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John Wall added an improved three-point shot to his game this past season, hitting 35.1 percent of his attempts from long distance after never breaking the modest 30 percent barrier in any previous year.
His overall field-goal percentage took a mild dip, though, which resulted in a a true shooting percentage that was only a fraction better than the one he posted in 2012-13. And there was a bigger problem: Wall didn't trust his retooled jumper when his team needed it most.
We saw him pass up open shots throughout the postseason, with the most glaring example being the wing triple he kept holstered with just under a minute to go in Game 4 against the Pacers.
"I was screaming at him to shoot it," Al Harrington said, per Mike Prada of SB Nation. "But he saw something else—Bradley [Beal]—open on the other side."
Nobody's suggesting Wall needs to force shots. He's a point guard, after all, and finding teammates is a key part of his job.
But he can't continue to shoot 43 percent from the field, which he did this past season. And he can't continue to question his jumper when he's open, even if he only connected on a shade under 40 percent in the playoffs. If he does either of those things in the future, he won't find it nearly so easy to get into the lane or exploit the pick-and-roll.
The Pacers simply didn't play him honestly in their conference semifinal series, and no team will as long as Wall remains streaky and/or hesitant as a shooter.
Without a reliable jumper, Wall is a very good player. He took big strides in some of the nuanced areas of point guard play this year, managing pace more effectively and showing impressive court vision—particularly in hunting down corner threes for his teammates.
But with a steady perimeter stroke, he can be great.
He knows what he has to do this summer.