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Five months ago the Wizards won the NBA Draft Lottery, and with it the ability to select John Wall. There was never a plan B. Wall was the guy right from the very beginning. Just over a month later they made it official at the Draft. Ever since then Wall has been surrounded by a whirlwind of anticipation and expectation.
His performances in the Summer League and the preseason did nothing to lower the bar we had set for him. Wall has already played about a dozen games with a Wizards jersey on, but it doesn't feel like he has really arrived. Not enough people watch the Summer League or the Preseason to make what Wall has done so far a legitimate debut. Tonight is the night it becomes real.
Tonight the Wizards start their season, but more importantly, a new chapter in their franchise's history. Watching Blake Griffin throw up 20 points and 14 boards in his NBA debut last night only made me more excited about Wall playing tonight.
But it's important to remember that Wall is just a 20 year old kid, playing the hardest position in the NBA to learn. He'll be able to get by a little bit just on his athleticism and talent, but it is going to take some time for him learn how to be a point guard at the NBA level. If he has a few turnovers tonight, or even if he misses most of his shots, the sky will not fall. No matter what happens tonight, even if it's good, there will be better days. Expectations for Wall are high, but he can't meet them in one night.
I'm as excited for his first big dunk as anyone, but I understand that tonight (especially with Dwight Howard roaming the paint) it may not come. And I'm ok with that. I just want to see him on the court in a meaningful game. Tonight I get my wish.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Nick Faust will be making his college decision today. Testudo Times is starting to get very nervous.
- Part Three of Casual Hoya's Interview with a Male Cheerleader series.
- Black and Red United hands out the Richie award to D.C. United's most underrated player.