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Wall gives LA new look in first start…

After not making the postseason a season ago with a 42-40 record and failing to win either of their two play-in games, the expectations for this Los Angeles Clippers team heading into this season is sky high. 

Of course the return of superstar Kawhi Leonard (torn right ACL) to any team should enhance their chances to win a championship, but the difference for LA might be the addition of John Wall.

Wall, who signed with LA during the offseason got his first start alongside Leonard and All-Star Paul George in their 119-117 preseason loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. 

He did not disappoint. 

He seemed to dictate tempo for LA all game, and had a couple flashy plays that received “oohh’s and aahh’s” from the home crowd when he went behind his back in transition getting all the way to the basket with the finish. He finished with a team-high 20 pts and got to the FT line on nine different occasions knocking down all of them. 

“My game in general is being a pass first point guard and attacking the paint and having so many great shooters and talented guys around me, and if you don’t help off them, then you just give me the opportunity to finish at the rim,” Wall said after the game.

Of those great players, Paul George, who gave the crowd something to cheer about with his windmill dunk in the 3rd quarter, was a huge reason why Wall ended up in LA during the offseason. 

“John [Wall] was definitely a piece I think was needed,” George said during the team’s media day. 

A career 19.1 ppg and 9.1 ast in 10 seasons, Wall is looking to bring that element this team hasn’t had consistently in head coach Ty Lue’s tenure. A guard that constantly puts pressure on opposing defenses with his ability to get to the basket. He wants other teams around the league put back on notice after Wall didn’t play last season for Houston as both sides seeked a trade, that he’s still the same explosive and feared guard he’s always been.  

“Out of all the guards in the league, I’m one of the best finishers in the league and getting to the line,” Wall said. 

You pair that with two of the best two-way players in Leonard and George, and a championship coach in Ty Lue. Then there should be expectations, the question now is can Wall help this team live up to them? 

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