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A Shot In The Dark: What does a new stat say about the Wizards’ shooters when defense is taken into account?

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Mike Bosetti created a defense-adjusted 3-point percentage. What does it say about the Wizards?

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards
Analysis of defense-adjusted three point percentage indicates shooting could be an issue for the 2019-20 Wizards.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On the pages of Nylon Calculus, Mike Bosetti has created a defense-adjusted three-point percentage metric that compares each player’s shooting from three-point range to the league average based on proximity of nearest defender.

Many players can knock down shots when they’re not guarded, but who hits them when tightly defended? Drawing on NBA.com’s tracking data, Bosetti calculated league average percentages for each of the levels of defensive presence recorded: contested, lightly contested and open. (Tracking data also includes “wide open” but that’s not included in the analysis because that effectively means “undefended.”)

The leaders in total “points above expected” are mostly unsurprising:

  1. Stephen Curry
  2. James Harden
  3. Joe Harris
  4. Danny Green
  5. Buddy Heild
  6. Klay Thompson
  7. Paul George
  8. JJ Redick
  9. Bryn Forbes
  10. Danilo Gallinari

Bosetti also includes a list of the league leaders in points added per 100 shots and some of the names are a bit more eyebrow raising:

  1. Joe Harris
  2. Danny Green
  3. Seth Curry
  4. Stephen Curry
  5. Danilo Gallinari
  6. E’Twaun Moore
  7. Meyers Leonard
  8. Dwayne Bacon
  9. Davis Bertans
  10. Bryn Forbes

Yes, number nine on this list is Bertans, who the Wizards picked up for effectively nothing. There’s lots more in Bosetti’s article, including a link to data on everyone who played in the NBA last season.

Here’s what this year’s Wizards did last season, as well as a few key departures.

Washington Wizards: Defense-Adjusted 3PT Shooting

2019-20 WIZARDS PTS ABOVE EXPECTED PTS ADDED PER 100 % ABOVE EXPECTED
2019-20 WIZARDS PTS ABOVE EXPECTED PTS ADDED PER 100 % ABOVE EXPECTED
Davis Bertans 78.40 23.19 7.73%
Bradley Beal 7.98 1.37 0.46%
C.J. Miles -9.36 -4.61 -1.54%
Thomas Bryant -7.32 -7.70 -2.57%
Ish Smith -11.81 -8.75 -2.92%
Troy Brown Jr. -9.83 -15.12 -5.04%
Isaiah Thomas -7.50 -17.45 -5.82%
John Wall -30.76 -18.20 -6.07%
Mo Wagner -18.28 -23.74 -7.91%
DEPARTED PTS ABOVE EXPECTED PTS ADDED PER 100 % ABOVE EXPECTED
Otto Porter 41.04 16.22 5.41%
Bobby Portis 11.10 6.10 2.03%
Tomas Satoransky 6.37 3.98 1.33%
Markieff Morris -19.91 -9.81 -3.27%
Jabari Parker -27.42 -14.13 -4.71%

It’s no secret the Wizards will have an array of challenges next season, and this stat suggests that shooting could be one of them. The Bertans acquisition helps — he’s one of the games best shooters, even when defenses are trying to stop him — but the rest of the roster was below average from three-point range when defended.