Jordan Crawford and Cartier Martin work on their corner 3s during a post-practice shooting drill after the morning session of Washington Wizards training camp day one.
Last season the Washington Wizards attempted 329 corner 3-pointers, 16th most in the NBA. The Atlanta Hawks led the league with 464 3-point attempts from the corner and the Spurs were next with 453 attempts.
Washington made 132 of their corner 3-point attempts, good enough for 40.1 percent and seventh best in the NBA. Atlanta made 39.7 percent of their corner 3s and San Antonio made 41.9 percent; the Golden State Warriors led the league in shooting 45.6 percent on corner 3s.
One could easily deduce: Hey, the Wizards need to shoot more corner 3s. From a tweet of NBA.com’s John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) in September:
Here’s a fascinating one: The league leader in assists on corner 3s was, by far, John Wall (77). Rondo was next w/ 59.
“The 5 and 4 is pretty much interchangeable in the NBA. A post player is a post player, and as far as the roles of 4 and 5, they’re becoming more hazy anyway. To me, 4 and 5 is who you guard … who’s going to guard the taller guy that game.
“Even within a game, you cross-match sometimes, so it really doesn’t matter.”
—Emeka Okafor from the summer league in Las Vegas
It’s never too early to ask the question. With the rapid development of Kevin Seraphin as a legitimate post scoring threat (defense and rebounding… working on it), and the last two primary trade acquisitions of the Washington Wizards — Nene and Emeka Okafor — which combination of big men will best setup the Wizards (and John Wall) for success?
Kobe and Nash will make a great duo. That’s what the numbers say anyway.
Nash had the highest assist percentage in the NBA (53.1) and made the most passes to spot-up shooters (389) in the pick-and-roll last season. More often than not, 62 percent of the time, Nash passed the rock in the two-man game, and his Phoenix Suns teammates shot 51 percent on those passes.
“With Nash taking over primary ballhandling duties and Kobe handling the ball less, expect the Lakers to get more open shots and shoot the ball at a higher percentage, including Kobe,” wrote Ryan Feldman and Rachel Eldridge of ESPN Stats & Info. “Kobe doesn’t get open very often, but when he does he’s a highly efficient shooter. If Nash is able to get open shots for Kobe, expect the Lakers to be a strong contender.”
[The Bullets-Wizards have had 15 different 7-footers suit up over the years. Only one appears in this photo. Via SI Vault and B-R.]
Roy Hibbert is a very, very tall man. Seven feet-and-two-inches tall, in fact.
And over on Grantland, there is a really, really good article about Hibbert’s development. How D.C.’s own Big Roy went from Georgetown scrub to NBA All-Star in eight years.
Go read it.
Author Jordan Conn captures the routine — from Hibbert’s pre-game stretching to his mixed martial arts practice — that transformed a 7-foot-2 non-athlete into one of basketball’s best players. But in the sea of detail, there was one data point that jumped out to me. (Bolding is mine.)
Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, Sports Illustrated estimated that there are fewer than 70 7-footers between the ages of 20 and 40 in the United States. Seventy 7-footers; 30 starting NBA centers.
If you’re Nate Robinson’s height, you need to be an exceptional athlete to make the league. If you’re Hibbert’s, you just have to be pretty good.
Playing 27.1 minutes per game this season and averaging 17.9 field goals per 36 minutes while shooting an effective-FG percentage of 0.450 doesn’t exactly put Jordan in good company, historically.
According to the Basketball-Reference.com database, 12 such NBA players since the 1991-92 season have averaged 25 to 30 minutes per game, attempted at least 15 field goals per 36 minutes, and have had an eFG% less than 0.455. Those players, ranked by Win Shares Per 48 Minutes:
NBA coaches are constantly tinkering with their five-man units. Whether someone starts or not really takes a back seat to the primary concern of which players work well together, and only then, how match-ups can be exploited. In the very least, lineup data can tell us which combinations of Wizards have best played together with success (must less whom they are doing it against… high- or low-quality opponents). The lineup statistics for these 2011-12 Wizards also tell of a failed plan from the start. But if the ultimate goal was to get a top four pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, then maybe Ernie Grunfeld & Co. haven’t failed after all.
Eighteen different five-man units have played 25 or more minutes together for Washington this season. Below is the distribution of those lineups ranked by minutes played, and including the plus/minus per 48 minutes for that lineup. Yes, one lineup this season played 41 minutes together and would have been down by 38.4 points had they hypothetically played an entire game together against hypothetical competition. It’s hypothetically pretty sad. I’ve bolded the five lineups with a positive plus/minus per 48 minutes, if that helps.
OK, so what if we were to rank those 18 lineups by best to worst plus/minus per 48 minutes, but hiding all names except for those of JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Andray Blatche and Nene. What if…Read more »
Nenê tries to defend John Wall,
which won’t be happening anymore, aside from practice hoops.
[photo: K. Weidie, Truth About It.net]
So that’s that. Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld finally found dance partners in the Clippers and Nuggets in a three-team deal just moments before today’s trading deadline. JaVale McGee has disappeared into thin air, now a member of the Nuggets along with Ronny Turiaf (we hardly knew ye). Nick Young’s career in D.C. has gone up in smoke as he packs his bags for home, sunny California, now a member of contending Clip Show. And Nenê Hilario, one of the league’s most underrated players, will make his way to the nation’s capital as the Wizards’ starting center, along with L.A.’s Brian Cook and a second-round pick …
Which makes me wonder: what will become of Kevin Seraphin?
[Editor's note: This is the TAI debut of Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) -- long-time reader, retired anonymous blogger, and the best pound-for-pound rebounder in DC -- (Dan's claims, not mine). Dan is here to discuss Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving, who's just 19-years old and having fun. For instance, as his coach, Byron Scott, spoke with the media at the Verizon Center tonight, telling them how Irving would be in the starting lineup (after missing last night's game with the flu), Irving jumped on a nearby service cart and honked the horn. Verizon Center security got tough with him, let Irving know that he shouldn't do that. The kid played tough, too, at first, but the exchange ultimately ended with smiles. Later, in the locker room, as Luke Harangody related the story to another Cavs teammate, Irving explained that that's just who he is right now, a 19-year old, and to check back when he's 22. I'll let Dan Diamond take it away. -Kyle W.]
Numbers, stats and ratings that help define the Washington Wizards season thus far… John Wall’s ability to find offense at the rim (and finish); the Wizards’ ability, as a team, to shoot and pass to each other at certain points of the game; and Truth About It.net’s on-going DC Council 3-Star player ratings for each game.
JOHN WALL at the rim.
Wall’s offense is finishing at the rim, so let’s check on how he’s doing and who he compares to.