After undergoing two knee procedures in the offseason and wondering if he’d ever be the same again, John Wall led the Wizards to a 4th seed in the East and was one game away from his first career Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged career highs across the board this season and showed that he can lead a team but still requires a little more help. The league is definitely going to be looking for the Wizards and John Wall. He is clearly their franchise player now, and he knows this now, as he took on the leadership role on Washington, and I would say it was a very successful season.
Is John Wall the best point guard in the East? No question. He is the best playmaker, in the East, if not the league (other than LeBron). He may not be the best scoring PG in the East, but given that he works on his jumpshot in the offseason, he could be an elite scorer. Wall ranks in the top 10 for drives per game, and he is a strong finisher in the lane. His mid-range game off of the pick-and-roll is almost automatic. Speaking of the pick-and-roll, Wall may very well be the best pick-and-roll player in the game. His ability to read the defense off of the screen is uncanny. His timing is unbelievable when it comes to the pass or the drive. John Wall is also one of the best transition players in the NBA. His ability to change speeds and force the defense to stay on their heels is amazing. He has the vision to find open cutters/3pt shooters or drive to the rack with force and finish with contact, all while moving in an incredibly fast sprint. Defense wins championships, and John Wall can sure bring the heat. He finished in the top 3 for steals per game this season, and his on-ball defense is above average. Even his chasedown block is LeBron-like. Wall is easily the best PG in the Eastern Conference, and very well could be the 2nd best player in the East.
The Wizards that you see now is not a fluke. They don’t have the Clippers’ 2nd round curse, and they will see themselves improving year-by-year. These Wizards are different than the Wizards team from 2 years ago that made it to the 2nd round, and then failed to make it to the postseason the following year. This Washington team has it figured out. John Wall and Bradley Beal should become elite guards in this league, and their supporting cast will most likely find it’s right combination in these next years. They need to find that third player to compliment Wall and Beal in order to really challenge the top teams in the league, and I think they will do that.
Next season, I expect that Washington has the same kind of season as this year’s. I expect them to be a 3rd or 4th seed in the East, and taken out in either the 2nd or 3rd round. Where they need to make their mark is in free agency. They need to find a third fiddle to elevate them over the top. They could really use a small forward or a young center that can really score the ball to take the pressure off of Wall and Beal. The Wizards as right now can make some noise in the East, until they face Cleveland. They have the potential to maybe even make a run at the Finals, but they must throw some help in John Wall and Bradley Beal’s direction.