The Washington Wizards have been struggling lately, and their most important player, John Wall, has been doing all he can to carry his team to the playoffs. The All-Star point guard hasn’t been at 100% this season either. When asked about what was bothering him, he said:
“Everything,”in a short interview with Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. “I can’t even name a specific thing, to be honest with you.”
Whatever he has injured, was not hurting tonight. The former number 1 overall pick looked like the real John Wall in the Wizards destruction of the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night. The guard not only put up an offensive show but a defensive one as well. His presence was felt tonight.
It was great to see Wall running back in transition after committing a turnover and making a huge block on a layup attempt by JaMychal Green, that wasn’t the end of that great play. Wall then blocked a second attempt by Courtney Lee, this time a 3 point attempt. This all happened in 11 seconds. Wow!
The Wizards, who took a bowling trip at the White House, looked different and played with precision and effort. Wall played like he was at the start of the season. The point guard was everywhere, generating offense for himself, flying all over the floor, and providing assists. The Grizzlies were flat out ridiculed this game, especially the guards Courtney Lee, Beno Udrih and Nick Calathes.
Wall showed his whole arsenal against the Memphis team. From his great handles to his midrange jumper to beat the first quarter buzzer. This buzzer beater kept the Wizards close as the Grizzlies had a hot start early on. He made everything look so easy.
Wall provided a little bit of everything on offense and finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and one steal in just 30 minutes. His playing time tells you the whole story, the game was over early as the Wiz cruised to a 107-87 victory.
With Wall running the show, center Marcin Gortat had 22 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists. Even Paul Pierce joined in on the action with 17 points and was 3 for 4 beyond the arc. The team took full advantage of the Grizzlies absences. With players like Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen all resting after back to back games. The team had no answers for the speedy Wizards.
Washington has won 3 out of their last 4 games and improved to 37-28. The team also got closer to Toronto, who is up by 1.5 games. The Raptors are free falling and the Wizards could end up taking their spot real soon.
The Wizards hope they can keep playing like this because the Cavs and Hawks are on fire. They need everything they can to be ready for what looks to be an intense Eastern Conference playoff race. Wall, Pierce, Beal, Gortat, Nene and Otto are going to have to keep bringing their A game to be a challenge for the top seeds.