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 average points per possession the Wizards generated on post-ups last season, which was...
That average was good enough for the 17th-best rate in the league, but even the best teams don’t have much to write home about. The Timberwolves led the league last season and still averaged less than a point per possession on them. Considering the worst offense in the league averaged 1.02 points per 100 possessions last season, there just aren’t a lot of good reasons to run post-ups these days if you’re looking for a bucket (sorry, Dwight Howard).
However, if you’ve got someone who can do a little bit more with the ball than just throw up a hook shot, that changes things. Fred Katz of The Athletic wrote last week about how the Wizards want to get John Wall more touches in the low post this season:
Wall is starting to integrate post-ups into games more, a process he began a few years back and has adjusted since, showing how during Monday’s 110-98 preseason victory over the Knicks. Wall tried to take advantage of smaller Knicks point guard Trey Burke on the block on multiple occasions. And he did it in ways he couldn’t when he first came into the league.
“He has great finishes with either hand. He sees the court very well. We can get a lot of easy points with him just backing smaller guards down,” Brooks said. “He’s strong, probably one of the strongest if not the strongest point guard in the league.”
While it may not be the best scoring option, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to find ways to post Wall up. Even when he can’t get to the rim, it can lead to very efficient opportunities for others, like this one where he set up Bradley Beal for an open drive to the basket.
There will be a time down the road when Wall doesn’t always have a size or speed advantage over his opponent, but he’s almost always going to be bigger or stronger than the person guarding him unless the other team decides to send a bigger player to guard him, which will give someone else on the court an advantage to exploit. Embracing a skill of the past might be a key to Wall staying ahead of the curve in the future.