Falling just one steal shy of a triple-double last night, John Wall gave the NBA a taste of his potential with 29 points, 13 assist and nine steals. This was the rookie's home debut against the Philadelphia 76ers.
There is no doubt that No. 1 overall pick John Wall is now the face of the Washington Wizards franchise. Even as a rookie, he is vaulting himself into the already fierce debate of the NBA's best guards.
The steals and points totals were the most impressive stats of the night. The number of turnovers (eight), however, was not so impressive.
But we have to remember that he is a rookie and was still able to lead the Wizards past the 76ers for his first NBA victory.
This will be a season of learning from mistakes for Wall, but at the same time, his explosiveness will take the NBA by storm and bring the magic back to the nation’s capital.
Wall had a terrific Summer League, and his scoring ability and explosiveness will ease his transition into the league. In his first four regular season games, he is averaging 23.7 PPG and 10.3 APG and showcasing his skills to the entire world.
There has been some debate over who will win the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year award, mainly between Wall and the Los Angeles Clippers' explosive forward Blake Griffin.
Griffin, who missed all of last season with an injury, has reminded people how good he was in college and his first few preseason games. On the other hand, Wall’s numbers are just remarkable for a rookie point guard in the NBA.
With the recent disappearance of once-exciting guard Gilbert Arenas, the team is now in Wall's hands. With Sam Cassell, the once-great point guard, serving as an assistant coach, Wall’s game will only continue to grow, pushing the Wizards to new heights.
Wall is also surrounded with great young talent in JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Andray Blatche and veteran leader Kirk Hinrich. This is a good starting point for Wall in his rookie year, with head coach Flip Saunders, who has led the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Detroit Pistons to the Western and Eastern Conference Finals.
In the East, if they play the right way and if Gilbert Arenas shows some semblance of his old self, he can propel the Wizards into the playoff picture.
But don’t get it wrong, this is now John Wall’s team. Like the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, another young point guard, he will have to place the team's hopes squarely on his shoulders. As he progresses, teams will start to game-plan for him more, and that is when we will see how good John Wall really is.
The bottom line is that by the end of the season, Wall will emerge as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year if he continues to put up numbers like he has in the first few games.
Though it is a little premature, by the end of the season, he will seriously be recognized as one of the NBA’s best point guards.