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Matt Buser

Court Report: John Wall is awesome, all precincts reporting

Matt Buser
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The election results from around the country weren't the only things causing a stir in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night.

John Wall(notes) provided some serious fireworks for the Wizards in their home opener on Tuesday, a 116-115 overtime win against the 76ers. Wall was in a walking boot Monday after spraining his right ankle Sunday, but played 45 minutes and scored 29 points (9-16 FG, 11-14 FT) while adding 13 assists, eight turnovers, and a whopping nine steals. Wall displayed his dazzling quickness and speed on both ends of the court and certainly gives Wizards fans something to be excited about, even if they aren't going to win a ton of games this season.

While we're on the subject of things for Wizards fans to get excited about: Gilbert Arenas(notes) (ankle) is expected to return to practice Wednesday and is hoping to make his season debut Friday.

That's more like it, Jrue Holiday(notes)! Holiday played 41 minutes in the loss to the Wizards and turned in his first double-double (14 points, 13 assists). He had no threes and did have six turnovers, though, so it wasn't quite a resounding game like Wall had, but this should at least stop the "should I drop Jrue Holiday?" questions for a bit.

Louis Williams(notes) had yet another productive offensive game (30 points, 3 treys, 15-17 FT) and has averaged 19.8 points, 87-percent foul shooting, 2 threes, 4.3 assists, and 2.3 turnovers through four games. His Tuesday minutes came at the expense of Andres Nocioni(notes) (16 minutes, 2 points) and Thaddeus Young(notes) (18 minutes, 8 points), and Williams' strong play certainly will force Doug Collins to continue to find ways to get him playing time.

Elton Brand(notes) turned in another strong line (21 points, 9 boards, 4 steals, 1 block) and his season averages in four games include 3 steals and 1.8 blocks in 37 minutes … Spencer Hawes(notes) still looks a bit slow (16 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound), but Collins acknowledged earlier in the week that it's likely due to his missing most of the preseason with a back injury. That qualification is going to stop applying at some point, but the situation is worth monitoring until either he starts contributing or Collins decides that it's time to go another direction.

The Hawks got another solid performance for Mike Bibby(notes) (28 minutes, 15 points) to move to 4-0, while Jeff Teague(notes) had 2 points (0-5 FG) in his 17 minutes … The offense has yet to come for Josh Smith(notes) after four games (10.3 points, 40% FG), but those supporting stats sure are looking mighty fine (9 boards, 3.5 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal, 4.5 blocks).

Just when you think it's safe to completely write off Marvin Williams(notes), he goes out and has a game like he did Tuesday (36 minutes, 22 points, 8-12 FG, 5-6 FT, 1 three, 1 steal). This will likely result in his finding his way onto a few more rosters (currently 31% owned), but it doesn't change the low expectations in general.

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It was a slow offensive night for Cavaliers not named J.J. Hickson(notes). Hickson went for a career-high 31 points (11-17 FG, 9-11 FT) in 32 minutes, although the rest of his line left a bit to be desired (5 boards, 0 assists, 5 turnovers). Mo Williams(notes) made his season debut, scoring 12 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Williams is likely to return to the starting five on Friday. Antawn Jamison(notes) missed the game because of soreness in his left knee and is day-to-day.

The Celtics' offense was a well-oil machine Tuesday, with Rajon Rondo(notes) of course acting as the catalyst. Rondo finished with 17 assists, no turnovers, and four steals in the 109-86 win over the Pistons, and even made a three and both of his free throws. (He also scored 58.35 points for my squad in the Buser Blog League.) The Celtics shot 52 percent from the field, had 33 assists to eight turnovers, and made all 18 of their free throws.

Charlie Villanueva(notes) was strong off the bench for the Pistons (33 minutes 17 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks) and Greg Monroe(notes) led the team with 10 boards in 18 minutes, although he also missed all six of his shot attempts. Austin Daye(notes) looked decent for a change (27 minutes, 16 points, 1 three, 5 boards), but it didn't mean much in the blowout loss.

The Pistons played without Richard Hamilton(notes), who missed the game with a sore right foot. He's also expected to be inactive on Wednesday, so Ben Gordon(notes) should be in line for at least one more start.

The Heat absolutely rolled the T-Wolves, getting the major offensive contributions from Dwyane Wade(notes) (26 points), LeBron James(notes) (20 points, 12 assists), and James Jones(notes) (17 points, 5 threes). Chris Bosh(notes) was pedestrian once again (13 points, 4-12 FG, 5-6 FT, 6 boards) but he did add two steals and a block. As a team, Miami shot 58 percent from the field, 57 percent from three (12-21), and made 25 of 31 free throws (81%).

Kevin Love(notes) led the way for the Wolves with 20 points, one three, and six boards in 26 minutes. Darko Milicic(notes) looked completely lost on offense yet again (16 minutes, 0 points 0-5 FG) and is now averaging 3.5 points on 18 percent shooting after four games. Nikola Pekovic(notes) (27 minutes, 12 points, 8 boards) has extensive international experience and could legitimately push Darko for the starting gig if this keeps up, although that four-year, $20 million dollar contract could mean he gets a long leash.

Michael Beasley(notes) left the game early after a hard fall on his left hip. X-rays were negative but he's currently considered questionable for Wednesday.

LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) was a bit erratic on offense (14 points, 6-14 FG) but hit a three, grabbed eight boards, and had an incredible four steals and five blocks in the 90-76 win over the Bucks.

Nicolas Batum(notes) got into foul trouble early (14 minutes, 3 fouls) and Wes Matthews got hot (28 minutes, 18 points, 2 threes), ensuring that Batum posted his second sub-par effort in as many games. This is still the same player that put together those great lines to start the season, however, so this is not a reason to cut him for a marginal free agent - clearly, it would help all involved parties if he were to break out of his mini-slump against the Thunder on Thursday.

It was a tough night for a number of the Bucks' major players, including Brandon Jennings(notes) (2-7 FG, 7 assists, 6 turnovers), John Salmons(notes) (2-14 FG), Drew Gooden(notes) (1-5 FG), and Corey Maggette(notes) (4-12 FG). The Bucks shot 38 percent as a team and had more turnovers (17) than assists (16).

The Lakers led the Grizzlies by 27 points at halftime and breezed to a 124-105 win. Phil Jackson got rest for Kobe Bryant(notes) (26 minutes, 23 points, 3 treys) and Ron Artest(notes) (24 minutes, 5 points), allowing Matt Barnes(notes) to get his most lengthy run of the young season (27 minutes, 16 points, 14 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). Shannon Brown's(notes) run as a per-minute stud continued - he had 13 points and three treys in 22 minutes and he's averaged 10.5 points, 1.8 threes, and 2 steals in 20 minutes during the first four games.

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O.J. Mayo(notes) had a clunker for the Grizz (27 minutes, 8 points, 3-11 FG), but Rudy Gay(notes) stayed hot (30 points, 12-18 FG, 3-3 3PT, 1 steal, 1 block) and Mike Conley(notes) had yet another solid line (16 points, 3 threes, 5 boards, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals).

Zach Randolph(notes) missed his third straight game because of a bruised tailbone - he's currently listed as day-to-day but could potentially remain sidelined through the weekend. Darrell Arthur(notes) (10 points, 7 boards, 2 steals, 1 block Tuesday) will continue to see the starts for as long as he remains sidelined.

The Magic-Knicks game scheduled for Tuesday was postponed for safety reasons related to an overnight cleaning in the attic above the ceiling of Madison Square Garden. A makeup date has yet to be announced and there is a possibility that "future events" could be affected, including the Knicks' next scheduled home game (Fri WAS).

Wednesday status notes:

Stephen Curry(notes) is currently listed as day-to-day with his sprained right ankle but appears doubtful for Wednesday. Curry has yet to rule out playing but doesn't want to risk exacerbating the injury. Reggie Williams(notes) would get another start if Curry remains inactive.

It appears likely that Baron Davis'(notes) knee will keep him out of Wednesday's game, meaning that Eric Bledsoe(notes) should be in line for another start.

George Hill(notes) is still feeling the effects of a hard fall on Monday and is questionable. Hill's absence would mean Gary Neal(notes) will see more minutes - Neal scored 16 points and made four threes in 20 minutes after Hill left Monday's game early.

Troy Murphy(notes) was a full participant in practice Tuesday and has a 50-50 chance of joining the active on Wednesday. Murphy made it through the full-contact activities without incident but the team will wait and see how well he recovers before making a decision on his game availability.

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