The Washington Wizards’ No. 10 overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft Johnny Davis had a disappointing start to his NBA career. He failed to crack the rotation so far, and in the brief moments he played, he wasn’t particularly impressive, especially on the offensive end. A huge part of this has been due to his shooting struggles. Not only is his shot not going in, he also seems to have lost confidence. He is not taking jump shots, and when he does, they look ugly. This is a stain on the Wizards’ player development record.
Coming out of Wisconsin, Davis was a below-average outside shooter, having made 51/157 (32.5%) of his three-pointers in his two collegiate seasons. There was, however, nothing mechanically wrong with his shot. He made free throws and mid-rangers at a decent clip. He didn’t project to be an elite suggest, but he also didn’t look like a complete liability on that end. Everything from his NCAA days shows that he would, at the minimum, be an average catch-and-shoot player and a mid-range scorer.
That has certainly not been the case. The most jarring thing to watch for the Wizards fans in that clip above is the difference in his shot form. Compare that with the way he is shooting right now, and the change is astonishing. The shooting motion has a glitch, as he releases in two separate movements. The ball is to the right of his body to an extreme degree. That is a textbook broken jump shot.
There is a reason that the clip above is from a pregame workout. Davis is not taking any in-game jump shots for us to know. After averaging six threes per 36 minutes in his rookie season, Davis is barely attempting any threes this season, having taken a total of three in 105 minutes so far. He doesn’t have confidence in his shot, causing him to pass up open looks. This, in turn, has minimized his role in the rotation, only playing in 11 games for an average of 9.5 minutes.
There aren’t too many ways to succeed in the NBA for a shooting guard who can’t shoot. Not shooting it is even worse than not making it. It has damaging ripple effects on the rest of the team in terms of spacing. It is extremely important for the Washington Wizards and Johnny Davis to fix this issue. If they can’t, Davis’ days in the NBA will be numbered.
And that will not be on him, it will be on the Wizards’ player development staff for breaking something they don’t know how to fix.