[Editor's Note: Stephen D. Riley is back with your weekly John Wall threat level tracker. -K.W.]
The highs, the lows; the ups, the downs; the misses, the makes; the blues, yellows, oranges, greens and reds; John Wall’s rookie season is going to be under a heavy microscope. Wall may be his own biggest critic, but you can count he’ll have some added company this year. Fans want him to be Derrick Rose 2.0, Allen Iverson with better practice habits and Rajon Rondo with a better jumper (hold your breath). It was an up and down week for Wall, whose Threat Level (to the rest of the league) will now be analyzed.
Versus The Orlando Magic
Welcome to the league, Rook! Wall spent his inaugural game chasing around Orlando’s bevy of three-point shooters and missing everything in sight as the Wizards were blasted 112-83 on national TV. Wall shot an abysmal 31.6 percent from the field on 6-of-19 shooting, but he did flash his trademark burst of speed and athleticism. He also finished the game with nine assists and three steals, even mixing it up with Magic Superman Dwight Howard in the paint. It wasn’t memorable, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t spectacular, but Wall still finished as the team’s second leading scorer and showed he’ll be the HMIC (head man in charge) in the DMV for the NBA’s team in D.C. His threat level against Orlando, however, was relatively low because the Magic built too large of a lead to really be guarded against Wall.
Versus The Atlanta Hawks
Young Jimmy officially put his first bid in for Rookie of the Year by exploding for 28 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Wall sizzled, dropping in two three-pointers and going 8-for-10 from the stripe as he turned the A-List spectators in A-Town into A-1 believers. He scored 12-straight points in the third quarter and brought the Wiz back from a nine-point deficit after he reentered the game in the final period. Although Washington lost 99-95, you can’t impress (in a second career NBA game) much more than Wall did against Atlanta on Saturday. Stay alert, there’s a long, threatening season ahead from the No 1 overall pick.
John Wall Threat Level after Week 1: YELLOW, ELEVATED