The Washington Wizards were able to get back on track versus the Memphis Grizzlies, securing their first win of the season. The defense looked significantly better and the offense was more dynamic, playing with intention and pace while generating open looks from behind the three-point line. Despite a balanced scoring performance, in which three Wizards scored 20+ points, the offense can still get better. The way to do that might be by trusting Tyus Jones with the ball in his hands more than Jordan Poole.
Poole was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points. He consistently created good shots for himself and as usual, wasn’t afraid to take them. However, he still leaves a lot to be desired as the primary playmaker for this team.
Even though Poole is a dynamic scorer off-the-dribble, he is an awful ball-handler for a player of his caliber. He loses control of the ball regularly, double-dribbles, and carries the ball more than almost any other player in the league. His loose handles, combined with his questionable decision-making and passing make him a less-than-ideal primary creator. There is a reason he has nine turnovers and seven total assists in two games.
An NBA team simply can’t afford to have their primary playmaker have more turnovers than assists. Especially if they have one of the best assist-to-turnover ratio players in NBA history in Tyus Jones.
Jones, on the other hand, has 13 assists and only two turnovers in 56 minutes of action. He has done an excellent job putting his teammates into positions to succeed through two games.
This doesn’t mean that Jones should run every pick-and-roll and isolation. He doesn’t have the scoring punch Poole does. But, it does mean that Jones should have a bigger role in the offense while Poole plays more off-ball.
So far, Poole has a usage rate of 33.9% while Jones is at 20.9%. These numbers should be closer to one another if the Wizards want to have a healthy, functioning offense.
The Wizards will play much better teams than the short-handed Grizzlies they faced on Saturday. With the youth and inexperience on this Wizards team, their margin of error is going to be small to have a chance to win. Putting the ball in the steady hands of Jones might give them the best chance.