Sixers can learn from growth of Wall, Wizards

Sixers can learn from growth of Wall, Wizards

May 3, 2014, 11:00 am
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John Wall led the Wizards to 44 wins in the regular season and currently has Washington in the second round of the playoffs. (USA Today Images)

It has been more than two weeks since the Sixers ended their 19-win season, the third-fewest win total in franchise history.

As difficult as it was at times to watch the Sixers this past season, viewing the current NBA playoffs should give plenty of hope for what Brett Brown’s team can do in the future with more talent and development.

The Sixers can only hope it won’t take them as long as it took Washington to start enjoying postseason success again. The Wizards won just 19 games in the 2008-09 season, tied for the second-worst mark in the league.

The Wizards did improve to 26 victories the following season and then landed point guard John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick in the ensuing NBA draft.

They actually took some steps backward to 23 and 20 wins in Wall’s first two years. The Wiz recorded 29 wins in 2012-13 before they jumped to 44 this season as Wall blossomed into an All-Star and led the club to a first-round playoff win over the Chicago Bulls.

Wall played in all 82 games this season for the first time in his career. He also averaged 19.3 points and 8.8 assists per game, both career highs.

However, it’s Wall’s numbers as a rookie that are interesting as he laid the groundwork for the player he is now. Wall averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds during his first professional season.

Those numbers are very similar to Michael Carter-Williams’ stats from this season. Carter-Williams put up 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds a night for the Sixers.

The Wizards added pieces through the draft (Bradley Beal and Trevor Booker) along with players via trade (Nene and Marcin Gortat) to get them back in the playoff mix. Still, it all starts with Wall’s development into a franchise player.

The NBA is a point guard’s league these days. The game is run by elite PGs such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Stephen Curry.

Three of the last five Rookie of the Year winners have been point guards in Damian Lillard (2012-13), Kyrie Irving (2011-12) and Derrick Rose (2008-09).

When it becomes official that Carter-Williams wins the 2014 ROY award -- which we fully expect to happen -- it will mark a great accomplishment for him.

If MCW continues to progress in the right direction, he might just lead his team to a postseason meeting with Wall’s Wizards in the near future.

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