Before the Los Angeles Clippers took down the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, Doc Rivers had some high praise for John Wall.
He’s playing like an MVP candidate.
Per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post:
#Clippers Doc Rivers says John Wall has been "MVPish" & "If it wasn't for those other two guys, people would probably be talking about him."
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) March 30, 2017
Rivers is correct. On both fronts.
John Wall has been absolutely sensational this year. He’s posting career-high numbers almost across the board, and NBA Math’s Total Points Added rates him as the 17th-best player in the league this season. If James Harden and Russell Westbrook didn’t exist, Wall would be getting residual MVP dap, just behind LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.
The same can be said for a bunch of other players. Nikola Jokic has played like a top-10 talent since rejoining the Denver Nuggets’ starting five. Isaiah Thomas is having one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history. Giannis Antetokounmpo is obliterating expectations and the laws of physics nightly. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, prior to injury, are having better seasons than most people realize.
Alas the MVP ladder has, ostensibly, become a two-man race. At most, it is a four-man dash between James, Leonard, Harden and Westbrook. Players deserving of more recognition, even if it’s not precisely MVP-level recognition, are going to be left out of the conversation. But that doesn’t mean Wall hasn’t been great. Because he has.
This is the best version of him we’ve ever seen.