Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is back, and if you don’t believe me, gloss over his statline from the Wizards’ 88-87 season-opening win over the Orlando Magic.
Wall dropped a smooth 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals. He showed flashes of an improved jumper, and was destructive defensively, using his quickness, athletic ability and uncanny instincts to disrupt Orlando’s offensive flow. Oh, and he also hit what turned out to be the game-winner for the Wiz.
With Paul Pierce darting for the Los Angeles Clippers as he hopes to end his career by galloping off into the glow of a championship sun, Wall and the Wizards will need to look elsewhere for postgame heroics, and evidently Wall has no issue with shouldering that responsibility. Wall slithered around a Marcin Gortat pick, probed into the paint as much as the Magic’s defense would allow, then flipped up a floater that sank with 12.7 seconds left.
Orlando had an opportunity to win on the ensuing possessions, but center Nikola Vucevic clanked on a buzzer-beating jumper attempt.