The Washington Wizards May Not Be Awesome Right Now, But John Wall Is
From a team that was once discussed as a strong contender in the Eastern Conference, to some stagnant bunch stuck in what feels like an endless rut since February, the Washington Wizards have been much more effective at keeping their fans on edge than they have been playing basketball lately.
Despite being on pace for a win total at/near last season’s 44, the Wizards are emitting a much different aura than this same time last year. Fingers are being pointed in all directions -- from players, to coach, to general manager -- and the only positive feeling heading into the playoffs seems to be the chance at playing a 4 seed who also happened to hit a wall following the All-Star break.
But even with the Wizards refusing to serve their fans the warm and fuzzies heading into the most crucial part of the season, there is one player who helps maintain the blips on the team’s EKG.
Without further ado, I ask that you please disregard my admitted homerism for just a few paragraphs and acknowledge the season John Wall is having.
From a growth standpoint, we’ve seen Wall ascend in each of his first five seasons. From an out of control 20-year-old rookie in 2010, to now a commanding point guard with some of best bucket-to-bucket speed in the game, Wall has improved as a shooter, as a passer, and as a defender, still with room to grow (and reason to believe he’ll do so). Not to mention, he’s been most durable since signing his max-extension in 2013, refusing to miss a regular season or playoff game in two seasons.
|John Wall 2014-15||106||102||20.3||7.9||4.0||4.3|
And as his stats improve year to year, it’s this season, amidst the Wizards woes, that Wall places himself amongst some of the best to ever play the point guard position.
According to Basketball Reference, only a handful of players have played in at least 75 games in a season with an assist percentage exceeding 45 and a PER above 20. For the 30 instances in NBA history in which that criteria has been met, we’re talking lots of John Stockton sightings (14), a nice chunk of Steve Nash (5), some Chris Paul and Magic Johnson (4 times each), followed by a one-time showing from Isiah Thomas, and a surprise appearance by Andre Miller in 2001-2002. And now, John Wall.
Even better, if we alter that criteria just a tad and change it to 82 games played in a season -- which Wall is expected to achieve this year -- an assist percentage exceeding 45 and a PER above 20 has been done only 13 times, all by one John Stockton. Wall would become just the second player, ever.
At 25 years old, Wall still has room to grow and improve, which is probably the most exciting part about him, and in turn, Washington basketball. Showing how his numbers stack up against some of the all-time great point guards isn’t an attempt to prematurely label him a Hall of Famer, but rather serve as a quick and friendly reminder in order to make sure his quality season this year isn’t lost amidst the Wizards’ current lame spell.