The growth of John Wall can be seen in how he is defending, which is an area coach Randy Wittman has pushed him to be more assertive. Wall did that and then some in Friday's win vs. the Chicago Bulls, when he blew up an inbounds play between Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy because he'd seen it before.
Butler got the ball to Dunleavy, who was able to use a screen to get free from Trevor Ariza. The spacing, however, wasn't the best and Wall who was responsible for Butler, shaded towards Dunleavy on the catch which forced him to give up the ball. Then Wall peeled back to his man, Butler, in the corner. Ariza recovered to his man in Dunleavy.
The play broke down for Chicago as Nene ended up on Butler in a switch and blocked his shot at the buzzer for the 96-93 victory. It was their third in a row.
"I remember the play the other day when Mike Dunleavy got the same kind of shot," said Wall, alluding to the Bulls' 128-125 win at the Orlando Magic. "He hit a wide-open three against Orlando so I knew the inbounds (defending) guy was the only guy who could help in that situation."
That guy meant Wall himself. "I just wanted to stunt and get back to Jimmy Butler and then we just switched everything," he said.
Confirmed Dunleavy: "I got open, but unfortunately ... the inbounder's guy (Wall) jumped to me and I didn't have a shot so I passed it to Jimmy, and unfortunately we weren't able to get a good enough shot."