WASHINGTON -- Following the Wizards' 109-92 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, I asked a couple Raptors players the same thing I asked Dwane Casey before the game: what's different about John Wall?
Here are their answers:
DEMAR DEROZAN: "I played with John all summer. I definitely knew what he was capable of doing. The John Wall I've seen in the last 10 games is the John Wall I saw in the summer. His confidence is at an all-time high. The things he can do shooting the ball, everything. His confidence better be high right now. It's going well for him.
"He's been out so long with an injury, that can kill your spirit, kill your rhythm, especially when you worked so hard in the summer. To be out so long, you have to get readjusted to the NBA life."
"You've got to respect [the jumper]. Try to get the ball out of his hands, try to make someone else beat us. But he's so creative, he can find other guys. It's definitely difficult."
KYLE LOWRY: "The floor is a little bit more spaced for him. Having two bigs in Nene and Emeka [Okafor] definitely clogged the paint and closed up his driving lanes. It's unfortunate that Nene is out, but it gives John the opportunity to get into the paint a little more and use his speed."
Lowry's answer is especially interesting. Do you think there's something to it? Is it worth playing smaller more often in the future, even if it means breaking up a Nene/Okafor duo that has been very good defensively this season?