1. John Wall's presence is leading to wins
Wall may not score 30 points with 15 assists every single game, but he is way too valuable to this team to start worrying about games where he scores a low point total or has fewer than 10 assists. The bottom line is that he is helping this team win games, which is most important to him.
Wall is third in total touches in the NBA at 1,510 and fourth in per-game average (94.4). He's top 5 in every passing category from total assists (149), secondary assists (2.0 per game), passes (69 per), points created by assists (21.9 per), etc.
"I"m not a one-on-one guy. I've never had the ball thrown at me since my rookie year and (have someone) say, 'Hey, go win the game for us.' I win games by playing it the team way," Wall said after he led the Wizards to a 91-78 win vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers a little more than a week ago. "Getting open shots, moving the ball, getting hockey assists. That's how I win basketball games. ... Some people look at it by numbers. I look at it by filling the stat sheet and coming out with the W."
2. Wizards' defense is proving to be very efficient
Despite a soft schedule to start this season, the Wizards have proven themselves to be a very defensively-sound team through their first 16 games. When Wall and Marcin Gortat are on the court together, Washington allows the fewest points per 100 possessions in the NBA. They have all the tools. Now they need to stay focused and put it all together for the full season, plus the playoffs.
3. The offense is troublesome
While the defense has been top-notch for most of the season, the offense hasn't quite clicked as consistently. There have been games where it's been a great pleasure to watch, such as the team's most recent win against the Miami Heat, but there have been plenty of times when it is too predictable, stagnant, and dependent upon frustratingly low percentage shots.
4. Rasual Butler providing a huge spark
He's consistently come off the bench to give the team big boosts and he is one of the best shooters in the league so far this season. Typically those things aren't said about the last player to make a roster -- especially one with the talent on this Wizards team. In any case, Butler has been a more-than-welcome addition on the court and it's great to see him making positive contributions.
5. Wizards host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight
Kobe Bryant and his gang come to town tonight following their pummeling of the Detroit Pistons last night. This certainly isn't the Showtime Lakers of previous generations, but nonetheless one that should not be taken lightly. The Lakers (5-13) are on a two-game winning streak and looking to make it three in a row.
The Wizards are looking for their own three-game winning streak tonight, as well. Washington has a history of falling to lesser opponents, but something about this year's team seems different so far in that aspect. We'll find out soon enough if that will continue to hold true.
Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch live on Comcast SportsNet and listen on 99.1 WNEW.