On Thursday, July 13 CSN will air specials on John Wall (7 p.m.) and Bradley Beal (8 p.m.). Part of CSN's 'Summer Series,' the hour-long shows will look at the impact each has made on the Wizards following the best season for the franchise since the 1970s. To help preview Wall's special, here is a look at his road to stardom with the Wizards...
The honor of All-NBA should’ve come a couple of seasons ago, when John Wall was beaten out by Kyrie Irving by virtue of the LeBron James coattail effect, but the voters got it right after last season.
The Cavs were again the best team in the East, though they were a No. 2 seed, but Wall wasn’t overshadowed. He led the Wizards to their best season in four decades with 49 wins and came one victory shy of the conference finals.
The numbers tell part of the story: Career-highs in points (23.1), assists (10.7), steals (2.0) and field-goal accuracy (45.1%).
Then Wall took it to another level in the playoffs by exceeding his previous highest scoring average by almost 10 points. He put up 27.2 points in those 13 games and didn’t sacrifice his distribution (10.3 assists) or overall shooting accuracy (45.2%).
He did all of this coming off double knee surgery four months before training camp.
The Wizards began 2-8 but they picked it up when Wall committed more on the defensive end. When he was able to stop the ball, combined with the offensive potency around him in three-point shooters Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, they were a juggernaut.
That led to a 17-game home winning streak to turn everything around and secure them a No. 4 seed.
After many failures, Wall finally made a game-winning shot in the last five seconds of a game to beat the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 10. He hit the winning three on a broken play in Game 6 vs. the Boston Celtics of the East semifinals to force Game 7.
Though Wall still laments the lack of respect he gets nationally, he’s at least trending upward. His 50 double-doubles got him on the third All-NBA team behind Isaiah Thomas who had five. He was third in the other receiving votes category for the All-Defensive team though Wall has played better than he did this past season on that end.
In the high-profile games, most notably the last two meetings with the Cavs, Wall torched Irving on both ends. He went at Steph Curry in a win at home over Golden State and despite his more workmanlike output (12 points, 19 assists, six rebounds) he did the job defensively.
Wall will never be Curry when it comes to shooting threes, but Curry can never be Wall when it comes to defensive ability. Wall also proved he can be a scorer without the three-point volume. He bested his career-high of 47 points with 52 vs. the Orlando Magic.
He set a new career-high by getting 20 assists in a March 17 win vs. Chicago.
It’s no longer a conversation of where Wall belongs among East point guards. He’s the best of them all with the possibility of getting even better.
The new conversation is where he ranks overall among the best players. If Wall can be a better defender for longer stretches with the strides he has made offensively and as a leader, he’ll keep climbing.