Wall has showed very little signs of becoming the face of the franchise this season. Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- I briefly touched on this late Tuesday night at the bottom of my article, but now it is time to break down what we've learned about John Wall nine games into the 2011-2012 season. And it isn't pretty.
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I love John Wall the athlete. Who doesn't? He probably is the fastest player in the entire NBA. But so far this season, I don't get how anyone can defend John Wall the basketball player. I realize he's slumping offensively and that eventually his statistics will improve. I'm just not ready to go all-in on his stock with close to 20 percent of his second season complete.
It may pain you to read this, or cause you to dislike my view point, but the Washington Wizards should NOT be building their entire franchise around John Wall. Don't say "but the Wizards roster is garbage," or "you haven't given him enough time." The Pistons, Cavaliers, Raptors, Nets and Bobcats all arguably have worse rosters from top to bottom.
I'm not totally bailing on John Wall either. And I'm not measuring the kid based on wins or losses. I just think his visible regression should be opening more eyeballs.
Take a look at Hoopdata's advanced analysis of Wall's first two seasons.
As the Wizards organization prepares to anoint Wall the savior to all of the team's problems, they need to closely ponder four weaknesses Wall displays regularly.
1) He's one of the worst shooting guards in the league.
Basketball-Reference rates Wall's true shooting percentage at 41.8 percent, 10th worst for any guard in the league. That's down from the 49.4 percentage he posted last season. He's only shooting 21 percent on shot attempts between 16-23 feet.
The big conundrum with his lack of a jump shot comes into play when the Wizards setup their half court offense. In many instances, Wall becomes obsolete unless he can get to the free throw line, a place where he isn't a consistent shooter either.
2) Who exactly on the Wizards does he make better?
Maybe Jordan Crawford when the two play up-tempo? I think he does have potential to team up well with Jan Vesely in the open floor. Surely, a purer point guard would have a better on court relationship with JaVale McGee. The Wizards aren't able to run effective pick-n-pops with McGee and Wall because John can't consistently score away from the rim.
3) His out of control layup attempts will cause injuries
This doesn't need much explanation if you watch the Wizards at all. Wall is the modern day Luis Mendoza from D-2 Mighty Ducks.
4) Is his decision making even above average?
Granted, Wall is surrounded by a losing culture and other mistake prone players -- McGee and Blatche. He just hasn't been choosing his spots effectively. Wall has at least four turnovers in six of the nine games. His assists percentage has dropped from 26.9 to just 9.5. Is he an active offensive player, or a reactive offensive player? All signs point to reactive.
This next upcoming stretch of games should illustrate the points I'm making. Wall will be matched up against Chicago's Derrick Rose, Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday, Houston's Kyle Lowry, OKC's Russell Westbrook and Denver's Ty Lawson over the course of the next 10 days.
Are you really ready to say that Wall is close to any of those point guards yet? I'll be the first one to admit I was wrong about John Wall, but I'm envisioning these guards taking the Wizards face of the franchise out behind the woodshed.
The more I see Wall, the more I realize he isn't meant to be this franchises go-to offensive player. The Wizards need to seriously look into drafting someone like UCONN's scoring machine Jeremy Lamb. It would help Wall tremendously in becoming the player we want him to be.