One True Building Block

My latest at the Washington Post.  This one looks at John Wall’s rookie season.

Lemme see — I’ve written that the Wizards should trade Andray Blatche and avoid a major investment in Nick Young. Let’s turn the focus to a positive — the development of the team’s one true franchise bedrock: John Wall.

Despite injury struggles, a balky jumper, and inconsistent defense, Wall has so far produced a solid rookie season that suggests he’s a player the team can build around. Wall’s blazing speed and aggressiveness with the ball make him a one-man fastbreak that consistently worries the opposition. His ability to get to the rim in the open court — despite multiple opponents getting back in an effort to cut him off — is in the upper echelon of the league’s point guards.

Only six players since 1979-80 posted rookie seasons comparable to Wall’s play so far this season (at least 1,500 total minutes with a minimum of 13 points, 8.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per 36 minutes).

Read the rest.

One addition to the story — APBRmetrics analyst Mike Goodman asked his Euclidian Similizer to generate players who had individual seasons similar to Wall.  Here’s the list:

  • Erick Murdock — blech
  • Rod Strickland — a flawed player, but Strickland could penetrate and dish with the best
  • Jamaal Tinsley — career imploded because of a bad attitude and a refusal to stay in shape
  • Andre Miller — steady and very solid PG with a long career
  • Sleepy Floyd — dynamic player at his peak, but his peak was brief
  • Brent Barry — seems strange at first, especially since Barry was a GREAT shooter.  But, Brent was also a high-flyer in his early days and he generated a goodly number of assists.
  • Brian Shaw — solid but unspectacular guard who had a good career
  • Kenny Anderson — a schoolboy legend and All-American at Georgia Tech, Anderson never quite lived up to that potential as a pro. Still, Anderson did play 14 seasons and appeared in one All-Star game.
  • Mike Bibby — a solidly above average PG now in his 13th season
  • Terry Porter — 17 seasons.  A career PER of 17.2; peak PER of 21.7. Career playoff PER of 17.0. Two All-Star games.
  • Tim Hardaway — already addressed in my article for the Post.
  • Darrell Armstrong — didn’t arrive in the NBA until age 26, but still played 14 seasons. Peak PER was 22.0. Won Most Improved and 6th Man of the Year award.
  • Robert Pack — Extremely talented player who kept getting hurt. His best season was in Washington (95-96) when he averaged 18.1 points and 7.8 assists. Unfortunately, he got hurt and played just 31 games that season.

2 thoughts on “One True Building Block

  1. Love your wall-to-wall coverage of Wizards and John. BTW, what ever happed to Sleepy Floyd. Where is he now? or should I contact Big Johnto find out?

    The F man


    1. Can’t find anything recent about Sleepy. The San Francisco Chronicle has a “Where Are They Now” story about him, but it was published 10 years ago. I’ll see if anyone at APBR knows.


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