Los Angeles Clippers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
7:30 p.m. PST
January 29, 2014
FOX Prime Ticket
1. Solve this analogy – Chris Paul:John Stockton::John Wall:_________
Aaron Fischman, (@aaronhartf): Paul is a better scorer and rebounder than Stockton was, and of course, much more athletic, but it’s not a bad start to an analogy and these are fun to think about. I’ll say…Isiah Thomas. Wall’s pro career is fairly young midway through its fourth season, but he’s already proven to be one of the best passers in the entire league, just as Thomas was. Both players were/are extremely quick and like(d) to get their hands in passing lanes defensively.
Davis Vo, (@davisvo): I’ll cheat a few years and say Stephon Marbury. Personality and off-court issues aside, the two are very similar statistically during their first four years in the league. They both had problems shooting from the field, but used their quickness to get to the basket and dish out assists. Neither were at the very top of their position, but achieved more fame than their play might’ve warranted.
That said, I think Wall’s as far away from the type of player that Stockton is (in a bad way) as is his distance from being the type of player that, say, Stephon Marbury was (in good way).
Maybe the Marbury thing is irrelevant, as Wall has never really been compared to Marbury with any legitimacy. Maybe Wall is a much larger Terrell Brandon or semi-larger Jamaal Tinsley… but neither of those comparisons make me feel that great (even though we all remember when Sports Illustrated claimed Brandon was the best PG in the NBA).
With his defensive potential (i.e., chase-down blocks), I wouldn’t be wholly uncomfortable calling Wall a very mini-LeBron James, as Wall loved to pass to teammates coming into the league and needed to work a lot on his jump shot, similar to LeBron.
I’ll claim trick analogy; there is no answer. Although, in spurts, Wall seems to fancy himself an Allen Iverson-type, and that should definitely not be the aspirational comparison. Or, perhaps this is more apt: John Wall plus Even Better Jump Shot:On Road to Gary Payton.
2. True or False: At this moment, including injuries, the Wizards are more talented than the Clippers.
Fischman: False. The Wizards are a fairly deep team by Eastern Conference standards, but collectively they fall short of the Clippers’ team talent. When Bradley Beal returned in mid-December, Washington won five of six games, including four on the road. All those wins were against weak Eastern Conference teams. That’s fine, but they followed that stretch with a 7-8 January. Meanwhile, the Clippers have managed to flourish without CP3.
Vo: False. The Clippers have the best player between the two teams in Blake Griffin, and with the way he’s been playing, I have reason to believe that the Clippers would better than a .500 team in the Eastern conference. The young potential in Beal and Wall is enticing, but Griffin and Jordan aren’t exactly antiques.
Weidie: False. Did you ask this question just to play with me?
What puts the talent of these teams in different ballparks is the age of L.A.’s peripheral players, the coaching of Doc Rivers versus his chum and former teammate Randy Wittman, and the Wizards franchise’s inability to solve the player development riddle past no-brainer draft picks John Wall and Bradley Beal — looking at: Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton, and Trevor Booker.
3. One matchup to watch, non-Blake Griffin/John Wall Edition:
Fischman: Bradley Beal vs. J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford. While Beal’s three-point shot has cooled off a little since his red-hot start, he’s still the Wizards’ second leading scorer and someone to whom the Clippers must pay close attention, especially from deep. On the flip side, Redick and Crawford have been lights out since Paul’s injury, combining for nearly 13 attempted threes per game at a success rate of 43 percent.
Vo: Assuming he’s good to go, Redick vs. Beal will be a lot of fun. There’s a lot to like about Beal’s game, namely his 3-point stroke and playmaking ability. The same can be said about Redick, who I suspect will have a few tricks for the young guard.
Weidie: Marcin Gorat versus DeAndre Jordan has potential, but Trevor Booker versus Blake Griffin has much more potential:
- The two have a history of physicality with each other (GIF alert).
- Booker most certainly does not respect Griffin’s ability to flop.
- I predict fireworks and fun.
Honorable, honorable mention: Jan Vesely versus Antawn Jamison (a boy can dream).