John Wall was at his very best last night in Denver: hanging 19 points and 16 assists on the Nuggets, snatching the endgame away with a flurry of buckets and assists, doing that John Wall thing where the court and the basket and all the players start to seem like a big circuitboard and the ball is just a signal pinging around it at the speed of light, propelled by John Wall's brain and legs and will.
The play above capped off a little 7-0 run the Wizards threw at the Nuggets shortly before the end of the third; it's just such a gorgeous little bit of point guard play. The between-the-legs bounce pass to Marcin Gortat is just the filigree, or punctuation; what I love is what comes before, the drive to the middle of the floor to turn Gortat's run to the rim into an impromptu pick-and-roll six feet from the hoop, and then that little herky-jerky hesitation, juuust enough of a gesture toward a floater to freeze Jusuf Nurkic in front of the rim and create space for the pass. Take it all in: the feel, the kinesthetic sense of it, the skill to manipulate the pieces around him with a few small movements, the calm confidence to wait and let it happen, and then that slick pass, which was in Gortat's hands and at the rim before Nurkic figured out that Wall hadn't just been crossing over. I just love it.
It's the kind of play great NBA point guards make, sure, but this is a particularly sweet one. The Wizards won in overtime, 117-115; Wall scored or assisted on 16 of their last 21 points, including all of their final ten. He's so much goddamn fun to watch.