Wittman, Wall differ on 'learning' from Paul

Wittman, Wall differ on 'learning' from Paul
December 15, 2013, 9:00 am
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John Wall not discouraged by Wizards four game losing streak

Every time John Wall faces an elite point guard such as Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, always expect this predictable question: What did the fourth-year player, who signed an $80 million max extension in the offseason, learn? 

Maybe it was more relevant of a question Saturday, when Paul -- widely regarded as the best point guard in the NBA in his ninth season -- registered a game-high 38 points on just 14 shots and dished out 12 assists in a 113-97 victory.

"I think he learned something tonight," said coach Randy Wittman, who indirectly questioned Wall's leadership after an overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks nine days ago and his team's "carefree" attitude. Wall disagreed on both of those counts, too. "But that's part of the process we're all in. Trust me, Chris Paul learned some things early in his career from different guys. That's part of the league. I hope he learned something from that tonight. He was good."

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Wall scored 24 points on 16 shots and also had 12 assists. He kept the Wizards (9-13) viable but could never quite get them over the hump after falling behind by as many as 22 points. This is clearly where Wittman wants Wall to get better: "If you were sitting close enough to the floor to listen to those five that they have on the floor talk to each other during the course of the game, I told our guys, 'We don't talk to one another like that on the floor.' ... That's why they're pretty good and we've got to get to that point."

Wall, however, was a dismissive when asked about "learning" from Paul -- probably in part because he's tired of being asked and can come across as a tad condescending. "Not at all. I think I did a great job of running my team in the floor game, trying to get guys shots and making plays. I think they just made more plays than us. He's a heck of a point guard. You look at him, you try to take things from his game but they have a system, they run it. We have a system, we run it. They just made the more plays."

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