's Take]
- Dave Johnson one-ups him with a Magic Johnson pun in the headline. [Dave Johnson]
- Game stories from the following: [Stouffer, Wang]
- Recaps from the following sites: [Wizards Extreme, We Love D.C., DC Pro Sports Report]
- In case you missed the animated .gif from below, here's video of John Wall's alleyoop. [SB Nation D.C.]
- Thanks to some reporting from Kyle Weidie, we now know what Gilbert Arenas pooped in Andray Blatche's shoe. [Truth About It, via SB Nation D.C.]