Today, Michael Lee of the Washington Post delved into the genesis of those improvements:
Wall mixed in some fadeaways, and step-back fallaways against Memphis once he established a decent groove. But the reason he made 11 or his 13 field goals from the perimeter on his career night is because of the lessons he learned while working with trainer Rob McClanaghan and former Wizards shooting coach and New York Knicks assistant Dave Hopla last summer.
McClanaghan, who helped Derrick Rose ascend to MVP status by his third year and has also trained all-stars Russell Westrbook and Kevin Love, advised Wall to go straight up and down and follow through. Hopla did the same while getting Wall to remove his guide hand from the ball sooner.
"Main thing for me is using speed and shooting on the way up," Wall said. "I used to shoot on the way down and if you want to become a better shooter, it doesn't work that way."
McClanaghan has also implored Wall to shoot more often when teams leave him open, particularly from midrange, with the justification being: Why put in so much offseason work on your jumper if you aren't going to use it during games?
"I said, ‘I know you can make the shot, but it doesn't matter if you don't shoot it. I don't want you taking 30 shots a game, but if that elbow jumper is there, you've got to shoot it,' " McClanaghan said. "Even this year, he's had games where he didn't shoot it and I had to get on him about it. I said, ‘Listen, you put all this work in. It's there, you can make it. You worked too hard not to shoot it.'
Naturally, Wall has been unable to work out with McClanaghan during the season, but he's continued working on his shot with Wizards assistant Sam Cassell, who during his playing days had one of the better midrange and post games among NBA point guards.
Bullets Forever reached out to Hopla to discuss Wall's jump shot, but he declined the interview request, citing his current position with the Knicks.