Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and John Wall together in the open court? Speed, baby, speed.
"I mean, with John [Wall] and Nene? I think it’s a playoff team," Kidd-Gilchrist said, matter-of-factly, when asked how he would fit in Washington.
What is intriguing about this is the speed of a team with MKG and Wall both on it. At Kentucky, John Wall was the fastest guard we have ever seen with the ball in his hands. Kidd-Gilchrist was just .04 seconds slower than Wall in the 3/4 court sprint time, and next to Wall, got to the rim faster in the open court than anyone we have seen at Kentucky.
So imagine these two speedsters together, on the same team with Nene Hilario, another speedster with a sub-3.2 sprint speed. You wouldn't want to meet a team like that in the open floor, that's for sure.
MKG also had this to say:
"I think it’s my motor and my heart," he said, when asked what separates him from other draft prospects. "I think it’s my heart in general. I don’t never stop, on defense or offense…With any team, I’d be a perfect fit."
Nobody who saw him play at Kentucky would disagree with that statement. MKG was a major reason for Kentucky's success last year, and next year when Kentucky enters the season, they will miss the intensity, focus, and ridiculous will to win that Kidd-Gilchrist brought to every game.
I recall the loss to the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington. That game would have been a solid beating if MKG hadn't picked up the slack left by Terrence Jones' inexplicably poor effort. Kidd-Gilchrist single-handedly willed UK back into that game, dragging his teammates with him and inspiring them to up their game. UK almost pulled it off, but for a missed Doron Lamb free throw and a great buzzer-beating shot by Christian Watford. But it was MKG who rallied the team and had Terrence Jones' back.
I digress a little here, but every time I think about that IU game, I think about how it could have been a convincing loss, and yet it wasn't. We didn't really dwell on it much here from a game standpoint, but MKG really came into his own in that game, logging 38 minutes and scoring 18 points, backing up his best outing of the year against North Carolina in the previous game with an even better one against IU. He was 9-12, shot 75%, and 5 of his 9 rebounds were offensive. In a word, he was a beast, and without him, I think that young UK team might have withered before the partisan crowd and the absence of Jones.
So could he and John Wall win? I think they could, and I think MKG might inspire Wall to actually play a little defense out there.