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John Wall returns, Wizards get win over Hawks

Jan 12, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT

John Wall, Louis Williams

John Wall made his long awaited season debut on Saturday, scoring 14 points and dishing out four assists in 21 minutes off the bench to help the Wizards to a 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Washington notched just its sixth win in 34 tries on the season, but the vibe around the team may start to change a little with Wall back in the fold.

He’s unquestionably the team’s best player when healthy, and showed flashes at times in his first game back, even if the results weren’t always necessarily evident.

Brian Jackson of CSNWashington had some instant analysis of Wall’s performance:

One thing is for certain, Wall has his explosion back but was rusty as expected after missing the first 33 games of the season. In the first half there were several occasions where Wall got into the paint but was unable to finish near the basket. But he proved to be a quick study scoring nine of his 14 points in the 2nd half.

From the Wizards front office to the fans sitting in the 400 section of Verizon Center everyone has been waiting to see what a Wall and Bradley Beal backcourt will look like. We got a brief glimpse in the first half when Wall found Beal on the fast break for a tomahawk slam. Later in the 2nd half Wall found Beal in the corner for an open three-pointer.

We all knew this would be a season of rebuilding in Washington. Wall’s return does nothing to change that, but it does add some excitement to the mix.

Put simply, Wall represents the future in Washington. And seeing him back on the court healthy for the first time all year might actually give Wizards fans a reason to follow their team closely for the rest of the season.

  1. money2long - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    stan van gundy will be very wrong in his assessment on wall .

  2. nichobert - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    “He’s unquestionably the team’s best player when healthy”

    I’ve seen this a lot… If Wall can get the “When healthy” caveat, then so can Nene. And Nene has been a demonstrably better player for the Wizards both this year and last year.

    When you start looking at 5 man Unit and On/Off stats for the Wizards with and without Nene, it’s day and night. When Nene’s in the game, they go up 5 or 6 points per 100 possessions. When Seraphin comes in. They go down that 6 points, and then another 12 for good measure.

    Nene is the guy who I want the Wizards to win for. He really is one of the NBA’s hidden gems, and has performed at an All Star level (Top 25 WS/48) his last 3 full years in Denver, then in that short stint with DC last year, and playing at a smoking high rate again this year.

    I don’t know why DC thinks they can build a team full of guys who can’t shoot and win in this league. They play D and rebound better than a DC team has in ages, but they’re repeatedly hamstrung by Martell Webster being their only consistent 3 point threat. It seems like every game features a massive run for the opponent while Wittman inexplicably seems to think the defense is the problem. Those runs feature teams shooting like 45-50% but the Wizards shooting 20% and making bad turnovers.

    Now that Nene is in the swing of things and Wall is back, I think we have enough difference makers to stop those runs from being an every game thing. IMO this team is going to finish with the 4th or 5th worst record in the league.. and sickeningly, that might be good enough to keep Randy “Worst Coach Ever” Wittman and Ernie “Worst GM Ever- Hey do you have a 7 footer who can’t shoot or dribble that I can trade up to draft 1st overall? Oh he’s projected to go 30th? Well, can’t be too careful with an athletic specimen like that!, let’s trade up!” Grundlefield their jobs.

    Whatever happens. Help those guys retire. They deserve to hang out on a beach in Croatia with a pile of MDMA and a laptop full of Anthony Randolph videos.

  3. stoudemelo - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Boringggggg. Who cares. If I wanted to see a guy play but never actually make his team better or in a position to win I’d watch the Harlem Globetrotters

    He will be the next circus clown to go overseas (AI, Marbury, and Francis)

    • dko83 - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      The Wizards won only their sixth game of the season on the night he returned.. Pretty sure he’s making them better. You are the dumbest poster I’ve seen on here in weeks (and that says something). Not only does your comment demonstrate you know nothing about NBA basketball whatsoever, it’s also a terrific PSA.. the paint chips might look delicious, but they’re not for eating. Go away.

  4. timb12 - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    You can’t say they won this game because of Wall in limited minutes. Just like you can’t say they’re better than the Heat or Thunder even though they beat them. John Wall doesn’t have the best resume of making his team/teammates better. He hasn’t been surrounded by much though if we’re going to be fair.

    • musilly - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      That’s not what he said. He said that Wall *helped* the Wizards win.

  5. Cereal - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    The Wizards will be rebuilding again in two years

  6. suhisbetterthanu - Jan 14, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Too bad they have no shot of retaining him when Huss rookie deal IA up.

  7. unxpexted1 - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I really thought the wizards were going to be competetive this year, and that hasnt been the case so far this year. I’ve never thought much of John Wall, but if this team begins to win games now that he’s back i may rethink my position on him.

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