How John Wall Can Elevate His Game by Chris Paul's Playoff Performance
And if this is just the sample, we're in store for a treat.
His sophomore campaign with the Wizards was virtually identical to his rookie performance, and that's not a bad thing. Yes, Wall has yet to refine his perimeter shot, and he's certainly guilty of making the kinds of mistakes young point guards are apt to make.
But these kinds of learning pains aren't at all atypical for talented up-and-comers with Wall's limitless upside.
Fortunately, Wall understands that. He isn't content to generate his consistently solid production and call it a day.
Under assistant coach Sam Cassell's guidance, Wall is studying the playing styles of the league's best floor generals—unsurprisingly, that list is topped by none other than the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul.
Wall's already a talented passer who's averaged over eight or more assists per game in each of his two seasons, but he's also prone to turning the ball over (to the tune of 3.8 a game for his career). His rarely matched speed is both a blessing and a curse: It allows him to create, and it allows the defense to taketh away.
As much as his evolution will involve a more diversified offensive game, it will also require him to use his physical advantages more intelligently.
That's where someone like Chris Paul comes into the picture. Paul has long been one of the league quickest guards, but he's almost been one of its smartest.
He reads the defense like a quarterback and reacts appropriately, adjusting his tempo to fit the situation at hand.
Sometimes that means slowing down, and that's where Wall can learn the most. Rather than going at full throttle without pause, the best playmakers understand that trying to force things tends to backfire.
Of course, it would take an entire career to take in all the little things that make Paul so effective. He makes the right passes, takes the right shots and calls the right plays.
That kind of basketball IQ doesn't emerge overnight.
Still, this is a promising start for Washington's franchise player—if nothing else, it proves he's willing to do what it takes in order to become the superstar Wizards fans expect him to be.
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