Clippers

Wall Will Work Better With Clippers Than Wizards

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The last time John Wall was playing basketball, the inevitable James Harden trade haunted the Houston Rockets.

Wall had to deal with rumors, subpar efforts from teammates, interesting comments made to the media, and whatever this is:

Coincidentally, Wall’s last game played was in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he put up 27 points and 13 assists as a net positive despite being on the losing team.

With all that behind him, Wall is finally on a contender. A few questions remain; namely, what should we expect from Wall? And what discussions around him actually matter?

Fruitless Conversations

Much like the L in Montrezl, arguing about who starts doesn’t really do anything.

Specifically the two point guards, Reggie Jackson and John Wall.  One can imagine each of the two point guards wants the starting job.

What they likely want more is a championship.  It is well known among the NBA community that the best cure for hurt feelings is winning a championship.

But it isn’t really for them to decide who starts and who comes off the bench. Coach Ty Lue has shown time and time again that those who work hard and play well will play more regardless of who the player is.

For those fans that don’t remember this game; the Clips had dug themselves in a 22-point hole and despite this, went on to win by nine. The comeback was sparked from bench players Luke Kennard and Terance Mann, who played the entire fourth quarter.

Always trust Ty Lue.

What should we expect from John Wall?

While it is not fair for us to expect him to be a number-one option like he once was, he still has lot to give.

The former all-defensive team player should be able to provide consistent, intense and solid defense with his reduced role on offense. Wall will likely spend most of his time guarding other team’s primary ball handlers, using his speed to chase them around.

He should fit in well to Los Angeles’ switching scheme on defense. Wall should be able to hold his own against tough switches onto bigger wings. His 210-pound frame and six-foot-nine wingspan make him a more formidable opponent than other point guards.

Offensively his skillset contrasts with Reggie’s, which is great. Where Reggie can create his own shot out nothing, Wall excels at creating looks for his teammates. Where Reggie can knock down clutch three pointers, Wall can score inside.

Wall will also greatly benefit from the Clippers’ style of offense. The Clippers have some of the best spacing in the league, boasting many great three-point shooters. If Wall can attack the paint to score and hit his teammates for easy looks from three, he will be very successful during his time with the Clips.

Availability Concerns

There are legitimate concerns to be had surrounding the availability of John Wall. Wall has yet to play over half the season since his 2016-17 year, but dwelling on past injuries is neither fun nor beneficial. There are a handful of signs that can steady Clipper fan’s nerves about Wall’s health.

Firstly, Wall is no longer the number-one option of a playoff team tasked with playing 35-plus minutes a night. His workload will also be decreased playing with lots of capable ball handlers and defenders– a great sign for his longevity.

Secondly, Wall is no longer aiming to push the Wizards into a seed with home-court advantage in the playoffs. The Clips have their sights set much higher. Wall being rested and prepared for the playoffs will yield great benefits to his game and the team.

Lastly, akin to a rejuvenated Al Horford we all witnessed this playoffs, Wall had an entire year off. The NBA season is a serious grind. A day off for players is far and few between– Wall has had the last year to prioritize his health for this season.

Something To Prove

Wall will be clothed in the familiar colors of red, white and blue and donning his old college number, with a fresh start and something to prove.

Circumstances outside of his control have prevented him from being on the court consistently the last five seasons. Now he is fueled by the motivation to prove that he can still excel in the NBA and that he can be a championship-caliber point guard.

About Josh Douglas

Josh is a fan of shot creators, big guys that play like guards, and on-court accessories. He is an avid supporter of all things Clippers and 76ers. Josh writes about the L.A. Clippers.

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