Friday, October 29th, 2010 at 8:44 am  |  44 responses

Post Up: John Wall’s Debut

Not the smoothest of introductions.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Orlando 112, Washington 83

In his first NBA game, John Wall didn’t exactly fly over the bar Blake Griffin set the night before. After the Clippers‘ rookie astounded fans and garnered some (very) early Rookie of the Year buzz, Wall failed to match Griff against an Orlando team that made a helluva first impression. The Wizards’ guard finished with a modest 14 points (6-19 from field) and 9 assists, though to his credit, got little-to-no help from, well, anyone. Washington’s highest scorer was Cartier Martin—who actually played alright—with 17, and Kirk Hinrich (12 points) was the third and only other Wizard in double figures. In the meantime, the Magic cruised, jumping out to a 29-15 lead after one and never looking back. Dwight Howard dominated the Wizards’ big man rotation (JaVale McGeeAndray BlatcheHilton Armstrong), scoring 23 and grabbing 10 boards, while Vince Carter shot well (8-12) and dropped in 18. Nobody’s expecting Flip Saunders’ team to perform particularly well this season, but, if nothing else, they’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting when Gilbert Arenas returns in a few games.

And despite all this Washington-focused negativity I’ve been spewing, there’s still something incredible about seeing Wall in the open floor—I really don’t think a brick wall could stay in front of him. These guys might collect their share of L’s, but their point guard will undoubtedly remain a constant source of excitement and hope. So they have that goin’ for them, which is nice.

Phoenix 110, Utah 94

Right from the jump, this one was straight up All Phoenix Everything. In a game that Utah didn’t lead for a single possession, the Suns and their ”Let Steve Nash run around until he finds someone open for three” offense prevailed behind their point guard’s 18 points and 5 assists. Hakim Warrick went for 18 and 11, while Jason Richardson shot 7-14 and also scored 18. The Jazz were completely flat, though they did have some nice stat lines: Al Jefferson bounced back with 20 and 9; Andrei Kirilenko fought through the odds and somehow overcame the world’s worst haircut to drop 19; and Paul Millsap‘s 19 and 13 will make some fantasy owners happy.

Performance of the Night: Eh, why not: Hakim Warrick: 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and…
Moment of the Night: Warrick asks, “Amar’e who???

Alright, that’s it for me. The homie Anton will hold you guys down over the weekend, and I’ll be back Monday to kick off my first full week here at TPU. Stay safe, SLAM Fam.

Last note: Anyone prepping a sweet hoops-related Halloween costume? Let’s hear ‘em.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    Doug Collins is coaching the Wizards?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kulchakris

    Doug Collins might as well be coaching the Wizards (again), for all the good it would do. Too bad John Wall’s debut was overshadowed by the vast gap between an elite team (the Magic), and a team that, even with “two guns up” Arenas, will struggle to win 30 games.

  • IHaveADream

    Chuck said it last night…John Wall is Michael Jackson playing with a bunch of Randy Jacksons.

  • Waggle

    Flip Saunders… Even Collins’ squad looks better. Tought to averge close to ten assists with that roster.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Dwight is already DPOY, easily. Orlando is a beast this year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I cannot find a weakness with Orlando. Wow. Rashard looks great, Vince looks rested, the team itself is working amazing together. Dwight has really improved, his movement seems really good.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    Orlando-Miami should be an interesting game to watch tonight. By the way, was Bosh guarding Dwight when they played each other ? Sorry i didnt watch any Toronto’s games last year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kulchakris

    @James- Orlando’s weakness continues to be Dwight’s offensive shortcomings. Against a mediocre (at best) Wizards team? Not really an issue. Let’s see how they perform against an elite NBA team, and then judge.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Like 23 points in 29 minutes? He looks really good right now on O. Not “The Dream” good. But Dwight kept EVERYONE out of the paint last night for all 29 minutes he was on the floor. And while I was watching the game I thought Dwight only had 12/13 points but he had a quiet 23. Orlando is going to be a VERY tough team. Early leaders for the best record this year if they stay healthy!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kulchakris

    @James- I’m relatively new to the site as a commenter, but are you an Orlando fan? Just curious. All good points on Dwight’s performance, but again, this was against what will prove to be one of the worst defensive teams in the L. I’ll reserve judgement until they play a half-way decent team.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    Im predicting Orlando to win tonight, they should be able to exploit Miami’s weakness, the 1 & 5 spot. And im guessing Pietrus will play a lot of minutes trying to guard either Wade or Lebron.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Nope, ask anyone on this site and they will tell you who I am a fan of lol.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstySYD Hursty

    Flip Saunders…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    James slurps the juice from the tip of every Laker, near and far. LMAO!

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Wall is so f*cking fast. Also two predictions for this season : Wade is going to lead the league in steals and Nash is going to have a career year.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Also Hakim Warrick is going to be fine for the Suns, he’s not much a rebounder but if he can catch the ball on a pick and roll near the basket it’s an automatic two.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kulchakris

    @Eboy- Thanks for the insight.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    Ha! My bad. Was up late with The Post Up last night, and my brain slipped off the tracks. Of course it’s Flip.

    Also–I think there’s a little too much praise of Orlando going on here. They beat a pretty depleted Washington team. Let’s see how they do in a real close game, when they need a go-to scorer; that’s when they’ve fallen apart in the past.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Orlando looked focused and dominant. But, they were playing against a poorly coached team. However, I do expect them to beat Miami, although not as easily as Boston.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    *reverse jinx

  • Ben Flook

    As others have said, Orlando looked dominant! Also two games in and the Jazz look terrible, although it is only two games in. Adam although Wiz are beat up i think they are a lot better than they looked yday, but Orlando made them look that bad. Hakim Warricks dunk was huge!!

  • Ben Flook

    As others have said, Orlando looked dominant! Also two games in and the Jazz look terrible, although it is only two games in. Adam although Wiz are beat up i think they are a lot better than they looked yday, but Orlando made them look that bad. Hakim Warricks dunk was huge!!

  • Hammer

    Uh-huh. Like I said yesterday,give blake the ROY already. I know its only 1 game 4 both him and wall,but c’mon. Blake is hands down the ROY

  • JTaylor21

    Are you guys serious DHow was dominant? I must have being watching a different game because I saw NO signs of the dominance you guys talk about. Dude didn’t even perform one of those post moves Hakeem taught him and that was against a Center that swears he’s a guard and another that’s dumber than Miss South Carolina. If he couldn’t perform post moves on an average team like the wizards, what makes y’all think he will against Bos. frontline?????? If he didn’t go to the ft line 20 times he would have been lucky to score 15 pts. DHow and Offensive skills don’t mix like Wilt and moderation.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    14 points and 9 assists for a rookie point guard playing in his first NBA game is nothing to scoff at. I like Blake for ROY but I think are underestimating the fact that Blake learned a lot behind the scenes last year, attending practices and games, though not participating, sort of gives you an advantage. Still, it’s nothing compared to actually playing in games, I know, but I think Blake has more knowledge of the NBA game than other rookies as a result. Also, Miami vs. Orlando is gonna be… hot and magical! Yes, that was lame, I don’t give a sh*t, it’s FRIDAY!!!

  • Jagster

    @ enigmatic

    Wall got most of his numbers during garbage time. He was 3/14 shooting at one point and he was mostly out of control. He looked every bit like an NBA rookie and not a season pro. Let’s see what happens. He needs to slow down. This is not Kentucky anymore.

    Yeah. Orlando looked great. They also looked great in the playoffs last year till they played Boston.

    Javelle McGee has unlimited athletic potential. And the opposite in basketball skills. But hopefully he will learn.

    Let’s not pick on DHow so quickly. He’s got to integrate.


    Who’s the dumb one/Center. I’m assuming Javelle McGee (and LI is the one that thinks he’s a guard)? Lol.

    Yeah. I’m ready for tonight’s game. Gonna be up all night watching NBA games during this free League pass promotion till Nov 2nd.

    Miami, Boston, Clippers and Nets/Sac and a few others.

  • Jagster

    PS: I can also tell that John Wall (yes in one NBA game) is a willing passer, but not a natural passer.

    So he’s definitely has to slow down, cause he’ll just be jacking up shots, cause he’ll always be in front of his offensive team mates.

  • Jagster

    PS: 2 On Wall.

    Yes he’s very fast. But it seem he runs all out to often or all the time.

    There are other NBA guards that are just as fast or faster (please don’t ask me who or try to debate this guys; Draft Express reports combine times), but they don’t always run all out seemingly all the time so you tend to forget.

    You got to pick your spots and set up your team mates on the break, especially if your team stinks in the half court set. They would score easier that way (spot up threes on the break, hitting the trailing big man McGee or cutters to the hoop, constant motion, etc.).

    They’d still lose. But at least they won’t look so terrible, the next time we turn on the TV again to see wall or the team their playing.

    That game was a absolute stinker!!

  • NickthaQuick

    Quote from JTaylor from yesterday: ‘The Clippers have the best and deepest frontline in the league.” Not sure if this was Bill Walton hyperbole or a true measure of his basketball knowledge. They don’t even have the best frontline in their own city!

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Who else thinks Wall’s ceiling is Derrick Rose? I really don’t see anything more.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dwight looked dominant on defense. He pretty much did the same thing he always does on offense, although he looked a little better passing out of double. Then again, the Wizards were completely lost on defense, so who knows. I liked what I saw from Brandon Bass, Shard and Jameer. But, it’s hard to tell what was real because the Wizards looked so horrible.
    Speaking of horrible, I’ve never seen a Utah team play with such little energy and hustle. That was really bad. No excuses for Deron. If Chris Paul can make the Hornets competitive, he should do more than that with the Jazz team he has.

  • Aaron

    @JTaylor21 Dwight Howard spent 40% of the blowout on the bench. In the 60% (29 minutes) that he played he led all scorers with 23 points (at 78% on 7 of 9 shooting) including dunks, running hooks and a 15-foot jumper. He also led everyone in rebounds (10) and blocks (3). The free throw shooting was obviously terrible, but if that’s not a dominant performance in 29 minutes I don’t know what is.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    cosign nickthaquick and D12 and the Magic looked dominant indeed nut the Wiz will have a very high pick again, which is good for them actually, Wall needs more talent to work with…wow, suns owned the jazz, didnt expect that in salt lake

  • JTaylor21

    AllenP, of course he was a beast on D, everyone knows and expects that but what was everyone talking about this offseason about DHow? How he’s improved offensively, went to world renowned post doctor Hakeeem and would therefore unleash a new array of post moves but we saw NONE of that yesterday vs a tussie-paper soft front-line. People just have to realize that dude is too buff and stiff and lacks touch around the basket to ever be anykind of viable post-threat even someone like Shaq who was bigger; still had touch around the basket and was nimble enough to showcase a few post moves. @Jagster, yes McGhee is the paris hilton of post players but the center who swears he’s a guard is Andray Botch, dude must have bumped his head and woke up thinking he possesed CP size and skills, CHILD PLEASE!

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    guys, dont bother responding to JTaylor, hes a D12 hater but loves Chris Bosh, lol…now that shows you what hes about, defense does not matter to him…Bosh leads teams to 30/40 wins D12 leads his teams to 60 Ws and conference and NBA finals

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Chris Bosh > Pau Gasol individually. This season might not show it, though.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    They do the Post Up on weekends now? As for Halloween costumes. It is a recession, so in efforts to save money my costume is a r@pist and i am gonna be butta$$ naked.

  • Nigel

    Warrick signing with PHX was the smartest move he could have made for his career. He’s more of an athlete than a basketball player but no one notices when you’re in their system.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    JTaylor, I ask you the question: did Dwight even need the moves and counter-moves Hakeem showed him? I honestly don’t think so. We’ll see tonight if Dwight learned this offseason against a better defensive team. However, he was dominant last night even if he didn’t need to use his (hopefully) newfound moves.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Note: I don’t like Dwight. But.. If you’re gonna judge Dwight’s improvement (on offense) by ONE game in just the OPENING of the season, that just shows clueless you are.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    And if you really watched the game, you could see that he’s really trying and he puts himself into the right stance to make a post move. Ofcourse he still overpower his opponents a lot of times. Because that is his STRENGTH. He should never abandon that. But now he’s really trying to mix it up. Calling for the ball a few times a little higher in the post instead of planting himself in the deepest all the time. He will never make it perfect it in one offseason, in ONE game, or maybe even two years, but it isn’t too late to learn. *but i still don’t like him lol.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear


  • rob

    @Teddy. I KNOW RIGHT? wilson chandler is not bad at all. especially in the right system. i have given up all hope on any team d’antoni coaches cuz he cant get them anywhere. cant judge talent, and sure as hell cant make his team play defense.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    all the dudes in charlotte better watch their bungholes, betcats is on the prowl.