Depsite The Wizards Stinking, John Wall Has Made His 3rd Straight All Star Team

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WaPo - This season has been an unmitigated disappointment thus far for the Washington Wizards, but they remain in playoff contention with 39 games remaining thanks in large part to John Wall’s improved play since Dec. 1. And the NBA’s coaches have rewarded the point guard for the effort by voting him onto the Eastern Conference all-star team as a reserve, the league announced Thursday evening. It will be the third all-star appearance – and third straight — for the 25-year-old Wall, who was voted in as a starter last season. He is the first Wizard to earn three all-star nods since Gilbert Arenas in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The exhibition will be played on Feb. 14 in Toronto. Usually surrounded by a shorthanded supporting cast, Wall is averaging a career-high 19.6 points, 9.9 assists, and 2.1 steals while playing in all 42 games this season entering Washington’s meeting with the Denver Nuggets Thursday. Wall was named the Eastern Conference player of the month for December and player of the week earlier this month. Since Dec. 1, he is averaging 21.3 points on 44.4 shooting, 10.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 4.4 turnovers in 29 games, and he’s shooting 37 percent from three-point range.

Classic good news, bad news situation. First the bad news: The Wizards stink. After going to back to back Eastern Conference Semi Finals, they have been hampered by injuries to basically everyone besides Wall this season and the proof is in the pudding. They’ve played with 8 active players, they’ve played with guys plucked off the street, Bradley Beal gets hurt every 3 days, Nene is 6’11, 250 and can’t rebound, and Otto hasn’t completely developed his game yet. Add in the fact the bench guys like Anderson and Humphries can never get on the floor, and that’s a recipe for failure. And oh yeah, Randy Wittman is still the head coach. I wanted him fired after the Wiz made the Semis 2 years ago. I wanted him fired after they made the Semis last year. And I, along with every Wizards fan, want him fired now (or at the end of the season). I don’t know if there is tons of reason to fire him mid-season, but as I’ve said the last 3 years now, this team is not winning a championship with Wittman at the helm. He’s taken these guys as far as he can take them. He’s a bottom 5 coach in the league…I mean not Byron Scott bad, but pretty bad, and the Wizards will never be able to take the next step with him coaching. The dream is obviously to bring in Luke Walton and KD next year, but knowing the way things work, I’ll get neither.

So then the good news: John Wall has made his 3rd straight All Star team, voted in by the coaches. While accolades like All Star Games don’t really matter, it’s good to see him get recognized by the coaches for his play this season. He’s averaging nearly 20 and 10 while playing without a shooter most of the season. His defense is outstanding and through all the troubles the Wizards have had this season, Wall has stayed brilliant on the court. He’s the only reason to even turn on a Wiz game at this point. So congrats to young John Wall, who despite being one of the best players in the league, is still probably underrated by casual fans.