John Wall Makes His Season Debut (VIDEO)

by January 13, 2013

As expected, John Wall suited up last night for the first time this season. Wall helped lead the Washington Wizards to a win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks. More from the WaPo: “The shot John Wall needed to fall, the one his teammates really needed to drop came late in the third quarter of the Wizards’ 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at Verizon Center. For Wall to completely take over the game in the final five minutes of his long-awaited debut — with three blink-of-the-eye dashes to the basket for uncontested layups — the Wizards’ electrifying point guard had to fully shake out the cobwebs, block out nerves and get a layup to finally drop. Wall scored the first three of his 14 points from the foul line, but was upset that he couldn’t connect on those two shots close to basket as he was fouled. In the closing seconds of the third period, however, Hawks point guard Devin Harris was defending when Wall crossed up Harris with a dribble to get him off balance, then lowered his head and attacked the basket. Wall felt the contact, then tossed a shot off the glass and circled his way to the foul line, taking a few pats on the chest before making the free throw to give his team a 73-66 lead. ‘At the beginning, I felt like I had jiggly legs,’ Wall said. ‘A couple of my layups, I left short because I didn’t have my legs. Once I felt the comfort level in my leg, I just started making plays.’ Wall said he didn’t feel any discomfort in his ailing left knee, but that bank shot opened his eyes to what would be possible later in the game: not only would be able to get inside at will but he could also finish when he arrived. […] ‘It’s exciting because it’s a lot of times they’ve been in the game with us but we don’t close out in the end or get a turnover or we can’t score down the stretch and that’s tough,’ Wall said. ‘That’s my job to come in and make it easy, get us open shots. We make ‘em, we make ‘em, if not, we don’t.’ Wall made the shots that mattered late against the Hawks but that off-balance banker late in the third set the stage for that exciting finish. ‘My teammates trusted me,’ Wall said. ‘Gave me the ball and told me to make plays and I basically did that.'”