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Daily Digits: John Wall is not adjusting well to having the ball in his hands less

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-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 John Wall’s average time of possession this season, which is...

7.4 minutes

If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. Only James Harden, Chris Paul, and Kemba Walker have averaged more time per game with the ball in their hands than Wall. Yet, that average is down by over a minute for last season, and over two full minutes from the 2016-17 season when he led the league and earned All-NBA honors.

As the pace has gone up around the league, touch time is down for all the league’s best players, so Wall’s downward trend is not surprising. If the Wizards want to keep with the times, they have to get into quicker actions which means there’s less time for Wall to prod and probe than before.

The problem is, all of Wall’s offensive strengths come with the ball in his hands and all his weaknesses come out when it isn’t. He’s 5-of-24 on catch-and-shoot opportunities this season and he hasn’t registered any points off cuts this season (he didn’t register any last season either).

When it comes to talking about Washington’s struggles this season, Wall’s inability to adapt to playing off the ball more certainly has to be discussed as one of the biggest concerns. Until he can force opponents to account for him when the ball is in someone else’s hands, the team is only going to go as far as Wall can take them.