The Washington Wizards have found a not so secret ingredient to their latest success on the court, sharing. Gone are the days of players selfishly going one on one just going for stats. After a few years and a few roster overhauls, the Wizards have players that understand their roles on this team. None of them are talented enough to take over a game and win it all, but together is a whole different story.
The Wizards are 6-2 in their last eight games and get a rematch against one of the teams they lost to during that stretch on Monday. It just so happens that the game they lost against the Toronto Raptors also happens to be when John Wall had his lowest assist output and the team had their second lowest in the last eight games. In the six wins the Wizards are averaging 26 assists per game while in the two losses they only averaged 21. This is a big stat for a team that wins when multiple players get involved in the offense and tend to lose when only one or two players reach double digits. 26 assists per game would rank them first in the NBA while their average of 24.75 in the last eight games would place them second only to the San Antonio Spurs.
The catalyst for all of the sharing that has been going on for the Wizards, Wall. For his career he averages 8.1 assists per game but has been averaging 9 during this eight game stretch, reaching double digits in assists three times. For all of the complaints that Wall isn’t an elite passer, his 7.6 assist per game on the year average would have him tied for seventh in the league with Tony Parker if he qualified and his 9 assists per game in the last eight would have him sitting at third on the leader board. Not bad for a guy that isn’t an elite passer. While Wall does turn the ball over at a high rate, getting that under control could have him adding another assist or two to his per game totals.
This Wizards team has found it’s identity. Sharing the basketball is the key to their success. As they continue to improve and Wall shakes off the last bit of that rust of not playing for three months, they should only get better.