John Wall should not have been the first overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft. Wall was not a difference-maker while attending the University of Kentucky and will have virtually no impact on the Washington Wizards.
Now pundits and fans alike have more excuses than a virgin on prom night for why Wall has underachieved thus far.
The bottom line is he has not gotten it done and frankly there is a franchise waiting on him. Reservations aside, there is hope Wall will have that impact the club envisioned when selecting him.
The former Wildcat has an infectious personality that can at times inspire teammates. His game is built on penetration and, well, penetration. He was fifth in the league among point guards with at-the-rim shot attempts with 5.3 per game.
However, therein lies the problem. The explosive guard is similar to a Ferrari and is just as one-dimensional. The North Carolina native is a speed demon who has proven to be incapable or unwilling to slow down.
Wall’s lack of impact on the game was never more evident than in the wins department. The Wizards actually had a worse record with Wall (23-59) than the year before without (26-56).
The point guard is not to blame for all of the Wizards shortcomings, however he is responsible for most of them.
Wall started out his rookie campaign well, but the more games he played, the more he was exposed. From the months of December to March, he averaged 8.2 assists and 3.7 turnovers in that 60-game window.
His turnover rate of 3.8 a game was second in the league, but it was these months
where the Washington was epically horrific. In the 60-game stretch, the Wizards had losing streaks of eight, seven (twice) and six games all the while winning back-to-back games once.
Before the Wizards can ever reach the level of respectability they seek, Wall must elevate his game.
He must make the simple plays as well as the spectacular plays. He must make the pass that leads to the assist, not just the assist.
Wall has to control the game with his instincts in conjunction with his preparation.
The Wizards point must lower his turnovers and possession-wasting plays. This includes dribbling the air out of the ball and quick shots that you can get any time in the shot clock.
Lastly, Wall must invest his talents and mind into the game.