One thing that struck me about Bradley Beal’s shooting zone chart for games 21-50 that I included at the bottom of the previous post was the relatively even distribution in attempts per location. Now, he’s certainly better from certain spots — 12.1 percent better on 3-pointers from the left corner versus the right; 32.3 percent better on above the break 3s from the right side as opposed to the left (even though he’s attempted 14 more on the left side). It’s especially interesting to go back to that post and compare Beal’s game 21-50 chart to those of Eric Gordon, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen to get a feel about the player each was when they got into the league (and to a certain extent, still are).
Below I’ve re-posted Beal’s shooting zone chart for games 21-50, and below that, Beal’s chart for games 1-20. After that, we have a video of Beal talking about the progression of his jump shot — he says he’s now getting more lift. Given that Beal’s Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) has gone from 42.1 percent over his first 20 games to 49.8 percent over games 21-50, that is certainly evident.
Twenty-eight percent of 3-pointers taken in the NBA are from the corner, and they go in the basket 3.6 percent more than above the break 3-pointers. The Washington Wizards, with John Wall, are the best shooting team in the league from the corner. This is significant.
When Flip Saunders was still calling plays and running practices in D.C., he had some pretty good ideas for changing the team’s culture. One idea in particular stood out, one which science said was “subconsciously driving players toward team behavior through deeply rooted psychological mechanisms.”
Peer-reviewed science says there is an incentive for Wizards players to compete like winners. Before this 2011-12 season, the Wizards secured a new whiteboard to the far-right corner of the Wizards locker room: the Charge Board. Players who draw charges in both practice and official NBA games are celebrated on the chart, now crowded with red and blue basketballs (like buckeye leaf stickers on a chrome football helmet), the new standard by which respect and status is measured in D.C.’s pro hoops franchise.
…said Kevin Seraphin on draft night 2010, right before he pounded his right fist into his open left hand. Seraphin had just been selected by the Chicago Bulls 17th overall, but the Kirk Hinrich trade was widely known by then, just not official. The 20-year old from the French Guiana was chosen specifically for the Washington Wizards.
He spoke through a French translator during his press conference after being drafted. At one point, in the middle of describing his game, Seraphin busted out his English:
“Rebound, block shot, toughness … like ahh … I can…,”and that’s when he started hitting his fist.
BRADLEY BEAL IS NOT HAVING A GOOD ROOKIE YEAR, so far.
ESPN.com’s David Thorpe recently listed Beal amongst his rookie disappointments (ESPN Insider), but concluded:
If John Wall, who is out with a knee injury, were playing next to Beal in the backcourt, things would surely get easier for Beal. It’s a great thing to look forward to. Just as the game slows down for Beal, Wall should return, and that combination suggests Beal will have a big second half of the season.
Also, Beal is just 19 years old. Much room for improvement. But how much? Let’s peel back some numbers.
Ugly is an understatement. It borders on the surreal, whatever is going on with these 0-9 Washington Wizards. In the last five-plus seasons alone, we’re up to 131 wins, 272 losses, 73 players, four head coaches, two owners, and one team president of basketball operations, Ernie Grunfeld. All the problems seem different, but they add up to one big mess.
This play from Monday’s Pacers game, as described by the Washington Post’s Michael Lee, is quite unique in itself, and captures the essence of this year’s issues:
The struggles of the starters were summed up in one play in the third quarter, when Crawford drove into the lane and flipped an air ball. Okafor jumped to get the putback, but shot an air ball over the rim. Price missed a three-pointer and then Okafor had his shot blocked by Hibbert. Fans started booing.
The Wizards Said WHAT?!
Post-Pacers Game – Nov. 19, 2012
via TAI’s John Converse Townsend
The Worst NBA Offense in a Decade?
One way to measure an NBA offense on a relatively even playing field is by Offensive Rating, which is an estimate of how many points a team scores per 100 possessions. It’s said to be an “estimate” because there’s no concrete, agreed upon method of calculating a possession.* For more, feel free to visit the glossary on Basketball-Reference.com, which has NBA possession data going back to the 1973-74 season.
What say the numbers?
The Wizards average a league-worst 94.3 points per 100 possessions, according to Basketball-Reference.com. If you do a search of the BBR database, only eight NBA teams since the 1973-74 season have had an Offensive Rating (OffRtg) below 95. The 2002-03 Denver Nuggets were the last team to do so with an OffRtg of 92.2. Juwan Howard, of all people, led that Nuggets team in scoring with 18.4 points per game; James Posey was second with a 14.1 average, and the Wizards’ own Nene—who was a rookie that season—was the third Nugget, averaging double-figures in scoring at 10.5.
This season’s Wizards also have three players averaging double-figures in points: Jordan Crawford (12.2), Bradley Beal (11.7), and Kevin Seraphin (10.1).