Washington Wizards

John Wall leads one last push

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Wizards drafted John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, there were aspirations of him becoming the face of the franchise and leading them to the promised land being the NBA Finals.

This season, the Wizards are trying to keep their head above water and sneak into the playoff picture, but without Wall, they would just another team in the doldrums of the league.

The success begins and ends with Wall’s effort for this team, and as they are currently riding a four-game winning streak at the most crucial time, the face of their franchise has been at the forefront.

Although Wall gets respected around the league, playing for Washington limits his national television exposure, which means other point guards such as Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard often get ranked above him to the average NBA watcher.

However, when you pay attention to how skilled Wall is and how much of an impact he has on his team, it would be safe to say he is easily in the top four names when ranking point guards in the league. The past four games can attest to this. Wall has averaged 21 points, 12 assists, and 7.5 rebounds.

In two of the four games, Wall posted triple-double performances that were key in the Wizards ultimately coming out victorious. Against the Bulls, Wall finished with 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds followed by  16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds in a win over Philadelphia.

It’s mind-blowing how much better Wall makes each one of his teammates. When you watch this particular team, they take the form of recent past NBA teams in that they only have one real superstar who is surrounded by role players. Many would consider Bradley Beal much better than just another role player, but the fact of the matter is, he can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to reach his full potential of becoming one of the top shooting guards in the league.

As fans are well aware already, to win a championship in the NBA today, at least, two superstars are needed. For instance, you won’t see teams like the Allen Iverson-led 76ers make a Finals appearance, simply because one superstar isn’t enough to reach those heights.

Before their current four-game winning streak, the Wizards had lost five in a row, and the playoffs evolved into a pipe dream. Now, with 13 games remaining in the NBA regular season, hopes go back to being high, but the schedule ahead won’t be a walk in the park by any means.

With just 1.5 games separating them and the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards will play consecutive games against the Atlanta Hawks.

The two teams have met only once so far this season with the Hawks coming out on top by 15 points. Heading into the next two games, keeping Atlanta under 100 points will be a point of emphasis for the Wizards as it’s been throughout their four-game winning streak.

But there will also be another constant, and that will be putting the workload on the shoulders of their All-Star point guard.

Wall continues to remind the fans of the NBA why he deserves to be listed amongst the elite players at his respective position. If he continues to lead this team into the playoffs while sustaining this level of play, there will be no questions about whether or not he is one of the best floor generals of the game today.

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