There Is Hope in Washington

The Wizards sit at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom in the NBA.I would add one more bottom, but by now you get the point.

They’re the worst team in basketball and its not even close. They’re on pace to be even worse than the seven win Charlotte Bobcats. They’ve got an offensive rating of 94.3 points per 100 possessions. The Bobcats managed at least 95.2 points per 100 possessions last season.

If Washington keeps this play up then they’ll likely be one of the worst teams of all time without a doubt. The thing is they won’t.

Yes, we’re nine games into the season and the Wizards haven’t won one game yet. They’re the absolutely the most anemic team on the offensive end in the NBA. They take way too many jump shots and get into the paint. They are last in the league in shot attempts at the rim at 18.3–the league average is 25.8, per hoopdata. They’re the only team in the NBA in the teens in that category as well.

The Wizards are 4th in midrange jumpshots takenn from 16-23 feet from the basket with 23.3 which is well above league average and they shoot 33.3 perent from that range which is well below league average. Basically, the Wizards take a lot of the worst shot in basketball and they miss that shot often, too.

The Wizards aren’t playing in the paint like they need to be. They don’t have a penetrating guard right now and aren’t playing through the post because of Kevin Seraphin’s lack of passing ability.

All of this looks bad, well, because it is. But the season isn’t over for Washington by any means. While injuries are never an excuse for a team to be winless, but we must not overlook the effect that John Wall and Nene will have on Washington upon return.

Wall alone is going to make the Wizards better, even if not that much. Last season Wall took 5.8 shots at the rim. Right now, that’s 2.8 more shots than any player the Wizards have–Trevor Ariza takes three shots there per game.

We know the Wizards are a team with a terrible shot selection, but John Wall will certainly improve that as well. Teams who can’t score in the half court have to get out into transition and create easy scoring opportunity for themselves. Right now, the Wizards are 25th in the league in pace. Last season with Wall running the floor, they were 9th in the league in pace. And that was with no floor spacers.

Now the Wizards have three point shooters who can’t get separation. With Wall collapsing the defense, they’ll be plenty of more opportunity for the shooters to blossom on the outside. Ideally, this is what this season was supposed to be. Wall and Beal were supposed to run the floor together and Wall was going to be that catalyst for the Wizards offense. We haven’t seen him play a game yet, so we can’t make a complete analysis on this team.

Nene’s absence from the team is also a huge blow to the Wizards. He’s there best player in the half court and presents plenty of threats for the defense through his post game and his ability to pass out of double teams. The Wizards can play inside out in the half court with Nene on the floor.

Last season in 11 games played for the Wizards, Nene looked like the center that he was supposed to be. He put up 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game along with a 62% true shooting percentage. He also had a PER of 24.2 in a Wizards uniform–unquestionably the best on the team.

The Wizards obviously miss that low post presence of Nene. They’ve had to depend on the likes of Emeka Okafor and Seraphin for that post presence and it hasn’t been anywhere near what Nene brings to the table.

So, Wizards fans, there is still some hope. Don’t lose sight of what you actually want to see. This team may not be very good even with Wall and Nene on the floor–they can only do so much. However, you want to see competitiveness and improvement from this team. John Wall needs to make strides as a point guard before any type of winning is actually done here.

If Wall can make those strides, the future in Washington basketball in a bright one. Lets hope for the best.


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