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Grading John Wall's play for 2014-15 season


Grading John Wall's play for 2014-15 season

After a fast start, John Wall slowed down by midseason as he persevered through soreness in his right knee and two bad ankles. He was arguably the best performer in the NBA in the postseason through the first round of the playoffs until he broke his left wrist in Game 1 of a second-round series with the Atlanta Hawks.

The stats: 17.6 points, 10.0 assists (career high), 4.6 rebounds (career high), 44.5% shooting (career high).

The accolades: An All-Star starter for the first time and second team All-NBA Defense.

The slights: Excluded from all three All-NBA teams for Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), who was his All-Star backup.

The improvements: Look no further than his pull-up jump shot which he made at a higher accuracy than LeBron James, Jeff Teague, DeMar DeRozan and Monta Ellis. And Wall has gotten more comfortable driving left and pulling up instead of just at the right elbow. Another area he vastly improved was using floaters (they didn’t look pretty early in the season) and posting up smaller guards. He got away from the latter after the All-Star break but as the stakes got higher with the playoffs Wall played even better. In the last two games vs. Atlanta, he averaged 17.5 points and 10.0 assists –- with one good hand.

The ranking: Among NBA point guards, there was none better in the postseason. Irving, Kyle Lowry, Teague and Derrick Rose all took a back seat. Only league MVP Stephen Curry was on par with Wall. Going into next season, there’s no one in the East who should be slotted ahead of him. The West, however, remains deep with Chris Paul, Curry and Russell Westbrook.  But Wall should be among the first names mentioned in that group and not just an afterthought. 

The next step: Wall’s defense was strong early but when his health waned so did his focus on this end. He pulled it back together in time for the postseason where he was phenomenal on both ends as he merged offensive pace with defensive ball pressure.  What separates Wall from the likes of Paul, Curry and Westbrook is three-point shooting. If he’s able to add this wrinkle to his game in a league that thrives on stretch shooting ability, he could rocket himself to the top of the class. Despite taking fewer attempts than the previous year, Wall regressed from 35% to 30%. 

2014-15 grade: A.

2015-16 outlook: A third consecutive All-Star appearance, an All-Defensive team and All-NBA team selection.

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson


Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by Nick Ashooh and Stefon Marquis to talk NBA Draft. 

They broke down five prospects and their potential fit with the Wizards: Moe Wagner of Michigan, Michael Porter, Jr. of Missouri, Grayson Allen of Duke, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Omari Spellman of Villanova.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!