The Washington Post

Here’s why Wizards would be better off if John Wall would stop shooting

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

There is no denying the Wizards’ offense runs through point guard John Wall. According to SportsVu, no NBA player suiting up for at least half their team’s games had more touches on the ball (7,696) or held it longer (7.8 minutes per game) during the regular season than Wall. However, he only averaged 0.20 points per touch. The reason: he is not a good shooter.

In a season in which the average effective field goal percentage, which adjusts for the fact that a three-point field goal is worth one more point than a two-point field goal, is 50.1 percent, Wall posted a below-average 47.3 percent. And his struggles are found almost everywhere on the court.

John Wall shot chart from 2013-14 regular season

To compound the problem, Wall is only slightly behind shooting guard Bradley Beal in field-goal attempts per 100 possessions (23.1 vs. 23.4, respectively) and doesn’t stack up well to the league’s guards as a whole.

It appears Wall is hurting the offense by spending a large amount of time dribbling and using up the clock to create his own shot instead of passing the ball, where he created 21.3 points per game off assists, third highest last season among players with at least 41 games played. Compare that with the 6.6 points per game on shots off the dribble or 4.0 points per game when he drives to the basket.

And it isn’t as if Wall is a stranger to the pass – he led the league in total assists last year (717) – or lacks teammates who can shoot.

Beal has shown himself to be a threat from three-point range (40.2 percent last year) and Nene can hit the midrange jumper (50.4 percent eFG%).

Nene shot chart from 2013-14 regular season

Plus, Marcin Gortat returning gives Wall a player who eats up the opposition in the paint.

If the Wizards want to take the next step, Wall has to think about passing the ball more than shooting it.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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