Tonight, John Wall returns to the basketball court for the first time this season, Washington Wizards face the Atlanta Hawks. A lot has been placed upon the shoulders of Wall, mainly the success of the Wizard’s organization. As Wall works his way back from injury, all eyes will also be on his development as a point guard entering his 3rd season.
The achilles heal to Wall’s game has always been his jump shot. He was said to have worked on his shot all summer but has had to wait a few months to debut it on the court. If Wall has indeed improved his jumper, that will make the offense that more versatile when he takes the court. A consistent mid range jumper is very key to his ability to open up opportunities for other players while making defenses pay in the pick and roll game. His speed tends to be subdued in the half court game because players just sagged into the paint knowing Wall was a reluctant shooter. If Wall has indeed worked hard on his jumper, everyone on the team will benefit.
With plenty of time to watch and learn, Wall has had time to step back and think the game. Learning when to go fast and when to slow it down has hampered Wall at times causing for his heavy dose of turnovers in his first 2 seasons. Wall’s aggressiveness is an attribute only when correctly channeled. There is more help on the court for Wall with the additions of Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza, and Nene Hilario getting healthier. Wall has to trust in his teammates and know when to facilitate and when to call his own number.
Another development people will be keeping an eye on, Wall on defense. Wall is a very capable defender when engaged. He plays passing lanes well and has become adept at blocking his defenders shot if beat off the dribble. Wall needs to improve as an on ball defender to help improve the teams defense. All of the tools are there for Wall to become a very good player. Tonight is the beginning of a very important season in the development of the teams former 1st pick.