Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wizards win again as Wall, McGee impress

It's been a while since I paid this much attention to the NBA Summer League, but then again, it's been a while since the Wizards had a young player as talented as John Wall.

In a 90-89 victory over the Hornets, Wall, in 35 minutes, scored a game-high 31 points. He also tallied six rebounds, three assists, and three steals while committing just two turnovers. He took 23 shots, making just 10 of them, but he also got to the free thrown line 13 times, also making 10 of those.

In four games, Wall is averaging 23.5 points, 7.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 steals. He's shooting only 37.7 percent from the field and has turned the ball over a little too much (5.2 turnovers), but after turning the ball over 16 times in the first two games, he's committed only five turnovers in the last two. Oh, and Wall has also gotten to the free throw line 47 times. Not bad for a rookie getting his first real taste against professional competition.

While Wall's game-to-game progression has been exciting to watch -- and will be immensely more so during the actual season -- JaVale McGee has also been impressive. McGee, who will be entering his third year in the NBA after being drafted in the first round (18th overall) by the Wizards in 2008, has shown a lot of potential but hasn't necessarily done much with it yet. Could the upcoming season, in which he's currently slated to be the Wizards' starting center, be a breakout campaign for McGee? If his play in the Summer League is any indication, he certainly has a chance.

In four games, McGee is averaging 19.5 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 68.8 percent from the field. He's still turning the ball over (3.0 per game) and fouling a little too much (4.5 per game), but McGee looks a little stronger and seems more interested in mixing it up a little more in the paint. Here's a nice play inside, with a strong finish, for example:



Then again, McGee still has a tendency to make plays like this:



On the one hand, that's a great move by McGee, especially considering he's a seven-footer. But on the other hand, how often is he going to be able to do things like that during the regular season? Once, maybe twice? He can do phenomenal things on the basketball court -- likely things that no one else in the NBA can do -- because of his height, length, and athleticism, but I can't be the only one who would rather see McGee hanging around the basket instead of incorporating behind-the-back moves from the top of the key into his game. Playing with Wall should likely make the game easier for McGee. There's no reason why he shouldn't keep moving and rolling to the basket. If he's open, Wall will find him.

Besides Wall and McGee, Lester Hudson added 14 points on 5-10 shooting. He also hit the game-winning shot. (Head on over to Truth About It to check out the shot by Hudson and to see a huge dunk by McGee in the game. That's more like it, JaVale.)

Rookie Trevor Booker added seven points and five rebounds. Cartier Martin certainly didn't have his best game -- three points on 1-10 from the field -- but he did grab six rebounds, so that's something.

Looking for more? Here's a few Wizards-related Summer League links:

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