John Wall, Marquis Teague

John Wall’s shot is off this preseason


The numbers simply are not good. At all.

John Wall is shooting 35.3 percent this preseason (29-of-82) overall and 11.7 percent (2-of-17) from three. Against Cleveland Wednesday he was 1-of-7, the night before 5-of-11 against the Pistons, and in those games combined he was 3-of-13 outside the paint. (It’s preseason, some advanced stats and shot location data I’d love to add here is not available.)

That would be John Wall, he of the new $80 million max contract (sorry John, but if you struggle this season that number is going to come up a lot). That would be John Wall, the guy the entire Wizards offense and playoff hopes are built around.

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Wall’s shot has regressed this preseason. It’s preseason and he’s experimenting with stuff, but those numbers still send up a red flag.

Wall told J. Michael of he’s getting the looks he wants.

“I feel like there are great shots. They’re just not going in right now. I’ve still got the same confidence,” Wall said when I asked him about his accuracy problems after he went 6-for-15 vs. the New York Knicks a week ago. “The same thing I worked on. Just keep shooting. It’s preseason. There are other things to work on. Get your kinks out.”

It’s preseason, we can’t say that enough. Do not reach for the panic button, Washington. The lineups he plays with will settle down and he will get looks he wants. Maybe his shooting percentage when the games matter will climb back up.

But it’s not going to be easy — the Wizards first eight games include on the road at Detroit, at Miami, Brooklyn, at Oklahoma City, at Dallas, at San Antonio. There are some good defensive teams on that list that can make life difficult for a point guard. Especially one struggling with his shot.

It may not be fair that a slow start, or for that matter the entirety of the Wizards season, will be placed on Wall’s shoulders, but that’s what comes with a max contract. It’s his team now. If his shots don’t fall when the games matter that spotlight is going to get brighter.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.

NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76

ATLANTA - 1968:  Bill Bridges#10 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for a portrait circa 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.

Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.

A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.