John Wall and Washington Wizards can thrive with tough play

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If you're worried about John Wall and the Washington Wizards after their season-opening loss to the Miami Heat, well.... don't be.

The kind of the double-double was back at it on Thursday night with 30 points and 12 assists in a 105-98 win at Orlando.

He had 27 last season and is already 2-for-2 on double-doubles this season.

Eastern Conference is wide open

In the Eastern Conference, there are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. Then, there's everyone else. The Heat and Wizards could be contenders for the No. 3 spot, and it's hard to just write off the Indiana Pacers even without their star.

The Wizards, however, are as loaded as anyone and will be a real competitor for that third spot. A lot of that will depend on Wall's toughness.

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"I like the way we responded," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We created more offense with our defense tonight than we have in eight preseason games and last night."

Not afraid to mix it up

The thing about this year's Wizards team is that they won't be pushed around. Paul Pierce made that clear early in his tenure in Washington with his words and a skirmish with the Bulls' Joakim Noah.

Nene was suspended for leaving the bench during that incident. The Wizards have also been missing scorer Bradley Beal, who has a fractured wrist. Big man Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 12 boards in the win for his first double-double after dropping 37 of them last season.

All about Wall

Wall is part of a new Foot Locker campaign called “The Process.” It helps show Wall's comedic side, something he'll need this season. Make sure to take a look.

But the reason he's getting those chances is because he's a superstar. Probably a top 10 player in the league. But he'll never get the full credit for that until his team wins when it matters.

This year, Wall has another chance to do that.

Eastern Conference
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