I’d probably come to your attention that John Wall is kind of a big deal. He’s been the anticipated No.1 overall selection since the start of the college basketball season, and has become one of the most hyped picks of the last decade. His upside is based not only on his ridiculous athleticism and talent, but the fact that his game is so much better suited for the NBA style.
But let’s not undersell the athleticism. Particularly in light of his draft camp performance.
There are tons of reasons to disregard the NBA draft camp. Most players don’t participate in the basketball drills. The agility and leaping drills have led to many players being overrated who simply can’t play basketball. There’s just more to basketball than the physical tools. But we can use the measurements and testing as another tool in our evaluation.
And using it in that manner? Wall’s off the charts.
In the measurements, Wall posted a 6-9.25 wingspan. You can think of the relevance there in terms of his ability to contain large, long guards like Rajon Rondo. You can also use it when projecting his ability to create his own shot over long players and rebounding prowess. As a comparison? Wall’s wingspan was longer than expected No. 2 pick Evan Turner’s 6-8 wingspan. Turner is 6-8 in terms of height, while Wall is 6-4, and yet Wall has a longer wingspan. That’s incredible.
The 25 yard dash was also ridiculous for Wall, who posted the top time of his group with a 3.14. As a comparison, Darren Collison, who is considered one of the fastest players in the league, posted a 3.10. So Wall wasn’t unbelievable, but he was still stunning. His vertical and other numbers will be available later in the week, but it should be noted:
John Wall is every bit the freak of nature we think he is.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.