Originally written on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 11/3/14
(Rob Carr / Getty Images) With Saturday night’s win over Chicago, the Wizards are miraculously one of the hottest teams in the NBA, going 7-3 in their past ten games. The return of John Wall is probably the most important factor in this recent hot streak, but his ability to improve everyone on this team is probably the most impressive. The two most notable performers, in my opinion, for the Wizards since John's return: Emeka Okafor: For the first two months of the season, I was calling for his head. He looked awful on the floor and was showing no signs of life in the box score. Fast forward to Wall’s return and he’s averaging a double-double. He’s sinking his jumper (which I still can’t give myself the courage to approve of it), he’s one of the most aggressive defenders in the paint on the team, and he looks comfortable finally. If this is the Emeka Okafor that’s going to play for the rest of the season, I’m going to have to surgically remove the foot from my mouth and rescind the many trade offers I’ve suggested for him all season. Trevor Ariza: He’s been pretty non-existent all season from a statistical standpoint, but it’s the way he’s not showing up now that’s making a difference. His time on the floor seems to be spent on pure defensive hustle. Diving for the loose balls, smothering the offensive player, and finding the open man on the offensive end instead of throwing up brick after brick. He shut down Kyle Korver two weeks ago in an impressive win versus Atlanta and he created a problem for everyone on the Chicago roster Saturday night. I could literally list each player and describe the effect Wall has had in their play. It’s so easy to see. This is finally a team that is meshing. They’ve found their stride. Sans Jan Vesely, there’s really no one on this team that I don’t feel confident about anymore. They’ve found a way to beat three teams who are highly favored to win the NBA title this season. It’s weird, isn’t it? The Chicago win was such a big win, maybe even more than the victories against Oklahoma City or Miami, due to the fact that no one person was to credit for it. It was a team victory based on astounding defense. The hoop seemed to appear 10 times smaller for Chicago in the fourth quarter. Without that effort, the Bulls would have probably came back and stole the game the way almost every team did in the months of November and December. With the loss twelve days ago in Sacramento still fresh in the minds of fans and players alike due to some poor free throw shooting and a very weak defensive outing, tonight is another chance to steal a victory back from a team the Wiz kids should have beat the first time. After the Chicago win, Nene put it pretty bluntly. He was finding some solace knowing that now that the team is winning, it’s going to shut up a lot of people talking down about the franchise; and with John Wall missing those crucial free throws in Sacramento, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him out tonight ready to shut everybody up.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.