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Daily Digits: Washington’s 3-point defense is lagging behind where they were last season

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Miami Heat v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how it affects the product on the court.

Today’s stat is the 3-point percentage Washington has allowed to opponents through the first three games of the preseason, which is...

38.9%

Only two NBA teams have allowed their opponents to shoot a higher percentage from deep than the Wizards so far this preseason: The Blazers and ... the Warriors for some reason.

This is a big departure from last season when the Wizards were one of the best teams in the league at defending the arc. They were one of only four teams in the league (along with the Celtics, 76ers, and Spurs) that held opponents to less than 30 3-point attempts per game and under 35 percent on those shots.

It’s only three games, and they’ve all come while integrating new players, so there’s no reason to panic yet. However, their three games so far have been against the Knicks and Heat, who were both below-average from deep last season, and two of those games were at home.

If nothing else, it’s at least worth keeping an eye on how the Wizards try to adjust this season to shore up their shaky interior defense while maintaining what worked well last season. Dwight Howard should help once he recovers from his injury, but he won’t fix everything by himself, especially out on the perimeter. Finding the right balance between protecting the arc and the paint will be critical if Washington wants to get back to being a top-level defense.