WASHINGTON — Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal reached an accord ahead of Monday’s game between the Wizards and Cavaliers: John Wall is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
Those were Barkley’s precise words — “John Wall is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference” — when comparing the Wizards guard to his Cleveland counterpart, Kyrie Irving, during the “NBA on TNT” broadcast.
Ernie Johnson noted that Wall is 18th in scoring (tied with Kyle Lowry for 17th, 23 PPG), and second in assists (10.4) and steals (2.21) per game.
O’Neal, moments later, agreed with Barkley.
“It’s a big game,” he said, previewing the matchup. “When you play against the champs, Ernie, you always want to bring your best. They’re going to be playing way above their heads.”
“But John Wall had slipped a little bit,” he said. “Last year we said him and Bradley Beal were the second [best] backcourt. He got injured, came in out of shape — as he alluded to when he was here on the show — but now he’s back in shape, he’s playing excellent ball.”
“He’s gonna be coming out ready to play hard and show people that, hey, you talk about LeBron, you talk about Kyrie, but you can’t forget Mr. John Wall,” Shaq continued. “He’s definitely in the conversation and I probably have to agree with Chuck on him being the best point guard in the East.”