We really thought this was going to be the year that John Wall silenced the critics and proved once and for all he's better than Kyrie Irving. For half a season at least, it looked like it was really going to happen.
While Kyrie Irving struggled to integrate with new teammates, John Wall put the Wizards on his back and led the Wizards near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Then he went on to crush Kyrie Irving and the rest of guards in the East in All Star voting. If there was any doubt, it was gone. John Wall was markedly better than Kyrie Irving.
Unfortunately, nothing has gone right since that point. Wall's Wizards have been mired in a months-long slump while Irving and the Cavaliers have gone on a tear to move up to second in the Eastern Conference. Irving is peaking at the right time, while Wall has faltered a bit as Washington's schedule has gotten more difficult.
As hard as it is to say, it's even harder to ignore the elephant in the room, so it's best that we just come out and get it over with: Kyrie Irving is better than John Wall. Here's three reasons why:
1. Kyrie Irving is a far better scorer than Wall could ever hope to be
Sure, Irving isn't ever going to be the passer Wall is, but with LeBron James, he doesn't need to be. In Cleveland's system, he's in a perfect position to focus primarily on scoring and help with ball-handling and passing when needed. As a result, now he can take over games like he did against the Spurs last month:
Wall can do lots of great things, but he can't do that.
2. Irving's value will continue to grow as the NBA embraces analytics
John Wall has improved leaps and bounds in his outside shooting, but his sweet spot is still hitting pullup elbow jumpers, which are far less valuable than Kyrie Irving's threes. As offenses change and adapt to create more efficient looks, Wall's skillset will be harder to integrate into modern offenses.
Even this season we've seen how Wall's value has been diminished when teams clog the lane and force him to shoot from outside.
3. No, but seriously
LOL you didn't think we were serious, did you?
Come on now. John Wall isn't even playing in a modern offense right now, and he's still having a better season than Irving, who is playing alongside LeBron James and Kevin Love. Don't be silly.