Which bud showed off his scoring skills?

I read this article on Yahoo.com, and it raved about John Wall’s scoring abilities.  It was so ebullient in its praise, I had to double check his statistics to make sure I hadn’t misread them.  I thought he shot the ball poorly.

He did.  He made 37% of his shots, and this was against Summer League defense, not Rajon Rondo.  Oh, the article mentions he struggled with “his 3s”, which he certainly did, going 1 for 8.  So he did well with his 2s then?  Ah, only if this were Summer League 1953.  Wall shot 40% on his 2s… that’s Jennings bad.  In fact, if it weren’t for his uncharacteristically good free throw shooting, his vaunted scoring would have been nonexistent.  As it was, it was noneffective.  (That said, he does show a nice ability to penetrate and get to the free throw line).

Oh, but the article mentions he had trouble with turnovers.  The article didn’t make it sound like a huge deal.  After all, he’s only a point guard, its not as though he’s asked to handle the ball.

Then the article dogs out — rightly — Evan Turner for his poor shooting.  But you know what?  You put two more of Turner’s shots in the basket and he shot the ball better than Wall.

I’m not trying to get on Wall’s case.  He’ll be a fine point guard. 

I just don’t understand why people insist on making him out to be way, way, way more than he so far appears to be.  Didn’t we learn an abject lesson about scoring point guards when we got our asses reamed at the 2004 Olympics mainly, no almost EXCLUSIVELY, because Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury were somehow allowed to use nearly every possession for Team USA (and neither could throw the ball into the ocean)?  Yet here we go again with another huge media man-crush on a gunning point.


12 Responses to “Which bud showed off his scoring skills?”

  1. dberri Says:

    I looked at Wall’s WS in summer league. If you eliminate the contribution from this FTM and FTA, his WS in Summer League was zero. So Wall was clearly getting calls in Summer League. Will that still happen as a rookie?

    • tywill33 Says:

      Great point!

      Check this out. I just looked at his collegiate numbers. First off, he shot his throws much better than in college, which probably won’t continue.

      But more to your point. In college Wall’s FTAs to 2 point FGAs was 71%. In the Summer League, that shot up to 77%! He was CLEARLY getting all the whistles!

      Now here’s the bad news for him if he thinks he’s gonna live at the line. The average PG’s FTAs/2ptFGAs is around 24%, nowhere near what he was getting in the Summer League.

      And, I looked at Derrick Rose, who seems a lot like Wall. In college Rose’s FTA/2ptFGA was 61%. His rookie season it shot down to 23%. Last season it was 24%. Rajon Rondo, a penetrator, had an average of 25%.

      Bottom line, there’s virtually no chance he gets anywhere near the Free Throw attempts.


      • palamida Says:

        As you both probably know, in the VSL you can commit ten personal fouls before fouling out; Combine that with the fact that every one tries to prove “they have what it takes” and many players play little mins makes for a hell of a “hackorama”, meaning I think he probably got some extra calls but really – there’s just a lot of fouling going around in the VSL :p
        Off course all that will change soon enough.

        Since I was on the Cousins bandwagon for many months, I would like to note that he has been shooting the ball very poorly. In college he was an efficient scoring machine, that wasn’t the case in the VSL. Is it the sample size? we’ll find out soon enough :p

        On a subjective note – I was very impressed with his play, especially his passing ability which is already at an elite level. his Rebounding and Shot blocking are probably a given, the only real question is can he score in bunches in an efficient manner? My money’s on yes, but so far I have to admit – the early returns are not boding well.

  2. A Jordan Myth and the Latest and Greatest from the Wages of Wins Network « The Wages of Wins Journal Says:

    […] Which bud showed off his scoring skills? […]

  3. szr Says:

    Wall is shaping up to be the next Starbury instead of all star. I’m really disappointed with the Wizards. They’ve signed a crap roster (but young!) with little proven ability (but with upside!). They’re going to crash and burn next year. Hard.

    I honestly feel bad for Wall. They literally threw him a parade when he arrived in DC, invented a silly dance for him, and the mayor gave him the key to the city, This isn’t Lebron James. And if the Wizards win 12 games next season (a not pessimistic projection using WP), what is that going to do to Wall’s psyche?

    But the most disappointing thing about the Wizards is that Ted Leonsis said he read Wages of Wins and thought it was insightful. I cannot imagine someone would make the decisions he did if they had actually read the book. Its truly depressing.

  4. todd2 Says:

    I was on the Cousins bandwagon while he was in school, but he looked lost in the small amount of summer league I’ve seen. He’s struggling to get position and forcing bad shots. Makes me wonder if players should avoid UK because of their style of play.

    • tywill33 Says:

      He must have been taking terrible shots, too. Maybe the scouts and others were right to question his maturity level. I try not to get into those things, but maybe its legitimate.

  5. todd2 Says:

    should have read “post players”

  6. Tom Mandel Says:

    The media frenzy over John Wall is *exceptionally* annoying, I agree. I don’t know what makes one guy so attention-worthy and another (e.g. Blake Griffin) not.

    This kind of pointless puffery of a 19 (not 20) year old kid often makes people reactively negative. For example, Dave Berri points out that if you eliminate his most positive stat (and more on that particular stat in a minute) his WS40 gets much worse.

    Extending this valuable analytical method, do you realize that if you eliminate half his FG misses, his FG% goes up? 🙂

    There is really no need to pick on the guy!

    A few points worth noting:

    1. Trends are important. Wall had 8 turnovers in his first 33 minutes and 2 turnovers in his last 36 minutes. Extrapolating from there, he is likely to have the fewest turnovers in the history of the league. A stud! 🙂 (you do accept that “extrapolation” is the method used to estimate the calls he’ll get in the league?)

    2. Data sample size is significant — why don’t you tell me his paws40 for his last game? For games 2 + 4? And if all trends are in a positive direction over the 4 game sequence, perhaps we should actually count game 4 twice? Now what does his PAWS40 look like? (i.e. arithmetic is not analysis — *figuring out* wp48 as dave did is an intellectual achievement. Adding up numbers for 4 SL games is not)

    3. With a roster that no one would have suggested was anything special, the Wizards won all 4 games Wall played. He constantly pushed guys who were guarding him into fouls — Beaubois fouled him 4 times in 5 minutes and then sat on the bench. On a related note, his Center JaVale McGee put up better numbers over 4 games than he ever has over any continual 20 minutes — probably since AAU! He shot almost 70% Most of that success came via Wall, but the credit for it went to McGee’s PAWS40. A statistical measure can work very well over a large part of the bell-shaped curve and still tell lies in many individual instances. (Take a look at how the many hedge funds started on quite sophisticated statistical models did in edgy conditions, for example).

    4. Free Throw shooting — there was no penalty in SL. You only shot if fouled while shooting. How many more FTAs would Wall have had if there’d been a penalty? How many more FTAs would *his teammates have had* (because of how often he was being fouled) had there been a penalty?

    5. “Fouls” vs. “Calls” — did you *watch* the games, Ty? Or you, Dave? He wasn’t getting a lot of questionable calls. His speed and athleticism made it hard to guard him w/o *obvious* fouls. That’s not to suggest he won’t have to pay some kind of rookie tax, I’m sure he will. Sometimes, however, you have to look at the *thing* that a *number* represents. (see above reference to hedge fund performance)

    In all, Wall looked like a supremely talented 19 year old rookie who is pretty raw but quick to learn. He didn’t look *anything* like Allen Iverson or Stephon Marbury, btw. In interviews, he also didn’t *sound* like them (i.e. he exhibited a sound understanding of his mistakes and what he needed to improve on).

    I think he is likely to be an excellent player. On the other hand, there is also a good chance he won’t be. I’m pretty sure that PAWS40 is not a tool we can use in this kind of case to estimate those chances.

  7. Tom Mandel Says:

    I left a long comment here a few days ago. Was it too long? Was it unacceptable because critical? Are you behind on moderating? Did you send me an email asking me to cease and desist?

    • tywill33 Says:

      Sorry about that Tom… I haven’t been tending to the blog. Thus the reason it didn’t publish is I have to approve new posters because of the insanely large amount of idiotic spam.

      I’ll approve the other too. Sorry about that!!

    • tywill33 Says:

      Terrific, well-informed comments… I just read them!

      You should have chewed me out sooner!

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