The Washington Wizards can now say they have a three-time All-Star point guard on their roster, John Wall is expected to officially be announced as an All-Star reserve tonight on TNT. As with most things in sports these days (think NBA Draft), information is often leaked far in advance. It’s been reported by Carron J. Phillips and Chris Vivlamore as to which players comprise of both the East and West team reserves.
The starters are decided by the fan vote, a couple of years ago the NBA decided to move on from the specific position groups to a more fluid system that is front court or back court players. That’s made for some interesting lineups, but with resurgence of quality big men in the league, the new process doesn’t do much to help those big guys. Back to the subject at hand, John Wall is definitely an All-Star in every sense of the word and is deserving of the title.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 28, 2016
What’s still hard to digest is that Wall is one of the best players at his position in an era when the game has changed to make those players even more dynamic. Still, it feels as if Washington’s franchise player is held back by an invisible ceiling. Why it’s easy for fans to accept that he’s easily one of the best point guards in the NBA, he still gets slighted.
In his tenure in the league, Wall has only averaged less than eight assists just once. In the 2012-2013 season he averaged 7.6 assists which isn’t shabby by anyone’s standards, still that was in an injury plagued season in which he played just 49 games. While many score-first point guards get a ton of attention, John has shown that he’s a great playmaker and a well rounded player at his position.
If it weren’t for him, the Wizards would be at the bottom of the league with the Lakers and Sixers this season. Washington’s had a ton of injury issues, but the one constant has been Wall. He’s been absolutely stellar this season, on a roster with very few players capable of consistently creating scoring opportunities for themselves, he shoulders a very heavy load.
Yet, he’s been nothing short of magnificent through 43 games this season. His nightly average to this point in the season: 19.6 points, 9.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Due to revolving door of players in and out of the lineup, Wall’s also had to be more aggressive from a scoring stand point. This is the most points and shots he’s taken per game in his career.
The two players that are set to be starting in the backcourt for the Eastern Conference are Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. Again, under the new voting system that means that both Lowry and Wade can be looked at when discussing the issue of whether Wall deserved to start over either of them.
Starting with Kyle Lowry, the veteran point guard put in work during the offseason and boasts a brand new physique this season. It’s paid off as a tough player became even tougher to defend and deal with. His nightly average through 45 games: 20.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks. His team started slow this season before righting the ship and proving that they’re one of the better teams in the East.
As for Wade, his demise is still being exaggerated a bit. The veteran shooting guard is still around and quietly putting together a good season, regardless of his age. His nightly average through 43 games: 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1 steal, and 0.5 blocks. Miami like Washington, has been struggling with injuries this season and Wade’s had to play through pain (similar to Wall) as his team can’t afford him to miss too much time.
So there is certainly a case that can be made for Wall to start in front of either of these two players, but it’s been decided and the Wall-Star will be an Eastern Conference Reserve for a third consecutive year. So it’s clear that coaches around the league recognize Wall’s immense talent, now to wait and see if fans ever catch on. Hopefully they do before it’s too late, D.C. has one of the top playmakers in the entire league and he deserves more recognition. If he continue on his current pace this season, he just may become that house hold name that he deserves.
Do you think Wall deserved to be a starter? Tell us why in the comments below, thanks for reading!