Washington Wizards: What to Make of John Wall After a Turbulent Season

John Wall, NBA, Washington Wizards
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

What to Make of Wall on Offense

At his best Wall is a downhill point guard, who attacks the basket at will. He uses his strength and speed to blow by opponents and finish at the rim. Some of his in-game dunks are spectacular. Wall at his best is a nightmare in transition, an expert at drawing fouls and an excellent pick and roll point guard.

Last year we did not see that as much, his burst was gone and maybe his confidence as well and his numbers reflected it. The good news is we saw what makes him great in the playoffs. Still last year he shot 62% at the rim, which ranked in the 70th percentile amongst point guards according to cleaningtheglass.com. He is an underrated isolation scorer, ranking in the 70th percentile according to Synergy Sports.

To me though, Wall is a better playmaker than he is a scorer. Sometimes he has trouble balancing the two like Russell Westbrook. There is no doubt though that Wall sees the game at an advanced level and his physical tools allow him to make passes few others can. His 42.5% assist percentage is in the 98th percentile per cleaningtheglass.

According to the new BBall Index analytic model, Wall got an A in playmaking and ranked 4th overall in the league. This may surprise some, as the Wizards at times have better overall ball movement when he is off the floor, but Wall can make passes no other Wizard can. He serves corner threes on a platter. The amount of spoon fed dunks and layups he served Gortat over the years is ridiculous. Watch this play!

Wall gets the high screen from Gortat, dashes around it to escape O.G Anunoby, and takes two dribbles to get into the paint. Jonas Valancunias hangs back to prevent Wall from driving to the rim. Wall sees that stops in the paint and sticks his butt out to slow down Anunoby from coming back into the play. Once he does get around, Wall keeps his dribble alive so he can draw both defenders, it looks like he is going up to shoot, but he slips a pass at the last second to Gortat for an easy layup. Incredible patience and manipulation of defenders by Wall.

His one weakness over the years has been perimeter shooting. Last year he fixed that a bit, shooting a career-high 37% from deep on 4.1 attempts per game. His long ball fell off in the playoffs, but it is clear Wall is more confident in his shot now. For years defenders would duck under screens daring him to shoot, some still do, but Wall is making them pay more now. His shot is to be respected now, but not feared yet.

That’s okay he is so good at everything else, that he doesn’t need to be Steph Curry from out there. Wall can get hot too, he is a streaky shooter, but he is the kind of shooter who can come out of nowhere nail three in a row if the defense is napping. His go to is the pullup above the break three in semi-transition or when a defender goes under the screen. Watch this play!

Here in semi-transition, Wall brings the ball up, and if he sees the defender backpedaling, he knows he’s got the pull-up. Wall stops on a dime right above the three-point line, and even though Ish Smith recovers for the contest, Wall drills the three. He is a better shooter off the dribble, and his pull up three is good enough now, that it has to be respected.

Next Up: What to Make of Wall on Defense

About Evan Dyal 13 Articles
Hello! My name is Evan Dyal. I am based in New York City. I cover the NBA for the NBA Analysis Network, as well as AttheHive for SB Nation and OTG Basketball. I also have my own podcast called Player's Watch. You can follow me on Twitter @EvanDyal