Wizards’ John Wall named NBA’s player of the week
The Washington Wizards are 5-8 (at the date of this writing), in what many acknowledge is a down period for the Eastern Conference. Between injury and ineffectiveness, Washington and other conference rivals are struggling. However, individual players are shining in the midst of the early-season struggles. John Wall is one of those playing at a high level. It’s early, but he deserves some All-Star Game consideration.
The Association, in a press release earlier Monday, named Wall Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the period 18-24 November:
Here are some of his stats from the four games:
19 Nov, Minnesota: 14 points, 16 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 39.4 minutes played
20 Nov, at Cleveland: 15 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 turnovers, 40.8 minutes played
22 Nov, at Toronto: 37 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 turnovers, 39.6 minutes played
23 Nov, New York: 31 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 7 turnovers, 39.5 minutes played
Also from NBA.com:
Wall led the Wizards to a 3-1 week with averages of 24.3 points (fourth in the conference), 8.5 assists (third in the conference) and 2.75 steals (fifth in the conference). He played 39.8 minutes per game.
Some of the more typical metrics applicable to point guards in the league show that John Wall is at the top of his game. The following rankings are noted:
Wall’s 8.92 assists per game are second in the Association to the Clippers’ Chris Paul (league-leading 12.53).
Wall is fifth in the league with 2.03 steals per game (Sixers’ Michael Carter-Williams – 3.0).
Wall is sixth in the league with 37.85 minutes played per game (teammate Bradley Beal – 40.23).
Wall is fifteenth in the league in turnovers with 43 (3.31 per game) (Sixers’ Evan Turner – 56).
Wall is fourth in assist percentage .399 (Paul – .541).
Eighteenth in steal percentage 2.8 (Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio – 4.5).
When one watches the Wizards, one can see Wall is the most dynamic guy on the roster. He’s the only guy on the team who can grab a defensive rebound and go the length of the floor to get his own shot. He can break down opposing defenses to help teammates get open looks in the post and from outside. He’s tall enough to have the court vision needed to find teammates in various places in an offensive set. He’s even tied with Marcin Gortat for team lead in Defensive Win Shares at 0.5. He’s the Wizards’ best player, and their best all-around player.
Yeah, any statistical comparison can degenerate quickly to cherry-picking and circular arguments. However, the metrics coupled with watching the games can give one a sense of how a particular player is doing. Wall is having a pretty strong year. Going forward, his numbers will need to
translate into more team victories.
Subjectively, if one were to rank point guards in the Eastern Conference today, who would be decidedly “better” than Wall? Cleveland’s Kyrie
Irving is the best player on that team, and the guy the rest of the team counts on to make a play in late-game situations. Chicago’s Derrick Rose is presently injured and will be out nearly a calendar year. Miami’s Mario Chalmers has two championship rings, but if one watched a Chalmers-Wall head-to-head match-up, how many observers would state that Chalmers was clearly the better player?
I wrote all that to propose this: not only is Wall a deserving recipient of Player of the Week recognition, but he’s been playing at or near this level all season. If he can stay healthy, and the Wizards can win at a better percentage than the present .384, I would expect John Wall to get strong consideration for All-Star Game selection.
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