Hanrahan: The Stockton Effect

Hanrahan: The Stockton Effect
November 11, 2010, 4:45 pm
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Thursday November 11, 2010 12:34 p.m.

By Frank Hanrahan


John Wall had a homework assignment this week. After turning the ball over too many times in his first 5 games, Wizards coach Flip Saunders told his prized rookie point guard to watch some game film of one the greatest point guards that ever played in John Stockton.

The shorts were super tight but so was Stockton's game leading the Utah Jazz for 19 seasons. Stockton was the master of the pick and roll and it didn't hurt to have another Hall of Famer running that two game man game with him in Karl Malone. Stockton left the NBA in 2003 as the all time assist and steals leader and later was a deserved Hall of Famer.

"It was about a 45 minute tape of Stockton that John (Wall) watched the last two days leading up to the Rockets game," Saunders said. All he (Wall) was talking about was how Stockton was so deliberate and how he played under control."

Safe to say the assignment paid dividends as Wall had his first triple double of his career in the win over Houston Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Wall scored 19 points dished out 13 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds had 6 steals and only had one turnover in front of another point guard legend in Magic Johnson, who sat court side as a guest of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

"It helped me a lot to to watch John Stockton even though it was back in the day," Wall said. " It helped me a lot."

Saunders knew Wall was very capable of a triple double, already flirting with it in the win over Philadelphia last week but the turnovers were correctable. "He was very much under control tonight," Saunders said about the triple double. "One turnover is impressive. To have as many assists as he did and have to just one turnover isimpressive. It shows you his intelligence and how coach-able he is to now put himself in a situation because I had been on him about the turnovers the last few days," Saunders said.

The highlight of the Rockets win was Wall's one handed alley oop jam off a feed from teammate Gilbert Arenas that got the crowd going. Now, John Stockton could play, but he couldn't do that.