Beyond Beal, Webster, Wizards unsightly from deep

Beyond Beal, Webster, Wizards unsightly from deep
October 19, 2013, 3:15 pm
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J. Michael has an update on John Wall's new fashion trend

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In his game preview for Saturday night's Wizards-Pelicans matchup, our J. Michael highlighted key points to watch, including whether John Wall and Glen Rice will find their jump shots. Actually, that's the question right now for anyone not named Bradley Beal or Martell Webster.

Through four preseason games, the Wizards are shooting a dismal 25.7 percent (27-105) from beyond the 3-point arc. Look beyond Beal (9 for 22) and Webster (6 for 17), the two players Washington counts on most for perimeter production, and the numbers turn truly unsightly. All others on the roster are a combined 12 for 66 or 18.2 percent. 

Rice has missed 13 of 14 attempts. At least he's made one, unlike Eric Maynor (0 for 7). Stretch-four Al Harrington (3 for 11), small forward Trevor Ariza (4-14) and Wall (2-13) are also clanking from distance. 

Against the Knicks, Washington finished 5 of 31 from distance. New York sank 11 of 25 in the 98-89 victory

"I mean it's preseason right now and those are the things you work on and get your kinks out," said Wall, who had 14 points and eight assists versus New York, but missed five of six attempts from beyond the arc. "I think we're doing a great job, just have to be more consistent as a team." 

Wall is taking shots with less hesitancy and greater confidence this season. So far that hasn't translated to greater efficiency for the career 24 percent 3-point shooter. 

"I feel great. I feel like they're all great shots, they're just not going in right now," said Wall, following Thursday's loss to the Knicks. "So I still have the same concept and the same thing I've worked on and just keep shooting." 

No reason to panic seeing as we're talking preseason, a time when teams are making adjustment, leaning to play with each other and so. Besides, last season, Washington finished 10th in the NBA at 36.5 percent on 3's. 

Then again, in this small ball era, teams must knock down 3-pointers to survive. For a Washington team currently without center Emeka Okafor and playing on the constant threat of Nene missing time, the perimeter options will have to carry the load on many nights. Beal and Webster can do a lot, but they can't do it all.