Wittman pleasantly surprised to see Porter practicing
Coming off being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week by the NBA, John Wall's place in the hierarchy of point guards and his chances of being a first-time All-Star warrants further inspection.
Wall, who is averaging 18.6 points, 9.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in his fourth season, led the Wizards to a 3-1 record last week. He had consecutive 30-plus point games for the first time in his career. He posted 24.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, shot 50% from the field, 50% from three-point range and 88% from the foul line.
Wall faces the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) was an All-Star shoo-in, even though he wasn't playing as well as Wall, because of his popularity. But after surgery on his right knee to clean up a meniscus tear Monday his season is over. Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) missed time in the preseason and now has missed five of six games because of a left ankle sprain.
Other players on the 2014 official ballot at point guard: Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat), Raymond Felton (New York Knicks), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats),
- Rondo has yet to play as he recovers from right knee surgery, though he is beginning no-contact drills.
- Chalmers, Felton and Lowry would have to have unprecedented explosions in performance to surpass Wall.
- Irving was a first-time All-Star last year when he was selected as a reserve but has split head-to-head meetings with Wall this season. Irving is a better scorer, which gives him a big edge, but Wall's team appears to be headed to a better season.
- Walker is leading the surprising Bobcats to a good start, but he's averaging fewer points and rebounds (15.6, 4.0) and has less than half of Wall's assists (4.1).
- Jennings is at 15.7 points, 8.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds for the Pistons, but the Pistons have to win more. If it's a close race, the nod probably would go to Wall.
- Teague has comparable numbers in his best season at 18.8 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds, and the Hawks are higher in the standings. The one drawback he has is name recognition.
Balloting closes Jan. 20. Voting can be done online here.
The starters will be announced on TNT three days later. The game will be played Feb. 16 at New Orleans Arena.