There were four games played today but really all anyone cared about was the debut of number 1 pick John Wall. Having sat baseline for this momentous occasion I can truly say, he's worth the hype.
The most impressive thing, beyond his amazing speed and basketball skill, was his floor leadership. Some guys just run the show when they are on the court. Chris Paul is like that. So is Kobe Bryant. John Wall has that as well. I could clearly hear him directing his teammates including the Wizards JaVale McGee who is two years his NBA senior.
Mike Prada was on-site and filed this report for Wizards blog Bullets Forever.
It took a while for John Wall to calm the obvious nerves he had entering tonight's game against the Warriors. His very first play ended in a turnover. His first jump shot bricked high off the backboard and ricocheted out to the three-point line. Not exactly the most impressive first four minutes by any stretch.
Sam Cassell noticed the nerves too. The Wizards' assistant coach didn't lie, basically admitting to reporters that Wall was a bit overwhelmed at the start. In response, Cassell kept checking in with Wall at nearly every dead ball, staying in his ear and just making sure Wall was calm.
"[I told him to] relax," Cassell said. "In the second quarter, he relaxed and just played basketball. He understood that the game doesn't change. The competition gets better, but the game doesn't really change."
Wall eventually did relax, and once he did, his game arrived. He scored 24 points and had eight assists, showcasing both his spectacular athleticism in the open floor and his much-improved mid-range jump shot. He also was a constant pest defensively and was able to set up many of his teammates - most notably JaVale McGee - for some easy shots.