The Detroit Pistons, who were pacing the NBA in futility, crushed the 76ers in Philadelphia last night, 94-76. Detroit attacked the rim for 48 minutes and outscored Philly 42-28 in the a paint. Greg Monroe led the way with a 19-point, 18-rebound performance. That win snapped the Pistons’ eight-game skid to start the 2012-13 season, and meant that the Wizards, who fell to 0-7 in Dallas, are the last remaining winless team in the NBA. (Fun fact: The Wizards got off to the worst start in franchise history last season, going 0-8; traditions, it seems, are tough to break.)
But Randy “Rodney Dangerfield” Wittman thinks he knows why his squad is falling short of (playoff) expectations: No respect!
“For whatever reason, this team doesn’t get any respect,” Wittman told NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan. “We go to the rim and had 11 free throws. These young guys just have to make a name for themselves, and it’s just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs for why they don’t call it.”
Wittman didn’t stop there: “Maybe we have to send the game film everyday to the league.”
Maybe. Or maybe the Wizards should try taking the ball to the hoop.
By the Numbers*
The Wizards Rank:
- 3rd in shot attempts per game from 3-point range (25.9). They’re shooting 30.9 percent from downtown (23rd in the NBA).
- 8th in attempts per game from 16-23 feet (22.3). They’re shooting 37.8 percent on long 2-point shots (14th).
- 4th in attempts per game from 10-15 feet (7.4). They’re shooting 42.3 percent from midrange (5th).
- 24th in attempts per game from 3-9 feet (7.4). They’re shooting 46.2 percent from close range (3rd).
- 30th—dead last!—in attempts per game at the rim (18). They’re shooting 60.3 percent at the tin (8th).
A couple of notes: The Wizards are not a 3-point shooting team, but they can’t stop chucking. A.J. Price takes 6.4 3-pointers a game, but is shooting just 31.1 percent. Trevor Ariza is shooting 26.3 percent from deep this season. Bradley Beal is sitting at 33.3 percent (and taking good, open shots), but can’t currently hit the broad side of a barn. Jordan Crawford, who has played pretty well this season, is making 35.7 percent of his attempts this season (he’s a career 28.4 percent shooter from deep). And Jannero Pargo—oh, Jannero Pargo—is shooting 15 percent from 3-point range this season, yet still takes about three attempts per game. (Kyle Weidie today discovered that Pargo has lowest non-negative PER (0.4) in NBA history among players appearing in 100-plus minutes in a season. Cool.)
While the Wizards are a bit better on long 2-pointers and midrange shots, ranking in the top 15 and top 5 in each respective category, but that’s the least effective shot in basketball.
The fact is, the Wizards attempt the fewest shots at the rim per game, so why are they surprised they have the worst free throw rate in the NBA (19.8)?
So, yeah, complain all you want, send the league the game film, start a petition, occupy Wall Street. You’re not going to get to the free throw line shooting jump shots.
If the Wizards make more plays in the paint, they’ll earn the “respect” they demand. Until they do, don’t think it can’t get any worse, because it can.
—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)
An offensive possession… #SoWizards
Wizards player: “Go to work!”
Trevor Booker: “Nah, I’m good.”
*Numbers via Hoopdata, accurate as of Nov. 14, 2012