Washington Wizards: Three-point shooting keeps team afloat

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal against the New York Knicks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal against the New York Knicks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have hovered around .500 since the start of the New Year thanks to their sharp shooting.

In that span, the Washington Wizards are 12th in the NBA in points per game and fourth in three-point field goals per game. About one-third of the Wizards points have come from three-point field goals over the past month, the sixth-highest rate in the NBA.

Looking further into the numbers, we can see the hot hand has become contagious among the Wizards roster. Since January 1, The Wizards have seven players averaging over 35 percent on three-pointers (minimum 5 games)

Most notably, Tomas Satoransky shot 39.7 percent on three-pointers in 2018. Sato is now shooting a blazing 47.1 percent in 2019 thus far. Bradley Beal, who was shooting a mere 33 percent, has maintained a 38.8 percent clip from long range this month. Jeff Green has followed suit, knocking in shots at 38.3 percent compared to his 35.1 percent on three-pointers this fall.

3P% Above 35% – First Three Months

Chasson Randle – 50%

Jason Smith – 40%

Satoransky – 39.7%

Otto Porter – 36.8%

Green – 35.1%

3P% Above 35% – Since Jan. 1 

Jordan McRae – 77.8%

Thomas Bryant – 66.7%

Satoransky – 47.1%

Randle – 40.6%

Beal – 38.8%

Green – 38.3%

Porter – 37%

The Wizards newest additions of Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker bring depth, scoring and a sense of financial freedom to Washington. Portis, a fourth-year forward from Arkansas, is averaging 14.1 points per game on 37.5 percent three-point shooting. Parker, a former No. 2 overall draft pick from Duke, averages 14.3 points per game. Though Parker averages just 32.5 percent from beyond the arc, he has a strong instinct for rebounding, averaging 6.2 per game. The addition of Portis and Parker should bring new energy and efficient scoring to Washington. Both players average above 45 percent on field goal attempts.

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Despite the offensive barrage, playing high-level defense remains a difficult task for Washington. To start the season, Washington ranked 29th in team defense, allowing an astounding 117.5 points per night. Since January 1, the Wizards have improved to the 21st best defense in the NBA, allowing 112.8 points per game. With the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls on the weekend schedule, look for Washington to continue to stretch the floor and knock down long range attempts at a high rate.