Fantasy Focus: All About Wall

Instead of entering a drawn out negotiating process, the Wizards offered John Wall a maximum contract months before the deadline.

To begin the season, Wall has emerged as the franchise point guard Washington envisioned when selecting him first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. 

Through 13 games, the 23-year-old has reduced his turnover rate, increased his assists average, ranking second in the league at 8.9 per game, improved his defense, as he’s averaging a career-high 2.1 steals per game and developed a respectable long range shot.

Over the past week, Wall has been able to put everything together as he averaged 24.3 points, while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range, 8.5 assists, 2.8 steals while leading the Wizards to three victories in four games.

John Wall is becoming a premier distributor, only Chris Paul is averaging more than his 8.9 assists per game this season.

No matter what Washington has needed from its franchise player, Wall has been delivering this season.

During the closing seconds of Saturday’s contest against New York, Iman Shumpert had a seemingly easy fast break layup in hand, until Wall slashed through the lane.

The 6-foot-4 Wall elevated and emphatically swatted away the shot into the stands, drawing an ovation from the crowd at the Verizon Center and sealing the Wizards fifth victory of the year.

The rejection was part of a 31 point, seven assist, four rebound and two steal effort.

While Wall has always been blessed with terrific athleticism, he has displayed a better understanding of the offense this season.

Not only has he increased his assist production, Wall leads the NBA in secondary assists, a statistic that works like a hockey assist, basically a pass leads to another player immediately getting an assist.

The result has been Wall’s best season of his four-year career.

Only 58 days remain until the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans and with the way Wall has been carrying the Wizards offense he will likely be representing the Eastern Conference.

Biggest Surprise: Monta Ellis– Dallas Mavericks

Ever since he was drafted in the second round by Golden State in the 2005 NBA Draft, Ellis has been looking for a home. At times he has excelled, scoring in bunches and setting up teammates, but his shot selection was always in question. The Warriors even claimed the entire culture changed after he left. In 14 games with Dallas, the Mavericks are happy to have him. Over the past week, Ellis has averaged 28 points, 6.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, production welcome in any culture.

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Biggest letdown: Gordon Hayward– Utah Jazz

Hayward nearly set an NBA record, but not one he would like to ever approach again. A 1-for-17 performance in New Orleans left Hayward just one miss shy of tying Chris Bosh for most field-goal attempts with one make or fewer in league history. Hayward missed each of his eight attempts from 3-point range and because of a simple layup after an offensive rebound, he finished the night shooting .059 percent from the field.

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Pick ‘em up: Caron Butler– Milwaukee Bucks

A sprained shoulder was the only thing capable of stopping Butler from lighting up the scoreboard in Orlando, as he scored 20 points in 42 minutes for the injury depleted Bucks. Butler proved his performance wasn’t a fluke, as he poured in 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in a loss to Philadelphia on Friday. The production will continue to be streaky, but adding Butler is a good idea for any fantasy team in need of points.

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Put ‘em down: Chris Kaman– Los Angeles Lakers

Back pain has kept Kaman out of the lineup since last Sunday and the superior play of Jordan Hill will likely reduce his role to a reserve once he is ready to return to the court. In his 12 games with the Lakers, Kaman is averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. Since Hill was inserted into the starting lineup, he is averaging 17 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

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Injury watch: Andre Iguodala– Golden State Warriors

A strained hamstring will keep Iguodala out of the lineup indefinitely. While attempting to steal the ball from Nick Young during the Warriors loss to the Lakers on Friday, Iguodala came up lame and clutched his left leg. Harrison Barnes is still available in 32 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, so he if he is available, be sure to add him to your roster.

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Stat of the week: Kyle Korver– Atlanta Hawks

Only two games stand between Korver and a share of an NBA record. Korver knocked down a 3-pointer in the first quarter of Atlanta’s 94-87 loss to Boston to bring him within two games of the all-time record for consecutive games made with at least one made 3-pointer, held by Dana Barros. While Korver is shooting 52.9 percent from 3-point range and has made 37 shots from beyond the arc in 14 games, the way he is shooting is incredible. Korver has made 58 percent of his catch-and-shoot opportunities from 3-point range but has yet to convert a pull-up jumper from behind the 3-point line this year.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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