John Wall Deserves MVP Consideration


Dec 8, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) celebrates after scoring the game tying basket during the second overtime against the Boston Celtics at Verizon Center. Washington Wizards defeated Boston Celtics 133-132 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After Wednesday night’s ridiculous buzzer-beater with 0.8 seconds left to beat the Orlando Magic, 91-89, the Washington Wizards sit at 15-6 and are tied with the Atlanta Hawks (huh?!) for second place in the East, just a half game behind the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards are off to their best start in 40 years, and while winning 15 of your first 21 games is always a collective effort, there is no player deserving more credit for this start than John Wall.

From the jump, Wall has had to carry the load for Washington. He’s had to help his team overcome the loss of its best shooter in Bradley Beal and its best post defender in Nene.

Wall leads the team in points per game (18.1) which is almost five points better than the next leading scorer, Bradley Beal (13.8). Wall is also second in the NBA in assists per game with 10.4 and third in the league in steals with 2.1 per game.

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His shooting numbers are up this season as well.

After shooting 43.3 percent from the floor last year, Wall is hitting 44.1 percent of his shots this season. While his three-point percentage has dropped a bit from last season, he’s making 46.7 percent of his two-pointers this season, up nine percentage points from last season.

Wall is making 38.1 percent of his shots from 3-10 feet, is shooting a staggering .500 from shots between 10 and 16 feet, and is making 35.5 percent of his shots between 16 feet and the three-point line.

In short, Wall is consistently hitting mid-range shots, which forces defenders to play defense on him outside.

The result? This:

Wall has also been red hot during this chilly December, as he has a double-double in five out of six games – recorded nine points and 12 assists in just 28 minutes in the 119-89 win over Denver.

And while he has scored at least 17 points in five of the six games so far this month, his assists numbers are even better. Through six games in December, Wall has dished out 83 assists. That’s 15 more than Rajon Rondo (68) and 24 more than Chris Paul (59).

Dec 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 119-89. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

That point guard in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving, well he only has 29 assists this month. And he only has 102 on the season. So in six games, Wall has 19 less assists than Irving has in 20 games.

It’s no secret that Wall gets a number of assists off pick-and-rolls with Marcin Gortat and other players, but his vision for the entire court has truly been a difference-maker this season. He’s making spot-on cross-court passes to players in the wings for threes and constantly setting up his teammates for success.

And, as Wall has been the facilitator in this Wizards’ offense that is averaging 100.9 points per game, it’s been late in games that he has truly been the team’s best player.

You see his hustle on defense; fighting for loose balls, going to blocks and steals and strapping up his defenders when it matters most.

And then that translates into offense. In last night’s win over Orlando, Wall scored eight of the teams final 11 points. In Monday night’s double-overtime win over Boston, Wall scored the Wizards’ final 10 points.

When you hear basketball experts talk about the league’s Most Valuable Player this season, you rightly hear names like LeBron James, James Harden and Blake Griffin.

But those experts should also take a look at one of the NBA’s top point guards in D.C. That man is carrying this Wizards team to a top spot in the East.

**All stats gathered from and**