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Game Notebook 20, Wizards vs. Celtics: Wall’s spirited heroism overcomes Celtics comeback attempt

Wizards 133
Celtics 132 (2 OT)

December 8, 2014 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC


In loving memory of Miyah Telemaque-Nelson. Rest in Paradise, ‘little buddy’.

His tears simply couldn’t be withheld. His emotions towered as the world and all its material shrunk into insignificance. For John Wall, a devastating life experience broke him into speechlessness and humility, even after one of the biggest games of his basketball career.

Earlier that Monday, Wall was awoken by a disheartening text message informing him that his little buddy, six-year old Miyah Nelson had passed after losing her battle with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. For those who aren’t aware, Wall had been supporting Miyah through her illness and helped her achieve the dream of meeting her favorite pop singer, Nicki Minaj and in the process, forged a strong relationship with the embattled young girl.

On Monday evening, the grieving John Wall would will his team against the Boston Celtics and overcome a near-collapse with a thrilling double overtime victory, scoring 26 points and reaching a career high of 17 assists in the process. In loving memory, John dedicated the win and his performance to Miyah Nelson.

John Wall’s humility and humbleness have actually been transparent traits well before Miyah’s story came about, regardless of whatever insinuations Colin Coward has made (yes, I purposely misspelled his name). John Wall is a man who has endured the pain of losing a father and a rough childhood; a man who neglected succumbing to failure by fighting through a myriad of tribulations in his path to basketball stardom; and a man who has always handled his grudges only through hard work and proving his doubters wrong. This makes it of absolute no surprise that the loss of Miyah seared through his emotions the way that it did. And just the way he handles his grudges, Wall handled his grief and emotions by taking it out on the hardwood and on the Boston Celtics with his late-game heroism. As the Wizards’ 23-point lead dwindled away and lured them into a second overtime period, Wall had just about enough, scoring the team’s final 10 points including the game clinching and-1 on a foul that was fittingly committed by Evan Turner.

His emotional post-game interview with CSN’s Chris Miller touched all who watched it and proved that indeed underneath the stardom and uprising celebrity status, there exists a well-natured, unpretentious human being. Total class all around.

Here at Hoop District, all of our thoughts and prayers are with Miyah’s family, while our support and love for John Wall continues to increase.

Moment of the Night

Game Notes and Highlights

  • While Marcin Gortat started off a little slow again, it was Paul Pierce who was hot. An and-1 broke ice and a few plays later he sank a short jumper. He also set a nice off-ball screen to get Bradley Beal open behind the arc. Watch:

  • It’s got to be so much fun for a stretch 4 to run pick and rolls with John Wall. Kris Humphries sure thinks so. Hump went 4-5 in the first quarter, two of them by way of John Wall. He also splashed one right over Kelly Olynyk’s luxurious hair, likely setting off a whiff of Tresemme shampoo.

  • Jokes aside, Olynyk is an unavoidable presence whether you like it or not. He exploited some mismatches well last night, created some second chance opportunities on the glass and got to the line. Still annoying as hell to watch, though.

Paul Pierce finds the backdoor. John Wall finds him.

The Professor, also a man of mystery. You simply never know what he’s going to pull off, until he pulls it off.

Two big plays in the overtime periods:

First, the 3-point shot that saved the first overtime. I mean, is this not why Paul Pierce is here!?

Then, we know John Wall can make a beautiful play, but *Kat Williams voice* this shit right here yo.

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