[John Wall glides past each and every one of the Charlotte Bobcats, breezy.]
I chose to spotlight John Wall for Friday night’s home game versus the Charlotte Bobcats. It was a difficult decision — choosing between Wall and his seemingly favorable match-up versus DJ Augustin, or Andray Blatche in his intense battle of the ‘shapely’ four men versus Boris Diaw. I settled on Wall.
This was a typical Wizards-Bobcats game, the Wiz snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by falling apart over the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Gerald Wallace put in work on hapless Washington defenders (9-15 field-goals, 25 points and 14 rebounds) while shutting down Al Thornton so badly that Al left the game with a stomach problem. In general, the Wizards’ offense looked out of sync, as there was a lot of settling for jump shots and not enough attempts in the paint. The silver lining: the game was still relatively close despite an abysmal shooting night from Gilbert Arenas. Also, this is what an off-night looks like for John Wall: 6-16 field-goals, 13 points, four rebounds, 11 assists and four steals.
There is some bad news, though. John Wall’s inconsistent shot doesn’t concern me — clearly, that’s part of the growing pains of being a rookie in his seventh NBA game. What concerns me about Friday’s game is how, at times, Wall looked disinterested in defending Augustin.
Wall began the game by playing very far off of him, this would become one theme of the night. Another theme, when the Wizards were on offense, it became very clear that Charlotte would go under every ball screen to protect the paint, basically leaving Wall open, as usual. Keeping with this concept, Wall attempted two three-pointers in the first three minutes of the game, missing on both. But he had no trouble finding his teammates early, once finding a trailing Andray Blatche on the right side of the floor with a sweet dish off the back of his palm.
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