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Wizards vs. Knicks final score: John Wall tears it up again in 98-89 victory

The Wizards' star followed up 37 points against Toronto with 31 points and seven assists in a 98-89 win over the Knicks.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We talk about "the leap" with John Wall as if he wakes up one day and realizes that he's actually a superstar. It doesn't really work like that in reality; it's more like a slow progression with peaks and valleys until the baseline performance becomes way better than what it was before.

But if it were really like what was described in the first paragraph, we might be in the middle of it happening.

Thirty-one points, seven assists in a 98-89 win over the Knicks. That's one day after 37 points on the road to keep the Wizards in it against the Raptors when the rest of his team wasn't doing anything. Earlier in the week, Wall had 16 assists and just one turnover against the Timberwolves. How many players in this league are capable of those very different kinds of lines?

Granted, Wall wasn't perfect tonight. He had seven turnovers and was a bit sloppy at times, especially in the second quarter. And granted, he usually kills the Knicks.

But armed with new confidence in his jumper, better effort defensively and more mastery of controlling the pace of a game, Wall really might be jumping into superstardom. Might.

If this is indeed The Leap, it's been fun to see.

Other notes:

  • Marcin Gortat has been really good recently. He's no Emeka Okafor on defense, but he's improving to the point where he's become at least adequate protecting the rim. There were a couple times where he altered shots around the rim without blocking them. He was also solid on the glass and again in the pick and roll. Still don't love the trad,e but he's been better than I expected.
  • I thought Beal was a bit trigger-happy on pick and rolls early in the game, but he settled down in the second half and even found Gortat on a roll to the rim one time, which he never does. This is still something worth watching, though. Beal has such a great shot, but he still needs to develop parts of the rest of his game. The attempt he took with five and a half minutes left can't happen.
  • We've seen enough of Martell Webster in the starting lineup to keep him there once Trevor Ariza comes back, right? I think so.
  • Eric Maynor ... sigh.
  • On the bright side, Jan Vesely is starting to find his niche. Sure, he's no better than a ninth man, Lou Amundson/Tyler Hansbrough type, but it's better than not even being in someone's rotation.
  • One of the biggest reasons I worry about the team's lack of depth is that it forces Nene to play too many minutes. He played 35 tonight in the fourth game in five nights, and you could see his lack of lift around the rim. His minutes in the previous three games in this stretch, by the way? 37, 38, 35. You just worry there will be long-term consequences from this.
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