Wizards

Wizards' Best PG in Summer League Wasn't John Wall

| by Hoops Karma

Playing without Summer League big man extraordinaire JaVale McGee (20 ppg, 9 rpg, 69% FG) on Saturday, Washington's starting point guard still put up a spectacular line: 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting (including a scorching 5-for-10 from downtown) and 9 assists. Not only that, even in an OT loss, this PG had a +13 point differential for the game, just a hair behind one victorious opponent who registered a +14.

 

This point guard wasn't who you think. John Wall, the #1 selection in last month's draft, sat out this final Summer League game to avoid injury. The phenomenal line above belonged to Lester Hudson. This game wasn't an anomaly for Hudson, either; it was simply his biggest one because he didn't have to defer to Wall. The relatively unknown PG shot 49% (20-for-41) over Washington's five games, 48% from downtown (12-for-25), and had 14 assists against only 6 turnovers (2.3).

 

If you saw the fourth quarter of Washington's great 90-89 win on Friday, you saw Hudson taking and making the final shot for the win at the buzzer, you saw Hudson controlling the ball in crunch time with the outcome on the line, and you saw Hudson defending the other team's primary ball handler while Wall picked up the next shortest opponent. The Wizards' coaches showed who they trusted with the game in doubt, and it wasn't face-of-the-franchise Wall.

 

Wall's summer looks good from a points and assists perspective, putting up pers of 24 and 8. But he shot a bad 38% over his four games, including only 1-for-8 from deep, and his 7.8-5.3 (1.5) A-TO rate is hardly what you'd call good for a point guard. His scoring primarily came from the free throw line (47 trips to the stripe in 4 games), but super fast guards tend to kill Summer League hopefuls, most of whom are a step too slow to ever make the league, so expect that one positive aspect of his offensive game to cool down once things tip off for real in October. On top of that, his man-to-man defense was porous, with guys like Harvard's undrafted Jeremy Lin driving on him at will.

 

It's not like Hudson is some great baller you'd expect to outperform the league's most-hyped rookie. He played 25 games in the NBA last year for two different teams, averaging 5 minutes per contest. His primary contribution in his one season of professional basketball was actually in the D-League, where he started 4 contests (20 games total), averaging 16 points on 44% shooting, and a not good 4.2-2.7 (1.6) A-TO rate.

 

That's the guy who had the Wizards' best game by a PG in the Summer League, someone with four D-League starts after getting picked 58th in the 2009 draft and playing collegiately at tiny UT-Martin. I know ESPN's anchors will tell you otherwise, but Wall has some serious work to do.