John Wall didn’t get the jitters in his first game after officially becoming an “All-Star” point guard. In fact, Wall lived up to the bill, leading the Washington Wizards past Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, snapping their 10-game win streak in the nation’s capital in front of a sold out Verizon Center crowd.
There were times where John Wall looked like the best player on the floor, despite struggling with his shot early on. Wall missed all 7 of his first shot attempts in the first half, but his ability to find his teammates and pressure the ball helped the Wizards gain an early lead on the Thunder. Once his mid-range shot started to fall, it not only opened up the floor for him, but it also created space for Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal, and Martell Webster. Wall capitalized on multiple fast break opportunities, ferociously dunking the ball, giving Washington the momentum to pull through during Oklahoma City’s occasional runs.
Kevin Durant credited Wall on the win, noting the improvements he’s made over the past several seasons [via Washington Post]:
He worked his tail off, so he’s deserving of an all-star nod and he’s playing tremendous basketball right now. Just his overall game, his jump shot is getting better. He’s being more of a leader.
The Wizards haven’t had much to be proud of in recent years, but John Wall’s improvement and leadership is something we haven’t seen in the organization in a very long time. Wall is stepping up and has truly become one of the best point guards in the league. Wins over teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were obliterating every opponent before they came to Washington, is what will eventually put the Wizards back on the map. Wall had his struggles, but he continued to shoot the ball with confidence and it eventually payed off. He’s become a floor general and he definitely controlled the game last night.