What’s Wrong with the Washington Wizards Offense?

Nov 24, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards head coach Randy Whitman reacts during the first half against Detroit Pistons at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE


The start of the season has been so bad for the Wizards it’s hard to remember sometimes the Wizards aren’t an all-around bad team. Their defense is ranked 15th in the league and their rebounding differential, while in the bottom third of all teams, is still not the worst. The reason the Wizards have been such an inept team is on offense. The Wizards offensive efficiency is by far the worst in the league, scoring only 93.4 points per 100 possessions. To give some amount of context to how awful that number is, the gap in offensive efficiency between the Wizards and the 29th ranked offensive team is the same as the gap between the 29th ranked team and the 21st ranked team.  They also ranked dead last in FG%, TS%, and points per game.  I decided to look into the specifics of the Wizards offensive problems and see if there was an overriding reason they were so bad.

To see if there was a specific pitfall to the Wizards offensive organization, I decided to look at shot location charts to see where the Wizards were shooting from on the floor and at what percentage. I found that from the Wizards were 20th in the league at converting at the rim, and were in the top 10 in FG% from 3-15 feet away from the basket. Where the Wizards suffered, however, was shooting from further away from the rim. The Wizards were 29th in the league shooting from beyond the arc and were dead last in shooting from 16-23 feet away from the rim.

This wouldn’t necessarily be the worst offensive makeup if the Wizards didn’t take as many shots as they did from their worst area, the 16-23 foot jumper. The Wizards are taking a league most 24.2 shots per game from 16-23 feet while shooting a league worst 31.8% from that area. Not only that, the 16-23 foot jumper is the most common shot that the Wizards take in a given game, more popular than both shots at the rim or three-point attempts. This probably accounts for the Wizards low overall offensive efficiency.

What is clear to me is that the Wizards spacing issues remain as unresolved as ever.  And even if Bradley Beal starts shooting lights out, that isn’t going to solve all the Wizards problems. It seems like other teams are still doing what they were when Wall was playing, packing the paint and daring the Wizards to shoot. And unless the Wizards suddenly figure out how to drain more shots, then they probably aren’t going to win that many more games this season.

What do you guys think? Is there a bigger problem the Wizards are dealing with? Be sure to voice your opinion in the comments.




Topics: Problems, Shooting, Washington Wizards

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