Over the next couple weeks, we'll brainstorm a list of skills for each Wizards player to improve for next season. We'll suggest one or two as a jumping-off point, but please add or modify the list in the comments section. Next up: John Wall.
I think even those in favor of John Wall's maximum contract extension can agree that he still has room to grow before he is a superstar-level player like several others in his salary bracket. Given his youth, he can get there, but what must he do to improve?
Four things immediately jump to mind for me.
JUMP PASSING: Wall has incredible court vision and athleticism, but sometimes gets into trouble trying to use those skills to make the spectacular play. As Zach Lowe astutely noted on Grantland last week, Wall has a tendency to jump before making a decision, which leads to silly turnovers because the defense is baiting him into telegraphing his decision. Here's another example from the same game Lowe cited.
Better patience on the pick and roll will help Wall's game tremendously. If he jumps, he needs to jump after he commits to a decision, not before.
SHOOTING: This has been covered extensively for the past three years. He made strides last season, but needs to continue to be a consistent threat from the perimeter. For more on Wall's shooting form, read this, this and this.
DEFENSIVE INTENSITY: Wall can be a great defender, but doesn't go hard every play and tends to yield big games to small, quick guards. This post on Isaiah Thomas' big game illustrates the problem.
GETTING BACK ON DEFENSE: Wall has a tendency to ball-watch and trot back, which hurts the Wizards because it yields transition opportunities and/or forces someone else to pick up Wall's man. I don't think this is a matter of not trying hard, but I do think it's a matter of on-court concentration. Fewer possessions like these will go a long way.
All in all, these are things that can be improved with time, so long as Wall puts in the work and improves his concentration.
What do you think John Wall must improve to get to the next level?