You can talk about a lineup change that has worked well for the Washington Wizards, or mention the development of a productive rookie. But any discussion about the team's improvement starts with one person: point guard John Wall.

The Wizards actually have a winning record (for an 11-32 team, a 6-4 stretch is something worth celebrating) since Wall returned to the lineup after missing their first 33 games because of a knee injury. Washington has been sharper on offense and tougher on defense. And although some NBA decision-makers say Wall isn't talented enough to carry a team, he clearly has been a game-changer for the Wizards. If Wall can keep it up, he just may be the right guy to lead the team after all.

In an 82-game schedule, 10 games is a small sample size. It's also big enough to inspire some optimism — finally — about the franchise's direction with Wall playing at the highest level of his career. There have been other encouraging developments, too.