Reflections from a reporter born in 1987

Wizards Notes: Wall trying to learn from his opponents

January 20, 2011 - 03:10 PM
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John Wall wants to add a Tony Parker-style floater, among other things, to his game this summer (Photo: Associated Press)

Two of the best point guards in the NBA come into Washington on back-to-back nights later this week. On Friday, Steve Nash leads the Phoenix Suns into the Verizon Center, followed on Saturday by Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics.

Opposing both players will be the great future hope of the Washington franchise, John Wall. Wall and the Wizards have each played Phoenix and Boston once already this season. On December 8, Nash scored 20 points and dished 17 assists as the Suns beat the Wizards 125-108 in the desert. Wall managed a very creditable 12 points and 12 assists in that one, but after today's practice at the Verizon Center, Wall acknowledged that the veteran had outplayed him, saying "He did a great job keeping the dribble alive."

Wall missed the Wizards' first meeting against the Celtics on November 17 with a sprained left foot. He watched from the bench as Rondo recorded 12 points and 13 assists as the Celtics beat the Wizards 114-83.

"They're two of the top point guards in the league," Wall said of Nash and Rondo. "It's gonna be a tough matchup but you have to come out ready for the challenge.

"You sit at home in high school or college, watching guys play, and you know that there are a lot of talented point guards. Not just [the likes of Nash and Rondo] but guys like Monta Ellis [of Golden State] and Kenyon Dooling [of Milwaukee]. There's always gonna be somebody who makes it difficult for you."

Wall's desire to improve himself on the court is no secret, and that desire also manifests itself in Wall's plans to incorporate parts of other prominent point guards' games into his own.

"I still play the same way I always do," Wall explained. "But there's always something you look for in other guys that you want to take into the offseason."

So, what weapon does Wall most want to add to his arsenal this summer?

"I want to shoot a floater like [San Antonio's] Tony Parker," Wall said. "And learn the system better."

Injury Notes

According to Wizards coach Flip Saunders, Josh Howard (left knee tendinitis) is "still a couple of weeks away" from returning to game action. Howard hasn't played for the Wizards since January 5, when he played 12 scoreless minutes in a 109-97 loss to Philadelphia ... Rashard Lewis (sore right knee) says he expects to play tomorrow night against Phoenix, but was unsure if he would play against the Celtics Saturday night.

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