James Harden had a similar ending. But both were fantastic.
John Wall was nowhere to be found in the final quarter-plus of Game 7 against the Boston Celtics. He was everything in almost every playoff game before, and the thing in Game 6 when he stepped up to hit the game-winning three-pointer, but he couldn’t find any rhythm to close out the final half of the series, scoring zero points on 11 missed shots in 19 minutes.
It was a bizarre night altogether, with Kelly Olynyk pouring in 26 points from inside and out. No Wizard could find an answer to his aggression on the block or finesse from downtown. Not even the best point guard in the East, who still finished with 18 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds, could out duel the long-haired flamethrower. It just wasn’t Wall’s night despite an impressive stat line others would champion themselves over.
John Wall made his claim for the best point guard in the Eastern Conference
Wall is often an afterthought in top point guard discussion behind Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and so on, and even though he might not be on that level yet, he isn’t overwhelmingly behind. He has newfound supporters in his bid for the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
Two 40-point showings stood out, and his three-point shot showed life besides in his final game of the season. He was the Wizards’ catalyst all season long.
He was this good in the regular season too
Wall averaged a career-best 23 points, 11 assists, and two steals in what was almost unquestionably his best season ever. He’s 26 years old, just entering his prime, and he is bringing the best out of the team’s up-and-comers like Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre, who surprisingly went without a second of play in Game 7.
He wasn’t given a new roster to mess around and throw up these monster stats with, Wall has grown into this superstar role. He nearly took a team of largely the same roster as a year ago to the Eastern Conference Finals.
He’ll likely hear the same slack James Harden was thrown after his miserable final showing in Game 6 of the Rockets–Spurs series, but that’s nonsense. He rose another tier in fans’ minds through each spectacular showing on national TV.
He’s only going up from here.