Posted January 15, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The return of John Wall even in limited minutes has seemed to ignite the Washington Wizards, who are on the verge of a four-game winning streak that would double their previous win total.
Accomplishing that feat requires beating the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night to begin their five-game, eight-day western road trip.
One game after rookie Bradley Beal hit a jumper with 0.3 seconds remaining to beat Oklahoma City 101-99 on Jan. 7, Wall returned in a reserve role and scored 14 points in a 93-83 win over Atlanta on Saturday.
He scored 12 and added six assists off the bench in nearly 20 minutes of Monday's 120-91 rout of Orlando, and Wall's quickness and ability to lead the break are still apparent despite him sitting out the first 33 games with a left knee injury.
The Wizards (7-28) had a season-high 29 fast-break points Monday.
"It just came out of nowhere how fast we're playing now," said Beal, averaging 18.3 points during the winning streak. "With John back, the speed is so much faster."
Coach Randy Wittman has noticed a difference in his team's play with Wall in the lineup, too. Washington set season bests for points, field-goal percentage (56.1) and 3-point percentage (63.6) against Orlando.
"He brings the added dimension that nobody has," Wittman said. "Guys have to run harder."
Though Wall's return undoubtedly has had a positive impact, Washington believes it played much better than its record indicated prior to this run. The Wizards have lost 12 games by six points or fewer, including three in overtime and two in double OT.
"These games have not been flukes, we've just been playing very well," said guard A.J. Price, who has scored 34 points while shooting 11 of 21 over his last two games. "We lost so many close games that I think once we started losing so many in a row, it became a mental thing."
Washington - an NBA-worst 1-15 on the road - has a tough task ahead as it faces Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland and Utah on its trip, which begins against a Kings team that ended a four-game losing streak with a 124-118 win over Cleveland on Monday.
Sacramento (14-24), which concludes a five-game homestand Wednesday, lost by an average of 21.5 points during the skid.
"We definitely took a step forward and that's a good thing," said center DeMarcus Cousins, averaging 22.5 points and 11.7 rebounds over his last six. "It feels good to come in and get a win, especially after that embarrassment (128-99 loss to Miami on Saturday). It feels good."
Tyreke Evans likely will remain in the starting lineup against Washington after scoring 18 points Monday. He made his first start in his fourth game back from missing 11 with a sore left knee.
Marcus Thornton scored 20 off the bench and seemed at full strength in his third game back after missing five with a sprained left ankle.
"I very much wanted Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton to have a good game," coach Keith Smart said. "I have to get those two guys back into a flow with the game. I thought both of those guys did a great job with that."
Evans and Thornton each scored 22 points in starting roles to help overcome 21 and 11 assists from Wall in Sacramento's 115-107 road victory Feb. 22 in the most recent meeting.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
This is a two part highlight post. First up is Ish Smith jumping completely over John Wall when he stops and pump fakes on a layup: Apparently, Wall was none to please that Ish jumped over him, and decided he would get a little payback on the court. In this video, he puts Smith on ice skates and crosses the Ish out of Ish: I bet players may think a little harder next...
Was it so long ago that John Wall was to be the new face of Reebok? And now, less than three years after signing with Reebok, the Washington Wizards guard has jumped ship...to Adidas. The two parties signed a multi-year partnership deal for an undisclosed amount at the end of last week,
"I've enjoyed my time with Reebok and I'm grateful for everything we accomplished...
OVER THE WALL
Last time we’ve seen one player leap frog another was the infamous dunk by LeBron James last season. However, here we have Ish Smith, of the Orlando Magic, jumped completely over John Wall, of the Washington Wizards, Monday night. Not only did he jump over John Wall, but he recovered and blocked Wall’s shot. H/T [...]The post Ish Smith Jumps Over John Wall, Blocks (Video) appeared...
I can confidently say that this is the first Ish Smith post that we've attempted on That NBA Lottery Pick and he had to do something pretty impressive to earn it.Earlier tonight, the Orlando Magic guard was playing some solid defense on Wizards guard John Wall.As he went up to attempt a block, Ish cleared Wall and leapt over him:
Tweet Thankfully for the Washington Wizards (and their fans) John Wall is back after an extended absence due to a left knee injury. Wall scored 14 points and handed out 4 assists in 21 minutes on Saturday as Washington defeated the Atlanta Hawks 93-83 in his season debut. Monday the Orlando Magic were in [...]
Yesterday, we posted a video of Orlando Magic guard Ish Smith leaping over Wizards guard John Wall and blocking his shot.Well, later in that game...Mr. Wall got revenge by dropping Ish with a pretty solid crossover that sent him to the ground and gave John the opportunity to find Kevin Seraphin for the easy bucket:
When you hear the Wizards and Magic are facing off against each other, you wouldn’t expect the highlights of the night to cone from that came. But that’s exactly what happened. First watch Ish Smith leap over John Wall and then recover and block his shot. But John Wall wasn’t going to go out like [...]
Wizards 93, Hawks 83 [Saturday]
***JOHN WALL BACK! In something of a surprise return (a surprise to me, at least — I had no idea he was about to come back), Wall helped his Wizards achieve their first win streak (two games) of the season with a 21-minute, 14-point contribution (5-11, 4 AST/3 TO) off the bench. It was a feel-good game for the Wizards in more ways than one, as...
Wizards PG John Wall’s second game resulted in the another win. The team’s third straight win at home and second consecutive win over the Orlando Magic, a 120-91 win vs Magic. The Wizards are now 2-1 against the Magic this year but more importantly, they feel as though they’re beginning to gel. Wall’s return has given these [...]
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Wizards play their best basketball, beating Orlando 120-91 in D.C. [WaPo]
Ish Smith got John Wall with a block, Wall got Ish with a dribble. [TAI]
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As has been the case for quite some time now, the Washington Wizards have long been considered the league clowns of the NBA. There’s really no need for clarification as the factors for the team’s prolonged suckassness has been on full display and well documented: slow starts, slow finishes, offensive ineptitude, defensive struggles, lack of talent, poor coaching, managerial mishaps...