Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
John Wall is coming back, and one way he can help improve the Wizards' offense is by creating more corner threes for his teammates. Let's go to the video to find out how.
As far as jump shots go, a three-pointer from the corner is the best shot an offense can get. It's the easiest long-distance shot, and this season, teams are shooting 38 percent from the corner versus 35 percent on non-corner threes. The "smart" teams, such as San Antonio and Houston, are exploiting its value and shooting many more corner threes than the rest of the league.
So far this season, the Wizards have shot the 11th most corner threes in the league. Considering the absence of John Wall, that is quite an accomplishment. As the table below shows, they have also been above league average at hitting those threes.
Although they've been good at getting corner threes, they can still attempt even more of them. The parade of replacement-level point guards has meant that the Wizards aren't maximizing their corner three attempts.
The clips below show some examples of how the team has missed out on corner threes because the ball-handlers aren't particularly aggressive in attacking the defense out of pick-and-rolls. As soon as the ball-handlers come off of the screen, they are already in the process of stopping their drive, regardless of whether the help defender is applying pressure or not.
When they make that quick decision to pass to the popping screener, they are missing out on a potential crosscourt pass into the opposite corner. Even if the passing angle to the corner isn't there immediately, a more explosive point guard could beat the first help defender, draw additional help, and open better passing lanes. Instead, the team usually ends up with a midrange jumper.
Another factor that's limiting the corner three output is a general lack of vision by the ball-handlers. Even when the Wizards can get into the lane, they don't always make the right decision. The following clips show a few examples of Jordan Crawford beating the defense but forcing wild shots instead of kicking it out to the open man in the corner.
Crawford is one of the few players on the roster with the ability to get into the lane, but his singular focus on scoring can hurt the team's production.
Once John Wall returns, it's safe to assume we will see the ball in his hands the majority of the time, which should increase the amount of corner threes for everybody else. Last year Wall led the league in assists on corner threes, so it is clear that he knows where to go with the ball and how to get it there. He has the driving ability that Garrett Temple, A.J. Price, and Shelvin Mack lack, but he also has the passing instincts that Jordan Crawford struggles with. In the clips below, Wall shows off his ability to split a double team and find an open shooter in traffic.
And even when Wall doesn't attack off the dribble, he is ready to make the tough crosscourt pass.
Although the Wizards' offense has been awful, there are signs that the team is trying to do the smart thing by focusing on corner threes. With John Wall returning, the team should be able to increase their already sizable amount of corner threes. Wall's vision and athletic ability should help create more open shots for his teammates.