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Daily Digits: Austin Rivers’ pull-up shooting adds a new dimension to the Wizards

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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 they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is the number of pull-up threes the Wizards attempted per game last season, which was...


Only five teams (the Knicks, Heat, Bucks, Spurs, and 76ers) attempted fewer pull-up threes per game than Washington last season.

The Wizards’ offensive construction around John Wall’s kick-and-drive game has made it so the team didn’t have to take as many challenging pull-up threes as other teams. That’s a big part of why the team has been able to maintain such a high 3-point percentage over the years.

However, as the league keeps trending toward shooting more threes, the Wizards can’t afford to wait on pristine catch-and-shoot opportunities like they have in the past. If the team wants to adhere to Scott Brooks’ mandate to shoot more from deep this season, everyone has to get more adept at creating their own outside shots.

Bradley Beal and John Wall were the only two Wizards who took over 50 pull-up threes last season, and neither shot it well. Wall shot 31.3 percent and Beal only 29.9 percent. But this summer they added Austin Rivers, who took 197 last season and shot 37.6 percent on them. Only six players who attempted at least 150 pull-up threes shot a better percentage than Rivers, and five of them were All-Stars.

Rivers alone won’t be enough to get the Wizards where Scott Brooks wants them to be this season, but they would be well-served to follow his lead in that department.