As the Pelicans Found Out, There’s John Wall Then There’s Everybody Else | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

As the Pelicans Found Out, There’s John Wall Then There’s Everybody Else

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Updated: February 5, 2017

There has been a debate all season about who is the best point guard in the Eastern conference.

Kyrie Irving is always in the conversation because of his handles, iso scoring ability and championship pedigree. Kyle Lowry has bullied his way onto the scene by dramatically improving his shooting percentages.

Isaiah Thomas gets mentioned for his otherworldly fourth quarter scoring numbers, and Kemba Walker even garnered a few votes earlier in the season when Charlotte was riding high.

With all due respect to those great players, there is nothing to debate. Like Larry Bird walking into the locker room before the 1988 Three-Point contest, it’s John Wall and the rest are playing for second place.

I submit as Exhibit A – actually, it’s Exhibit Z because Wall has been doing this stuff all year – the last 5:50 of the New Orleans Pelicans game.

boxscore

It all started when Tyreke Evans hit a 3-pointer to give the Pelicans a 91-90 lead. Scott Brooks called a timeout. Then John Wall casually hit Markieff Morris for an alley-oop.

Then Wall caused Tyreke Evans to miss a layup and raced down the court to hit a 20 foot jumper.

Then Wall harassed Jrue Holiday into a missed layup and hit Markieff Morris in the corner, resulting in two free throws.

Then Wall stripped Holiday under the basket and beat three Pelicans defenders down court for a layup. Bear in mind that Wall started the fast break at his own 3-point line while all three Pelicans defenders were already beyond half-court on their side of the floor.

Wall wasn’t done. With 1:22 left and Washington leading 100-91, Wall was isolated with Anthony Davis on the left wing. He toyed with Davis then put up a step-back rainbow jumper that touched nothing but nylon and sent Steve Buckhantz to his happy place. But wait, there’s more. On the ensuing possession, Wall poked the ball away from Jrue Holiday, dove on it and called a timeout, all of which made Buckhantz even happier.

Wall was so pumped up after his steal, he almost knocked Scott Brooks out cold with a celebratory punch.

When the smoke cleared, Washington ended the game on a 15-0 run. Aside from Markieff’s two free throws (which came off a pass from Wall), Wall scored or assisted every basket during the decisive run. And he also played lock down defense.

But it’s not just that he did all those things. It’s that you knew he was going to do them. That’s the mark of a great player — when his greatness becomes commonplace. Not since the days of Gilbert Arenas buzzer beaters have we had such a proficient closer in DC.

Wall’s post-game explanation for his offensive and defensive outburst was simple: “It was just time to be aggressive.”

New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry sounded more than frustrated by his team’s inability to keep Wall out of transition.

“I said that 100 times. We’ve gone over it a 100 times. We’ve been here three days and everyday we’ve said that. At practice we must’ve said it 20 times. We cannot turn the ball over against John Wall. He’s a one-man fast break. We did at the start of the game, we did it at the end. That’s the result. That’s what you get.”

The verdict is in. The debate is over. It’s John Wall and then everybody else.

Next Up, Lebron.

While Washington was beating New Orleans, the Cleveland Cavaliers were taking care of business against the lowly Knicks on the first stop of their current four-game road trip. After the game, LeBron James spoke with Lisa Salters and his next opponent – the Wizards – was on his mind.

James knew that Washington has an impressive home winning streak, he just didn’t know how impressive.

Wall also talked about the upcoming Wizards-Cavs game during his on-court interview with Chris Miller. Wall called Monday’s match-up the biggest regular season game of his career and declared, “It’s on.” The game will be televised nationally on TNT.


 

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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.