With a 47-point, seven-rebound, eight-assist performance for the Washington Wizards, John Wall is really starting to play like the guy who was a No. 1 pick in 2010. No seriously ask all these people on Twitter:
(That's just a small sampling.)
On the off chance you're looking for more verbose analysis, there's tons of it after the best performance of a talented freak's young career. The athleticism and passing ability has been there for a while. The ability to win games has been there this year, as the team is 21-16 with Wall, although a bad start as he recovered from offseason injury -- including a 0-12 start -- pretty much eliminated the Wizards from playoff contention. And recently, the superstar mode has been there, as he entered last night's game averaging 19.8 points and eight assists on over 50 percent shooting in March, per Dan Devine.
But he's rarely been unstoppable like he was Monday. With his jumper falling, a Wizards squad without Nene, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, and A.J. Price - basically, just Wall was healthy - beat the Grizzlies, a Western Conference contender. And the internet has given the performance the reaction it deserves.
Andrew Sharp at SB Nation wrote about how Wall might - might - deserve that max contract he wants this summer, even though the past three years often haven't shown how unbelievable he can be:
Monday was everyone's reminder that John Wall's not as far off from Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose as it seems. The player who arrived to the NBA dealing out triple doubles and vicious crossovers is still there, he's finally healthy and confident again, and if the jumper keeps falling, games like Monday are just the beginning. While the whole world falls in love with Kyrie Irving and his irrelevant Cavs team -- and uses Kyrie as a mirror to expose Wall's shortcomings as a no. 1 pick -- it's fair to point out that the Wizards have been a playoff-caliber team since Wall came back from injury.
Mike Prada at Bullets Forever looked at Wall's shooting form, breaking down his made field goals Monday frame-by-frame, and noted how far it's come:
Wall isn't going to hit all of these shots all of the time. If he did, he'd be the best player in NBA history... But this recent shooting improvement is no accident. Wall has made mechanical switches to his jumper, addressing so many critical weaknesses in the motion.
Eric Freeman of Ball Don't Lie also took an analytical look at the shots Wall took, and reached a similar conclusion - that we could see scary outings like this from Wall more and more often:
A cynic could label these numbers a fluke due to Wall's inconsistency, it may be more accurate to say so simply because these stats would be outliers for even the best players in the NBA...
The most impressive part of Wall's scoring night might have been the fact that he didn't rely on anything outside his normal range of abilities.
NBA.com looked at Wall's year month-by-month to show the dramatic improvement in the third-year point guard's game, in particular, his jumper.
On the other hand, John Wall? Not impressed:
John Wall: "I could have had 52. I missed five free throws."— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 26, 2013
The Wiz never had a chance this year with Wall out for so long. But if he's able to play like he did Monday night just once in a blue moon, and keep up his consistently strong play of late over the course of a season? You're talking about a very elite NBA player, and a team that can give teams like the Grizzlies problems on a regular basis.