The Washington Wizards have struggled out of the gate and part of the reason for the struggle was John Wall’s play early in the season. After a very promising first three games, Wall’s game fell completely apart (mostly due to an injury he played through), for the month of November his True Shooting Percentage(TS%) was at 45%, to put great contexts to this Michael Carter Williams has a TS% of 49%. His defense also dropped off and he turned the ball over more. With his poor play the Wizards were 4-7 for the month of November (Beal was available for 8 of those games in November).
All of that changed for John as soon as the calendar hit December, on the first game of the month he put on a show against the Cleveland Cavs posting a line of 35 points 10 assists and 5 steals. That turned out to be break Wall needed, more likely it was the three days of rest he was able to get before that game.
In the month of December the ankle injury, that Wall didn’t really talk much about or disclose, seemed to heal up and John went on a tear putting up a line of 22 ppg, 11 apg, 5 rpg, and 2.5 spg with TS% of 54% for the month of December on his way to winning Eastern Conference Player of the Month with Oklahoma City Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant splitting the honor in the West.
More impressive is that John was able to keep the team from completely collapsing after multiple players including starters Bradley Beal (who only played six out of the 16 games games in December), Otto Porter (13 out of 16), and Marcin Gortat (13 out of 16).
Despite those key injuries the Wizards were 8-8 for the month of December. If this past December is the John Wall we are going to get going forward, he’ll be in the conversation for best point guard in the league as well as a dark horse candidate for the MVP award.
The Wizards hope to get their young shooting guard back in the next few weeks. If Beal can return to the floor coming out of the All-Star break, couple him with their All-Star point guard in Wall, they could make their way up the rankings in the East.