John Wall’s Triple Double:
-The biggest number on his box score last night was one – the turnover. No lazy passes into the post, no dramatic leaping crosscourt attempts, no barreling into defenders in the lane taking a charge. Everything he did was with patience but precision – meaning on fast break attempts he identified his move early, giving him enough time and room to avoid defenders taking charges. Sometimes his speed leaves him far ahead of his teammates, so he has to reverse while in the air and passing at the same time, making it almost impossible to avoid contact with transitional defenders. Last night, his vision was perfect, and he was able to find teammates at angles behind and to the side that he hasn’t shown before. The one turnover was also really weak on the score sheet, as it came off a steal where he stepped out of bounds – not a true turnover.
-The rebounding is something that we saw signs of, not only at Kentucky but through the preseason, but he hasn’t been able to reign in that skill so far. He often trolls for steals and goes low on pick and rolls, which leaves him in perfect position for long rebounds. Part of the reason he was able to get 10 boards was not only the Wizards great defense but the Rockets shooting under 40% from the field. Rebounds and defensive stops clearly go hand in hand, and those two things can spark the fast break. It takes a point guard with the speed, ability, and IQ of a John Wall to recognize when to push and when to lay off (although right now with the paucity of talent on this roster, they are almost only effective when he does push). He has great size at the position, long arms, and big hands, and almost all of his rebounds are collected on the ground as opposed to vertically, allowing him to immediately get up to full speed.
-His jump shot is making incredible strides. He has a hitch in his shot, where he releases it from his forehead and on the way down on his jump. It destroys any timing or rhythm he would otherwise have in the shot. However, this is much less pronounced when he’s moving. Coming from the top of the key off a screen, when he is able to move into his shot, his form is much better. Now, he’s getting to the point where the hitch is improving even at a standstill. Still, when players back off him and he has the ball frozen and hesitates on whether to shoot, his form is off and he often doesn’t make that shot. Catch and shoot he’s more effective as well, as seen on the three pointer he hit from the right wing in the second quarter.
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