When John Wall’s jump shot is falling, he becomes virtually impossible to stop. The Los Angeles Lakers, who were already in the bottom three in terms of defensive rating, saw how effective Wall could become when he’s consistently knocking down perimeter shots firsthand.
Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall aren’t necessarily known for their ability to defend and Wall took advantage of his size early on. Neither Nash or Marshall could stay in front of John Wall and that led to multiple easy transition baskets. Once Wall started pushing the pace, it opened up jump shots coming off screens from Marcin Gortat and the Wizards would extend the lead to as much as 21 over the Lakers. Bradley Beal, Trevor Booker and Marcin Gortat all did a good job of keeping up with Wall in transition and he found them for open layups and dunks all game long. Los Angeles would later dig their way out of the hole, but eventually fell to the Wizards at home, 117-107.
Wall knocked down jumper after jumper in the fourth quarter to lift Washington past the Lakers in Hollywood in the fourth quarter. Wall has had a tendency of settling for jump shots, but I thought he did a great job at picking his shots last night and knocked down the majority of his open looks. Here’s a look at his shot chart versus the Lakers:
Wall made 11 of his 21 shot attempts last night, most of which came from the perimeter. Steve Nash, who came off the bench for the first time since 2000 in his return last night, joked around after the game saying that he didn’t start because Mike D’Antoni didn’t want him defending Wall. Well, even though he was joking, it was pretty clear right from the start that the Lakers weren’t going to stop Wall from getting to where he wanted to get on the court.
Washington will be back on the road tomorrow night against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Wall will certainly have some stiff competition when going up against Ty Lawson.