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Best in the East? John Wall is Definitely Up There

In this day in age everybody is a winner. Growing up, everyone gets some sort of trophy or recognition. Not everyone is considered the best though, as only the names of the most talented athletes stick out of the norm. That is why we have awards like: MVP, MIP, Coach of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, DPOY, and Rookie of the Year. Nobody will remember the painfully average Evan Turners of the world. They remember Michael Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron. Those players made their mark in every single game they play in. That is what sets them apart.

The argument for who is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference has always been a strong talking point. It even made it to the “Moments” page on Twitter! Everyone can agree that Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, John Wall, and Isaiah Thomas are the consensus top four. That being said, the East is surprisingly competitive at that position. Names like Rajon Rondo, Kemba Walker, and Goran Dragic deserve to be in the conversation as well. Unfortunately, greatness now measured greatly off wins, and not just individual player talent. Kyrie was simply an average guard with above average handles, and then LeBron came. Now he is in the conversation for best guard in the league. This leaves John Wall with less recognition. Wall has to put up incredible numbers to force his way into the conversation. We cannot forget the recent winning streak for the Wiz though, 7-3 in the last 10.

So who is the best? Individually it’s hard not to say John Wall; his numbers are better than any guard in the East. He does not have a LeBron or Derozan-type sidekick that he can throw lobs to and make the SportsCenter Top 10, but Wall makes quality basketball plays for teammates, and does more than his fill on the both the offensive and defensive ends.

For the season Wall is averaging 24 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds per game, accompanied by 3 steals, and half a block. Other guards simply do not post numbers like this. The only comparable guard would be Lowry in Toronto, who averages 21 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game. Kyrie is definitely a bona fide scorer, but dishes out a measly 5 assists and barely gets a steal each night. Rondo averages 7 assists per game but that is the only respectable number in his stat line, and even that is a considerable regression from the league-leading 11.2 assists he averaged last season. Respect to Isaiah Thomas for making a name for himself even though he is small, but like Kyrie, he too is a scorer, averaging 26 points, but only 6 assists.

There’s also this:

I can understand the argument of having to win. For example, Wall should not score a career-high 52 points and come out with an L, that’s for sure. Wall is the best in the East because he leaves his mark on every game; just like Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron. Every single team game plans for Wall, yet he still gives them the works. Matchups against other Eastern Conference guards always goes Wall’s way. He showed that last Wednesday night against Rondo and then showed up against Kemba Walker the game after.

While the argument for Wall being the best does have its flaws, it has less than any other guard. Wall deserves some respect, rather appreciation, for the player that he is. A stat-sheet-stuffer right in front of our eyes not getting any love. Appreciate good, all around basketball where you can, it is becoming a rare phenomena.

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