Is John Wall Really the Best Two-Way Point Guard in Basketball?
After being challenged by ‘The Black Mamba’ Kobe Bryant himself to crack First Team All Defense, it didn’t take John Wall to voice a very confident opinion.
“I’m the best two-way point guard player in the league,” he said.
1st team all defense https://t.co/zbee5KUe6h
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 27, 2017
Chicks dig the long ball is how the saying goes.
Aaron Judge has been a marvel to behold simply by his insane, off-the-charts power, yet even at his size, he can still lay-out for a highlight-reel catch in right field. Many fans know of the home run power, but very few know of his defensive prowess. He isn’t a top right fielder by any means, but he is more than serviceable for the position.
In basketball, things are no different. Professional sports, the NBA included, really just boils down to one thing, at least in the eyes of tens of millions of fans that watch it – entertainment. The NBA is entertainment. Watching Aaron Judge belt bombs 500-feet is entertainment. Watching incredible scoring feats is entertainment.
In a world of entertainment, comparing the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley would appear to be ludicrous on the surface. Thomas is ‘Mr. Fourth-Quarter’, the little man who can very rarely be stopped on the offensive end. Thomas’ ability to score at will, especially for his size sells. It’s incredible to witness, so when comparing the two players, the player that can score more will almost always get the nod over the other.
No dad will ever take his son to a basketball game to watch Patrick Beverley’s gritty, hard-nosed defense. But every dad will surely take his son to watch Steph Curry drop three-pointers from the other side of the Bay Area.
Now when you analyze both Thomas and Bradley in a deeper sense, you will realize the value that a player like Avery Bradley possesses. Yeah, Thomas can score a ton, he’s an underrated passer too, but Avery Bradley has a very special and rare skillset. He is the best perimeter defender in the league, who can put up 18-to-20 points on a nightly basis. He can stretch the floor, he can score at an effective clip, and be even more valuable on the other end.
So now tell me, is Isaiah Thomas really the more valuable player?
That brings us back to our original topic of conversation – John Wall.
His statements can seem bizarre at first glance.
I mean, Russell Westbrook? Stephen Curry? Ever heard of them? Three MVPs and two NBA titles shared between both players.
As for John Wall? He plays in the Eastern Conference, the same conference that LeBron James has run through for nearly a decade. He doesn’t get triple-doubles, he doesn’t shoot threes from different area codes. He’s not even like James Harden who can do a little bit of everything where the stat sheet is concerned.
But what John Wall is, is the best two-way point guard in all of basketball.
Unfortunately for Wall, he is stuck on the Wizards. Marcin Gortat is his centre and you probably cannot even name the point guard who is set to back him up this coming season. He will not lead his Wizards to the NBA Finals, he may not even reach the Finals of his own conference, but on the topic of best two-way player point guard, all of the outside noise is everything but that – outside noise.
To really determine if John Wall is truly who he thinks he is, you have to compare players in a vacuum on skillset alone.
So let’s settle this once and for all, what is John Wall all about?
On the surface, you see the flashy behind-the-back moves, the nasty crossovers and the highlight reel dunks, the swagger with which he plays on the offensive end, but diving into the numbers shows the true value of who Wall is as a basketball player.
Offensively, last season he has a better offensive rating than Damian Lillard, while boasting a better defensive efficiency rating than Russell Westbrook himself. He averaged just two fewer points than Steph Curry, but nearly four more assists, while shooting at nearly the exact same shooting percentage.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. No one is calling John Wall a better offensive player than either Westbrook or Curry, or a better defensive player than say a Beverley, but if we blend both ends of the floor together to produce a point guard who can put in great work on both ends, you will get John Wall – the best two-way point guard in the game.
And to many it may come as a joke, but unfortunately, there is no honour given out for best two-way player. There is no room for Washington on the national TV schedule when the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics, and the Houston Rockets steal all the spotlight.
But to those same people I have one simply request – go watch a Washington Wizards game.