The timing of the NBA’s announcement of John Wall’s suspension seemed a little off. There never is a rhyme or reason for those types of things, but more recently, the league has waited until the day of the game to release its punishments. So, when the statement came out shortly after 7 p.m. on Thursday, my immediate thought was the league had no interest in mixing the sour news of Wall’s reprimand for swinging at Zydrunas Ilgauskas on the same day it promoted his successes.
And now, less than 24 hours after he found out he was going to miss the first game of April, Wall was named Eastern Conference rookie of the month in March after ranking third among all rookies in scoring (18.1 points) and first in assists (7.3) and steals (1.67). Wall became the first player in franchise history to win Rookie of the Month honors three straight months.
The No. 1 overall pick had the best scoring month of his career, as he topped 20 points in six games. In a double-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Wall became the first Washington rookie to have 32 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in one game since Earl Monroe in 1968. He also had 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a win over Utah, and 26 points, eight assists, six rebounds and four steals in a win over New Jersey. Wall also averaged 4.5 rebounds in March, the best of his career.
Blake Griffin won Western Conference rookie of the month after averaging 20.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Jordan Crawford actually led all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring at 18.2 points. The Wizards pushed for Wall and Crawford to share the honor to no avail.