John Wall’s shooting struggles in Game 1 — particularly late — appear to be more than just an off night.
For his career against Boston, Wall shoots .406 from the floor. (This includes this year’s Game One.) He fires at a dismal .169 rate from 3-point range. He also supplies the Celtics with 4.36 turnovers per game, with an ORtg of 97 and DRtg of 104.
Against the rest of the league for his career, Wall sports a .433 field goal percentage, and shoots .321 from 3-point range. He commits 3.83 turnovers a game, with an ORtg of 107 and DRtg of 105.
Facing Boston, he struggles to a true shooting percentage of .475; against the rest of the NBA, he hits a respectable .518.
“Up against the Wall”
It’s especially interesting to note that Wall’s offensive struggles have continued over the last 2 1/2 years, given Isaiah Thomas is, fairly enough, considered a below-average defender.
Note also that that he is paired with a backcourt mate in Bradley Beal that makes it hard for the Celtics to find an easy cover for IT.
Offensively, in Thomas’s career against Washington — 16 games, including Game One, 480 minutes, mostly with the Celtics — he’s enjoyed comparable success.
His true shooting percentage is .550, a little below his career average, but well above Wall’s .475 against the Celts. IT shoots .344 from 3-point range, and commits 2.63 turnovers a game… with an ORtg of 115 and a DRtg of 109.
“Keeping his offense off the field”
Indeed, herein may lie a lesson for continuing this happy trend.
The only teams Wall fares worse against than Boston are Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
The Spurs earn plaudits for their effective defense against superstars, but they also boast a tradition of solid offensive play from their point guard and backup point guard.
OKC, of course, brings the perpetual motion machine that is Russell Westbrook.
Both teams, in other words, have some elite defenders to match up against Wall. They also, however, make him work on defense.
As we pointed out in our recent (prescient, if we may say so) series preview, it’s notable that since IT’s arrival in Boston, Wall seems to struggle especially in the fourth quarter.
So yes, credit Bradley and Smart for their defensive efforts. Give IT a pat on the back too, though, for wearing down Wall with his Tasmanian Devil act with the ball. It’s not easy for a point guard to run the show on offense and have to chase around “the Little Guy” on the other end.
All of which gives Celtic fans reason to hope Wall’s struggles may well continue. At least for four games out of seven….