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John Wall didn’t have a single pass in the NBA’s list of the Top 50 assists of the 2016 season

This time of year can be a bit of a dry time for NBA content, so usually the league fills the void by releasing highlight reels of the best moments from the past season to get people excited for the one to come. Recently, they came out with a video showing off the top 50 assists of last season. If you’ve got 10 minutes, check it out because passing is fun:

Remarkably, not one of John Wall’s 789 assists from last season was good enough to crack the top 50 here. The easy thing to do here would be to accuse the NBA of bias towards promoting guys like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, who make several appearances in this video. But Briante Weber and Mario Hezonja also make appearances on the list as well, so that can’t be the case.

So how does the NBA’s third-best assist man not have a highlight pass good enough to crack the top 50? Well, there’s quite a few factors at work here that worked against Wall in this situation:

  • When you break down the film, most of these assists come on fast breaks, where Wall is great. But the thing is, he loses quite a few opportunities for assists on those fast breaks because he’s usually so far ahead of the pack. Sometimes the best play he can make on a fast break is to keep the ball in his hands. While it’s not exactly an issue, it’s always something to keep in mind when comparing Wall’s passing to other players past and present.
  • Part of what makes a lot of these assists great is the finish on the other end of the pass. Last season, Wall was surrounded by plenty of players who could score off of Wall’s passes, but not many who could finish in an exciting way. Guys like Marcin Gortat, Nene, and Jared Dudley aren’t exactly high-flyers.
  • As the team fell apart under Randy Wittman last season, it was hard for the team get into a flow to create opportunities for highlight plays. They struggled enough as it was just to get the basic stuff to work on most nights.

If anything, this list should help us all appreciate just how much John Wall was able to do last season in the midst of challenging circumstances. Here’s to hoping Wall has a more productive and a more exciting season this time around.