After receiving more All-Star votes than any other guard in the Eastern Conference, Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall will be featured in the starting five for the East on All-Star weekend. Wall has earned this feat on every single level.
The former first overall pick did not live up to his potential in the first two years of his career. Though he averaged around 16 points and eight assists per game in both seasons, he had issues beyond that part of his game. Wall has always been a gifted athlete, posing as one of the quickest players in the entire league.
Although he has always had fantastic passing abilities and great court vision, those aspects of his game have improved mightily over the last two seasons. However, there was one huge flaw in his game, and that was his jump shot. In his rookie year, he shot just under 41 percent from the field. In his second year, though his field goal percentage did rise, he hit just three shots from downtown the entire season.
He was a very one-dimensional player. Just back off of him, don’t let him get past you, and you’re good to go. Several people from around the country stated that if this guy ever does develop a solid mid-range shot, he would be unguardable. Well, guess what? He has accomplished just that.
In the 2013-2014 season, Wall participated in all 82 games for the first time in his career, averaging a career-high 19.3 points and 8.8 assists per game. He shot 43 percent from the field and knocked down over 100 three-pointers, shooting 35 percent from downtown. He lead the Wizards to their first postseason appearance since 2008.
His performance last season earned him an appearance in the All-Star game for the first time in his career. He also participated in the slam-dunk competition, and became the first player in Washington Wizards history to win that contest. This season, he has taken his game to new heights.
Although his points are down a bit, as he went from averaging 19.3 points per game in 2014 to 17 points per game in 2015, every other stat has seen an improvement. He leads the league in assists per game with 10, he is second in the league in steals per game averaging 2.1, is shooting a career-high 46 percent from the field, and has gotten the Wizards off to a terrific 29-14 start, which stands as the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Not only is he a terrific player on the court, but his leadership is what puts him over the top. And here’s the scary part: He still has room for improvement. He turns the ball over a bit too much and tends to get a little too cocky and take some contested shots. Once those aspects of his game are improved, he will be one of the best players in the NBA.