Bullets Forever's Summer Skill checklist: Trevor Ariza

Rob Carr

What skills are needed for Trevor Ariza to push his game to the next level? Discuss this question here.

Over the next couple weeks, we'll brainstorm a list of skills for each Wizards player to improve for next season. We'll suggest a couple as a jumping-off point, but please add or modify the list in the comments section. First up: Trevor Ariza.

Trevor Ariza is coming off one of the better years of his NBA career. He posted a career-high three-point percentage, shot more efficiently than any year since his 2008-09 title season with the Lakers and found minutes as a super sub despite the improvement of Martell Webster.

As a veteran, it's hard to expect Ariza to add something significant to his game, but here are two things he can do next year to improve.

Better shot selection: Look at this shot chart from Ariza last year. In particular, focus on what I've circled:

Screen_shot_2013-07-29_at_11

Almost every player shoots better from the corners than above the break, but few have splits as exaggerated as Ariza. It's difficult to ask him to shoot more from the corners, because defenses work hard to take those shots away. However, it's not hard to ask him to shoot less from above the break. In particular, pull-up threes might be something to avoid; Ariza hit just 9-32 above-the-break transition treys last year, per MySynergySports.com. More judicious shot selection will go a long way.

Get to the line more: Ariza's shooting percentages around the rim have always been average at best, but this past year, he shot the fewest free throws per 36 minutes of his career. Adding more upper-body strength and working on finishing through contact is a good way to avoid awkward attempts around the basket.

What would you like to see Trevor Ariza improve next season?

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