Throughout John Wall's career, we've seen John Wall's ability to have an impact on the defensive side of the floor. Mostly, we've seen on display through his mesmerizing blocks and his high steal counts (Wall currently leads the NBA in steals per game). But as Wall has matured, he's added substance to his style and now, there are some more numbers to back it up.
Last year, you may remember ESPN unveiled new Real Plus/Minus stats (RPM), which aim to show the impact a player has on both ends of the floor. In a nutshell, it calculates how many points per 100 possessions a player impacts for their team. You can read more about it here.
ESPN released their Real Plus/Minus numbers for the first time this season (HT: Umair Khan), and John Wall is at the top of the leaderboard for point guards when it comes to the defensive end of the floor. Wall's defensive RPM is 2.83, which is saying that Wall helps shave 2.83 points per 100 possessions off the other team's score because of his contributions on the floor. He's a full half of a point higher than the next best point guard on the list, Elfrid Payton, whose defensive RPM is 2.24.
Surprisingly, only 17 point guards currently have a positive RPM on the defensive end. That should give you an idea of how hard it is for a point guard to make a significant contribution on that end of the floor, and in turn, help you understand just how valuable Wall's defense is to the Wizards, who currently have the NBA's fourth-best defense.
Here are some other fun talking points with RPM that you can share with your friends.
- Wall ranks 14th overall in Defensive RPM, but he doesn't have the best defensive RPM on the team. That belongs to Nene, who is 13th.
- Wall is 5th overall among point guards in total RPM, only behind Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry. The only thing keeping him from being higher is ranking 18th on the offensive end, where he's still a positive, but not nearly as impactful as some others.
- Kyrie Irving is 34th among point guards in defensive RPM. You didn't think you were going to get through this post without hearing about Kyrie Irving, did you?
- Nene has the third best defensive RPM among power forwards, trailing only Tim Duncan and Anthony Davis, but his 3.03 defensive RPM is hurt by his -1.75 offensive RPM.