Wizards Insider: Wall takes defensive challenge
John Wall may have excited the crowd on Wednesday against Milwaukee when he was alone on the fast break, raised the ball above his head with his left hand, dunked and swung on the rim. Although it was nice to see Wall soar -- especially since he took off from the same right knee that has given him trouble for most of the season -- the most encouraging scene may have been Wall clapping his heads and dropping into a defensive stance in an effort to slow down Brandon Jennings.
Jennings is still working his way back from a broken left foot, and hasn't regained his blazing speed, but Wall wore himself out chasing Jennings around and disrupting the Bucks' offense. Jennings led Milwaukee with 20 points, but he needed 24 shots.
"John worked his butt off, both him and Kirk" Hinrich, Coach Flip Saunders said. "I thought they did a good job on him. They limited him, he got 20, but he needed a lot of jacks, 24 jacks, and kept him to four assists, made him more one-dimensional."
Wall recently talked about the difficulty he faces every night he steps on the floor, against opposing point guards looking to leave an impression and teach some lessons. Wall made his name playing against Jennings at the Reebok Breakout Camp in 2007 and has sought out the second-year point guard for advice this season. In his first matchup against Jennings, he didn't want to be shown up.
"I approached it as taking the challenge. Something I'm going to have to do more often," Wall said after scoring 15 points with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. "I think I was doing a better job of getting over screens and when the guards get past, I kept coming and containing him. I've got to do it against all the other guards I play against, and it's not going to be an easy task."
Wall will face a more difficult challenge, with Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs in town on Saturday. "I know I can't give up on plays," he said. "Guards get past the big man, most of the time they are keeping their dribble alive and exploring the offense. I have to keep coming to chasing him. Even though you might get tired at times, you have to keep doing what you do to help the team win."