We have been fortunate to watch some highly competitive basketball thus far in the Celtics-Wizards series. John Wall and Isaiah Thomas have been stealing the show each game, with dominant performances in each one of the four games.
Isaiah Thomas dominated the first two games with 33 points and 9 assists in Game 1, and a historic performance in Game 2 with 53 points, two points shy of Allen Iverson’s record performance of 55 points in 2001.
Then, it was John Wall’s turn. Wall had himself two pretty good performances in Games 1 and 2, but performances of 24 points and 8 assists in Game 3 and 27 points and 12 assists in Game 4 propelled the Wizards to tying the series 2-2. Wall joined the likes of Russell Westbrook, Allen Iverson, and Gary Payton as the only players to total 25 points, 10 assists and five steals in a postseason game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Both of these players have had tremendous series thus far, but John Wall will prevail in the matchup of the dynamic point guards. Wall has recorded 10 consecutive playoff outings this year with at least 20 points and seven assists, the most in a single postseason, per ESPN. Michael Jordan was only able to achieve that same statistic in seven straight games.
Wall is joining some pretty elite company. The “Optimus Dime” is averaging 28.8 points, 11.1 assists, and 2.2 steals this postseason.
John Wall has been carrying this team since they started a low 2-8 to start the year and has been the face of this team this whole season. The reason why Wall is going to be able to win the battle over Isaiah Thomas is his leadership ability.
John Wall has shown why his presence on the floor is necessary during the playoffs. When he is on the floor the team’s offensive rating is 110.5 per 100 possessions, but when he is off the floor, the teams offensive rating drops to a mediocre 100.7 per 100 possessions.
Wall has also been dominating when Isaiah Thomas is on the floor. Wall is shooting 62.5% from 10-14 feet against Thomas and 52% from 5 feet and in. When Thomas is off the floor, Wall has yet to hit a shot from 10-14 feet and is only shooting 33% from 5 feet or less.
On the flip side for Thomas, when Wall is guarding him, he is shooting 43% from 25-29 feet, so both of these players have had their fair share of offense (statistics from NBA.com/Stats).
Statistically, it has been a battle between these two, but when it comes to Wall being a player that almost doubles Thomas’ in assists, 5.6 to 11.1, Wall has been able to create more opportunities for not only himself but his teammates.
Let’s not get it twisted, the Wizards have their hands full heading into Boston for Game 5. The Wizards will have to avoid sloppy turnovers that turn into easy points for Celtics shooters. Otto Porter is key to John Wall’s success because, with a career season for Porter, he has been the best wing player that Wall has probably had in his career.
It is going to be a fun battle to watch, but John Wall will have the opportunity to show why he is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.