The Washington Wizards found themselves down 25 points with 5:27 left in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Phoneix Suns. Up to that point point guard John Wall only had five points and was not playing aggressively. The Wizards looked like they were done. The team had no energy and just could’t get anything going.
Then John Wall went into superstar mode and was a one-man wrecking crew and brought the Wizards back to set up an exciting finish. Wall scored 10 points over the final 5:27 of the third quarter and in what looked like a would be blowout, the Wizards found themselves only down by 10 heading into the fourth. He knocked down two three-pointers and kept the Suns’ defense on its heels with his speed running the break.
Wall was just as good in the fourth quarter. He tallied 14 points in the quarter and almost single-handedly won the game for the Wizards. Wall was a one-man fastbreak and was a blur. He had Suns guard Goran Dragic looking helpless on defense.
The Wizards got down by 11 with 3:03 to go in the game and Wall responded by scoring eight points in a little over a minute and a half to cut the lead to three points. Unfortunately, that was as close as it got for the Wizards, who lost 93-99, but it was one of Wall’s most impressive stretches of the season. He was as aggressive as I’ve seen him attacking the basket and it was thrilling to see. He was nearly unstoppable in the open court. Very few players are as explosive in the open court as Wall is. The Wizards need him to be aggressive more often.
The Wizards have lost four of their last five games and are playing some bad basketball at a bad time. The playoffs are quickly approaching. The Wizards have 11 games and even though they will most likely make the playoffs, there is still a possibility of them falling out of their first playoff appearance since the 2007-08 season. Wall needs to play these last 11 games like he did the last 17:27 minutes of the Suns game Wednesday.
Wall is the superstar of this team and needs to be at his best from the tip for these next 11 games heading into the playoffs. Being aggressive doesn’t even necessarily shooting the ball more. It means bringing energy from the tip, setting the tone, and putting pressure on the defense early and often. Wall’s energy last night in the comeback brought the team out of a 25-point hole. The Wizards won’t have to deal with any 25-point holes if Wall is aggressive down the stretch of the season.