This Year’s John Wall : TAI Wizards Player Previews 2013-14 | Truth About It.net

This Year’s John Wall : TAI Wizards Player Previews 2013-14

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Updated: October 30, 2013

[Truth About It.net player previews of Washington Wizards in 2013-14 -- For each player on this year's roster of 15, we take a look at what's at stake, an interesting statistic, and finally, where that player needs to improve (or excel) to make successful contributions toward a playoff goal.]

Preview Index:

Eric Maynor via Conor DirksGarrett Temple via Adam McGinnis;
Otto Porter via Adam RubinGlen Rice, Jr. via Rashad Mobley;
Trevor Ariza via John C. TownsendTrevor Booker via Adam Rubin;
Al Harrington via Kyle WeidieChris Singleton via Adam McGinnis;
Kevin Seraphin via Sean FaganMartell Webster via John C. Townsend;
Jan Vesely via Kyle Weidie & Lukas KubaNene Hilario via Rashad Mobley;
Marcin Gortat/Emeka Okafor via Sean Fagan;
Bradley Beal via Kyle WeidieJohn Wall via Conor Dirks.

[#Blessed -- via instagram.com/john_wall]

[#Blessed -- via instagram.com/john_wall]

WHAT’S AT STAKE.

Here we are, finally. What’s at stake? Well, as far as the Wizards are concerned, everything. The potential of the roster this year and for the next half-decade. The attention of a heretofore aloof local and national audience. Playoff ticket sales. The identity of the team. To merge sports analysis with a simple gambling-based cliché: the Wizards have, perhaps a round early, gathered up all of their remaining chips and “rolled the dice” on John Wall. On his potential, on his ability, and on his health. But let’s be more precise. And more like fan-fiction.

The Wizards, like a rogue species in an interplanetary community, have emptied the bank retrofitting their finest space-bird with the newest technology, custom-made for their chosen pilot, John Wall. Losing the war, desperate for victory, Wall flies into the fray at top speed. It’s going kinda sorta okay, but when Wall’s chief engineer dies in a fire, the Wizards lose hope. Sure, they haven’t been shot down yet, but it’s only a matter of time. And then, from the ashes, a new engineer emerges and he’s way more Polish, so there’s that. With hope renewed, the Wizards order Wall to dive, dive, dive. Maneuvering around the exterior of the enemy base, Wall spots three bogies piloted by Kyrie Irving, Brandon Jennings and Jeff Teague on his high-tech computer monitor. These guys are bastards who won’t give up. The Wizards vessel, commissioned years ago as the “Susan O’Malley” but since re-named the “Shorty Who Understands My Story,” can’t outrun them all, but the crew sees an opportunity. A window, you might say. As they approach a narrow passage, some man who shouldn’t even be there really says “It won’t fit!” With dramatic flair, a mysterious, mustachioed technology expert named Ernie swivels around to face the man and snarls, “That’s the point.”

Do they emerge on the other side?

Since I’ve watched “LOST,” I know what to do here. Roll credits. “Next season on Wizards Basketball…”

[In space, no one can hear you cheer for Chick-Fil-A in the 4th quarter.]

[In space, no one can hear you cheer for Chick-Fil-A in the 4th quarter.]

INTERESTING STAT.

Lost in the “with Wall” narrative that has driven both local and national optimism about this team’s significance in 2013-14 are the mini-samples—the performance fluctuations within Wall’s triumphant return to the lineup last season. When Wall first returned, his minutes were limited and he spent much of his time headlining the second unit with cameos from the starters he’d eventually lead. Later in the season, certain members of Wall’s surrounding cast missed games, and Wall’s play was affected. It’s not surprising, but it is profound: the fellow Wizard that most positively impacted the game for Washington when playing with John Wall was then rookie Bradley Beal. What is surprising is that it’s not very close.

A few highlights before displaying the full table below… With Beal and Wall on the court together, the Wizards (all per 100 possessions):

  • made 4.5 more field goals than their opponent, while attempting 2.6 fewer field goals.
  • made 0.9 more 3-pointers than their opponent, while attempting 5.8 fewer 3-pointers than their opponent.
  • shot 16.2% better than their opponents from deep.
  • boasted an eFG% 7.3% higher than their opponents. 
  • outscored their opponents by 8.6 points.
Net (Per 100 Poss)
Rk Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
1 B. Beal | J. Wall 460 +4.5 -2.6 +.066 +0.9 -5.8 +.162 +.073 +8.6 +2.2 +3.5 -1.6 +1.3
2 J. Wall | M. Webster 1015 +1.9 -1.6 +.031 -0.1 -5.1 +.096 +.031 +4.6 +0.1 +0.4 -0.4 -0.2
3 K. Seraphin | J. Wall 494 +0.5 -1.2 +.011 +1.4 -2.3 +.106 +.020 +1.5 -4.6 +1.4 +0.6 -0.6
4 T. Ariza | J. Wall 659 +0.9 -0.3 +.013 +0.4 -2.5 +.061 +.015 +0.6 +0.5 +2.2 -0.7 0.0
5 N. Hilario | J. Wall 909 +1.3 -1.2 +.022 -1.6 -6.0 +.041 +.013 +0.9 -0.4 +1.9 -0.8 +0.3
6 C. Singleton | J. Wall 289 +2.6 +1.8 +.021 -2.1 -4.0 -.028 +.008 +1.0 -7.7 +2.4 +0.6 -2.9
7 E. Okafor | J. Wall 955 +0.3 -1.5 +.012 -1.3 -5.2 +.041 +.005 -0.1 +0.4 -0.9 -0.8 +0.5
9 G. Temple | J. Wall 644 +0.3 +0.4 +.002 -2.2 -6.7 +.024 -.011 0.0 -2.7 -0.8 +1.0 -2.3
10 T. Booker | J. Wall 394 -2.9 -2.6 -.019 -1.4 -4.2 +.016 -.026 -5.0 -1.7 -4.9 +0.2 -0.7
11 A. Price | J. Wall 158 -0.2 +4.1 -.024 -1.9 +0.4 -.081 -.038 -3.2 -6.0 -0.3 0.0 -2.9

 

For perspective, I compared the success of the Wall-Beal backcourt to the effect that the presence of other guard pairings around the NBA had on their respective teams in 2012-2013.

Here’s Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
K. Irving | D. Waiters 1006 -1.8 +4.7 -.045 -0.8 -1.5 -.008 -.052 -4.2 -2.3 -6.3 +0.7 -2.1

 

Here’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
S. Curry | K. Thompson 2491 +1.4 -0.2 +.017 +1.3 +0.2 +.050 +.024 +2.0 +2.3 -0.2 -1.1 +1.2

 

Here’s Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
D. Lillard | W. Matthews 2039 -2.1 -2.3 -.011 +3.4 +6.9 +.038 +.008 -0.6 -0.9 -1.5 -1.7 +1.5

 

Here’s Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
K. Bryant | S. Nash 1422 -2.8 -7.1 +.006 +0.7 +2.5 -.010 +.014 +0.7 +1.1 -1.9 -2.2 +1.8

 

Here’s Jeremy Lin and James Harden:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB TRB% AST STL TOV
J. Harden | J. Lin 2209 -1.9 -4.4 +.002 +1.8 +5.5 -.009 +.015 +2.2 +0.9 +2.0 -0.9 -0.3 +2.0

 

And finally, here’s Deron Williams and Joe Johnson:

Net (Per 100 Poss)
Lineup MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% PTS TRB% AST STL TOV
J. Johnson | D. Williams 2013 -1.7 -2.2 -.007 +1.7 +5.5 -.020 +.003 +3.9 +5.0 -1.3 -0.8 +1.7

 

While most of these guard combinations provided positive point differentials (the Irving-Waiters duo was minus-4.2 and Lillard-Matthews was minus-0.6), the Wall-Beal backcourt outstrips competing guard pairings in all of the areas that matter. The short version? They were more efficient, they were more effective, they were better. If both of these guards are healthy this year, the Wizards will, for the first time in what seems like forever, have a meaningful advantage in their starting backcourt.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.

Three-point shooting and turnovers. You know this, man.

Wall takes around one 3-pointer per game and has never shot 30 percent or higher from the 3-point line. Wall has speed (that’s an understatement) and the ability to drive to the basket and finish, which pulls defenders towards him and away from open 3-point shooters. Every opposing team’s broadcast team notes this, but it’s true: if Wall ever developed as an outside shooting threat, his game would explode. Other teams know the book on Wall, and often don’t bother playing him tight on the perimeter. This increases the density of the defense around the basket and allows defenders to stick to shooters on the outside. Gortat should alleviate some of the sense of “stalemate” in these situations with his ability to set multiple screens and free shooters while remaining a scoring option himself, but the most viable “Plan B” for situations where Wall finds himself with space at the top of the key without enough time to run a proper play should not be to drive a packed lane and hope for a foul.

Wall makes the shot here (“in Lebron’s face!” no less), but this clip is illustrative of the way that defenses can play a John Wall that can’t hit from deep. Pack the paint, be ready to jump out and guard the wings:

 

Turnovers are another story. Part of me believes that Wall’s turnovers will decrease parallel to his ability to change speeds, but they aren’t currently limited to “2 Fast 2 Furious” offensive fouls and in-air passes gone awry. This is where consistency comes into play. Same guys running the same plays, ending up in the same spots. Fancy that. Wall is not what one might call an “old dog,” however, and his decisions will improve, just as they have (albeit not drastically) over the last three years.

 

This car selfie is probably legal, unless it's in London. #blessed, tho. (via instagram.com/john_wall)

This car selfie is probably legal, unless it’s in London. #blessed, tho. (via instagram.com/john_wall)

Wall with Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie. (via instagram.com/john_wall)

Wall with Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie. (via instagram.com/john_wall)

Probably already better than Kyrie. Thrown back. (via instagram.com/john_wall)

Probably already better than Kyrie. Thrown back. (via instagram.com/john_wall)