Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wall not doing enough, according to LZ Granderson

In a recent ESPN article titled "NBA rookie class: Worst in a decade?" LZ Granderson praises Blake Griffin while criticizing many highly drafted rookies from the 2010 NBA Draft. Granderson even took a shot at John Wall:
Top pick Wall has all the talent to develop into the next great point guard and is in the top 10 in assists. But as of now he's a player averaging 14.8 ppg on 40 percent shooting on a sub-.300 team, and the Washington Wizards pretty much have the same record they had a year ago.
All of those things are true, and yet it just doesn't seem fair. First of all, Wall isn't just top 10 in assists -- he's sixth, with 8.9 assists per game. The next closest rookie is Eric Bledsoe, who's averaging 3.9 assists per game.

Granderson's point about shooting better is valid; everyone, including Wall himself, knows that he needs to be more efficient and make more of his shots. That was one of the main concerns about Wall when he left Kentucky -- he would need to improve his jumper. However, Granderson fails to mention that NBA rookies (primarily point guards) don't generally put up the kind of numbers that Wall is. In fact, only two other rookies have ever put up seasons with at least 14 points and 8.9 assists per game: Oscar Robertson and Damon Stoudamire. Wall still has part of the season to go, but I'd still say that that's rather impressive.

Is it a shame that the Wizards (14-38) aren't winning more games? Yes, definitely. But Wall doesn't exactly have a ton of talent around him, and it's hard to place a large share of the blame on the rookie's shoulders. He's still having a pretty excellent season, though apparently that's not good enough for Granderson.

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