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Daily Digits: The Wizards are still too close for comfort with 3-point shooting

NBA: Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-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 Washington’s 3-point percentage on shots where the closest defender is 2-4 feet away from the shooter, which is...


There’s only a handful of people on earth who can hit the very tight jumpers (where a defender is 0-2 feet away) Kyrie Irving made to defeat the Wizards on Wednesday night. No one should expect average NBA players to hit those kinds of threes with any kind of regularity.

However, it’s getting more important to at least be passable at tight shots (where a defender is 2-4 feet away) as teams defend the 3-point shot more aggressively than ever before. Top teams like the Warriors and Rockets average over six threes per game with defenders that close. Even middle-of-the-road teams like the Magic are getting up over 3 per game.

The Wizards are on the wrong side of the adoption curve. They’re averaging just 2.2 per game, which is the sixth-lowest average in the league. Bradley Beal has taken 22 of those tight threes this season. No one else has taken more than eight. What’s worse is Washington is only shooting 19.7. percent on those shots, the third-worst percentage in the league and over 10 percent behind the league median.

For as much as the Wizards have embraced an analytical approach to taking more threes and eschewing less efficient shots, it doesn’t change that the roster still isn’t equipped to take the more difficult shots it requires to be successful as the league changes. Until they can get some more shooters who are better at tougher shots, they’ll have more nights where they’re stuck admiring how other teams are able to get it done.