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

New MLB commissioner: Return to Montreal is possible

Report: Pats employee taking footballs into bathroom on video

Greg Anthony caught offering $80 to undercover officer for sex

Robert Kraft wants apology from NFL if nothing found

NFL may be very close to returning to Los Angeles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Kobe definitely returning next season

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Buffalo Bills: The greatest champion that never was

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early B1G predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

WATCH: Skittles Super Bowl commercial looks ridiculous

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

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

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early Big Ten predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Pats employee took footballs into restroom?

Report: Kobe not retiring

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

The five best Super Bowl defenses

Burnell explains why he got emotional

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.