Category Archives: John Wall

John Wall vs. Rajon Rondo: Who Ya Got?

Here with your weekly look at the Wiz is Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

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There aren’t many doubleheaders in the NBA regular season, so basketball fans are in for a treat when the Wizards and Celtics face off on consecutive nights this Sunday and Monday. Washington is riding a four-game win streak and, at 13-5, will be a heavy favorite over the 6-11 Celtics, though Boston is on a two-game win streak of its own.

Regardless, this doubleheader is worthy of its own post simply because of the showdown between former Kentucky stars John Wall and Rajon Rondo.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2010 has been putting on a show all season in D.C., and Bradley Beal’s return has made his life that much easier. Wall, third in the league in assists, has at least 12 in each of the last three games and is averaging a career-high 9.8 dimes per game.

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Wizards 2014 Playoffs Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following the Wizards’ best postseason run since before I started rooting for them nearly 30 years ago.

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Winners

Bradley Beal — Had a couple clunkers against Indiana, including 7-19 shooting in the decisive Game 6, but check out his numbers across 11 playoff games: 19.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.6 SPG and .415 3P%. Also, and you probably didn’t hear about this, he’s only 20.

Randy Wittman — He does not seem to be a very good coach, but he did take this team further than they’ve been since 1979.

Ernie Grunfeld — Same for Ernie, right Wise?

Ted Leonsis — Same for Ted, who benefits in this regard, in a strange way, from the Caps bottoming out on the other side of the ledger.

Marcin Gortat — Replicated his rock-solid regular season averages of 13 and 10 and, though he was inconsistent from game to game, went off for 31 and 16 to stay alive vs. Indiana, giving us this John Wall quote for the ages:

Drew Gooden and Andre Miller — I was not expecting these two to make meaningful postseason contributions. Old guys rule.

Trevor Ariza — Had a great regular season, and more or less lived up to that in the postseason, averaging 8.9 boards, 46 percent from three and 52 percent overall. Even though he disappeared in a few games, he led the team in win shares and probably made himself a considerable amount of money in free agency. What the Wiz end up doing with him and Gortat will be fascinating.

Losers

John Wall — I hate to do this to the man, because I really want him to put it all together, but he was hard to watch at times and inconsistent throughout. After finishing top-20 in scoring and second in assists, his playoff numbers dropped across the board. He seemed unsure of himself and confused with the ball. But the glimpses were there; Game 5 against Indy was goddamn beautiful. Hopefully he learns from this. I think he will.

Martell Webster — Another guy I like a lot, so this brings me no joy. He was good last year, got paid, regressed a bit and then really fell off in the playoffs, shooting 23 percent from three.

Otto Porter — The No. 3 overall pick played six minutes total.

Wizards fans — Not a great showing! Nor did they get much to cheer for, as the Wiz went 1-4 at home (vs. 5-1 on the road).

Medium

Nene — After being generally regarded as the MVP of Round 1 for winning his matchup with DPOY Joakim Noah, he was pretty bad against Roy Hibbert and David West in Round 2, shooting .395 from the field and grabbing 4.5 boards per game. I will never understand what he did to Jimmy Butler.

Trevor Booker — Didn’t figure into the Indiana series but played 24 minutes per game against Chicago, running around like a wild man. Not sure how effective he was, but it sure was fun to watch.

John Wall Is Shooting The Wizards To The Playoffs

Please welcome guest contributor Bryan Frantz to Mr. Irrelevant. Here he is on John Wall and your Washington Wizards.

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The Wizards are having their best season in years. They stand at 33-31, sixth place in the East and 3.5 games away from third. The five seasons before this Washington went 19-63, 26-56, 23-59, 20-46 (lockout-shortened season) and 29-53.

The collective misery of the Eastern conference, arrival of Marcin Gortat, improved health of Bradley Beal and improved play of Trevor Ariza are obvious contributors to the success. One topic that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, though, is John Wall’s jumper.

His shooting has never been something to brag about; his career shooting percentage sits at a modest 42.5 percent, and his three-point percentage hovers around 29.5 percent. Wall is making 33.9 percent of threes this season, though, and he’s shooting 3.7 per game (two more than his previous career high). Take a look at the shot charts:

John Wall’s 2012-13 Shot Chart

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John Wall’s 2013-14 Shot Chart

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His three-point shooting has become a legitimate weapon, to the point that defenses have to respect his jumper. This spreads the floor and opens up Ariza and Beal in ways that simply didn’t exist last season, which leads to more quality shots all around. The Wizards, as a team, are shooting 38.6 percent from three this season, up from 36.5 percent last season.

But it’s not just open threes the Wizards are getting. Washington is shooting 45.6 percent overall from the floor, tied for 11th in the league. That’s a huge increase from 43.5 percent of last season, when they were tied for 27th.

Shockingly enough, making more shots leads to more points. Washington is scoring a respectable 100.5 points per game this season, which is astounding considering they tied for last a year ago with 93.2 points per contest.

Again, this is not entirely attributed to Wall improving his shot. But a point guard needs to have an outside shot to become elite. Derrick Rose, injuries aside, makes for a great case study. In his rookie season, Rose averaged 0.9 three-point attempts per game and made just 22.2 percent. He improved mildly in his second season, and by his third season he had turned his three-point shot into a weapon. That year Rose shot 4.8 threes per game, knocking them down at a rate of 33.2 percent.

So while Wall has always been able to get his points — he’s never dropped below 16 per game — he now gets them from all over the floor. Defenses have a new element to defend, and his teammates benefit from it. The Wizards win.

DMV: 7 Things That Happened While We Were Having A Baby

As some of you noticed, I’ve been busy not posting anything lately. That’s because my wife had our third child two weeks ago. As it turns out, having a newborn and two children under six isn’t conducive to hobby blogging about D.C. sports!

Alas, here’s most of the big and/or interesting stuff that happened while we brought more Mottram into the world …

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1. John Wall won the dunk contest. I was thrilled when he double-pump reversed over G-Wiz, who I never thought would figure prominently in All-Star Weekend. The dunk itself wasn’t that great. Live and in context, though, it was easily the dunk of the night, converted on the first try and shutting down the contest. The Wizards actually won something!

2. The Skins gave D-Hall a four-year deal. Four years is a lot of an old corner, and I’ve been known to dislike DeAngelo Hall quite a bit, but if John Keim thinks it’s a fair deal then it’s probably a fair deal. It’s not that much guaranteed money anyway. Burgundy Blog delves further.

3. Peter Angelos is spending some of that MASN money. Fifty million over four years for Ubaldo Jimenez, and $8 million over one for Nelson Cruz. The former is in line with the going rate for starting pitching, and the latter is pretty much no-risk. Both are nice to see, considering the O’s hadn’t spent a dime despite being on the cusp of playoff contention.

4. Maryland is going out with a whimper. The Terps’ last trip to Durham, as an ACC school at least, provided a great game and ultimate disappointment. Still not sure how Charlie Mitchell’s would-be game-winner didn’t drop.

5. The Wiz traded Jan Vesely for Andre Miller. Goodbye, 23-year-old lottery pick. Hello, 37-year-old journeyman. Mixed feelings here. On one hand, it cements bust status for yet another Wiz draft pick. On the other, they’re making moves to solidify the rotation for a playoff run. I’ll take it, and we’ll always have Jan’s greatest hits.

6. Fred Davis is not doing great. Get right, Sleepy.

7. Sochi was not kind to the Capitals. You’ve got to feel for Alex Ovechkin, and Nick Backstrom too. But not Brooks Laich; he’s fine.

What’d I miss?

DMV: John Wall Is Already An All-Star In The Shoe Department

Stumping for John Wall to be the first Wiz all-star in six years. [Wise]

Stats explain why the Wizards are so very average. [Bullets Forever]

Caps lose to Canes in overtime with Ovi on the second line. [RMNB]

After recent skid, the Caps are also perfectly average. [WaPo]

Bruce Allen: Skins haven’t talked to Cowher or Jon Gruden. [Insider]

Sizing up top Skins head coach candidate Darrell Bevell. [Keim]

Five players the Skins may cut to save cap space. [Real Redskins]

DMV: Instagram Video Of John Wall Making It Rain In The Club

This probably isn’t what Leonsis wants to see from his $80m man. [Bog]

Kirk Cousins sounds confident he’ll be read for the opener. [The Insider]

Santana is happy to return punts. Skins may need him to. [The Insider]

A good breakdown of the Nats’ dwindlign playoff chances. [Nats Baseball]

Looking at nine Nats who may be getting September call-ups. [Nats Insider]

Denard Span listened to his mom and finally hit a home run. [For The Win]

It makes sense to keep Zim at 3B, so long as he can throw. [Nats Journal]

Local blog gets makeover as part of the NBC-Comcast family. [Nats Insider]

The Birds start an awesome stretch of 20 games in 20 days. [Camden Chat]

Here’s the George Mason pep band playing some Skrillex, y’all. [Bog]

This reads like if the Onion wrote about the Junkies. [DC Sports Nexus]

John Wall Appears To Have Had A Good Long Weekend In Las Vegas

Just sharing a dispatch from John Wall’s Memorial Day Weekend in Vegas, which was spent “with the likes of Lil Wayne, Diddy, Christina Milian, and Meek Mill.” I do not know who Meek Mill is, but that’s a great rap name.

It’s Milian’s Instagram photo seen above, where Wall’s getting his hookah on. I know it’s hookah because of the caption:

John_wall getting a taste of @platinumehookahs at #liquidlv #lasvegas #memorialdayweekend2013#smoke #vapor #sexy #ehookah #nonicotine #platinumluxehookahs #platinumehookahs

Impressive hashtag game, Christina Milian. You’ll also notice that Wall has a “business tattoo”, which seems to be a star surrounded with stylized lettering. (Analysis!)

And I’m feeling that hat.

John Wall Redemption Tour Hits Next Stop

Once he returned from injury, John Wall has made many believers this season. His scoring is up, his ridiculous-catch-them-from-behind blocks are up, and he looks like he could really become the star we all hoped for when Wall was drafted No. 1 in 2010.

But there is still one thing Wall hasn’t fixed. Remember that first pitch he threw out at Nats Park a few years ago? It was awful.

Well, tonight, Wall has a chance to fix it. Word is he is taking the task serious, according to a story from CSN’s J. Michael:

“I just want to make sure I get it to the mound. As long as I don’t hit the dirt, I’m cool. I don’t want it to be like I did last time,” Wall said. “Everybody thinks it’s easy.”

Good luck tonight John. We’ll all be watching.

**UPDATE** Wall threw the pitch, and it reached the plate. Video after the jump.
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DMV: Watch Every One Of John Wall’s Career-High 47 Points

Wizards beat Memphis for sixth straight home win as John Wall goes off for 47 points, the third-highest total in the NBA this season. He’s on fire. [WaPo]

Pradamaster is all over the mechanics of Wall’s jumper. [Bullets Forever]

Randy Wittman didn’t like the Wiz being compared to a circus. [USAT Sports]

The Wiz are giving out replica 1978 championship rings on April 6. [Bog]

The Caps should steer clear of a long-term deal for Riberio. [Caps Insider]

Ovi is 6th in the NHL in goals, picks up first star of the week. [Caps Insider]

Ovi also cheekily compared himself to a piece of shit. Really. [Puck Daddy]

A case for why the Caps will still make the playoffs. [Homer McFanboy]

Alex Semin got five years and $35 million from Carolina. [Russian Machine]

Bryce Harper’s 2013 walk-up music is pretty eclectic, at least. [Bog]

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