Did Wall overshoot down the stretch?

Did Wall overshoot down the stretch?
May 3, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) shoots a jump shot over Phoenix Suns center Jermaine O'Neal (20).

(Brad Mills-USA Today Sports)

A question that hardly anyone asked as the Wizards skidded to six losses in a row: Did John Wall actually shoot too much?

Granted, the Wizards (29-53) were without Nene, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza for most of those games.

The Wizards averaged just 93.2 points per game which tied for last in the NBA.

With points harder to come by, the ball stopped moving and Wall tried to take over the offense. It worked when he scored a career-high 47 points vs. the Memphis Grizzlies in a 107-94 win on March 25.

It didn't work as the Wizards failed to reach their goal of 30 wins, after they’d failed to reach their goal of ninth place in the Eastern Conference set by coach Randy Wittman.

Including the career game vs. Memphis, the Wizards were in 4-9 to end the season. The fewest shots Wall took during that stretch was 15 in a 102-92 win vs. the Toronto Raptors.  He averaged 20 shots per game.

The Wizards were 10-17 when Wall shot 15 times or more for the season. In the last six losses, Wall only reached 50% shooting once.

It's clear this is a better team when Wall doesn't have a score-first mentality and only calls on that part of his game in small doses.

Wall missed the first 33 games of the season with a stress injury to his left knee and was slow to recover to form, but he averaged career-highs of 18.5 points and 44.1% shooting. 

Wall enters the off-season and is eligible for a contract extension. He believes he is a "max" player, and GM Ernie Grunfeld can begin negotiating with him and agent Dan Fegan when the free agency period opens July 1. 

There had been plenty criticism of Wall going into his third season. There still is going into his fourth, and he knows not everyone will believe in him. In situations like the Wizards had to end this season, Wall has to find a better balance to keep teammates involved to take the next step.  

“Critics are going to be there regardless so it doesn't really bother me. I've been dealing with critics throughout my whole career," Wall said at the end of the season. " You hear people say good things and some people say bad things. The bad things you use as motivation. The good things you just use to keep doing it. You want to prove people wrong but you don’t too much talking , let your game do the talking."