September 24, 2020

Washington Wizards 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Point Guards

It is common knowledge now; John Wall is one of the best point guards in basketball right now, arguably in the same tier as the elite Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul. With the proneness to injury of Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose, to me there is no question that the Washington Wizards boast the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.

Although Wall is a solid scorer and even better distributor with of the basketball, he cannot play 48 minutes a game during an 82 game season; it is physically impossible. That is where eight-year veteran Ramon Sessions, 29, comes into play. Sessions told me during Wizards Media Day, that he feels great about knowing what system he is going to be playing in the following season during the offseason.

Washington had the option to pay Wall the fifth-year salary of his rookie contract of just under $10 million, but the club reached an agreement to extend Wall for four years past his rookie deal at an average of $17 million. When you think about the fact that Wall is making roughly the same amount of money as Pistons’ Reggie Jackson, but posted career high in shooting percentage (44.5), assists (10), and rebounds (4.6), the Wizards got a heck of a deal.

Wall is arguably the fastest point guard in the league and has a natural knack to get to the rim in order to score or set up teammates for easy lay-ins or open three point attempts; however, he has needed to improve his three point shooting and at times bad turnover habits. Wall is a career 30.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc which hurts the Wizards desire to spread the floor in a small ball nature. The Kentucky product also has averaged nearly four turnovers a game in his career in DC, which is keeping him from ranking the best in assist-to-turnover ratio behind Chris Paul.

Luckily for the Wizards, Wall understands his weaknesses and worked hard in the offseason to try and correct them. John Wall reportedly shot three-pointers every day of the offseason until he had a thousand makes from deep, an astounding fact that he is extremely committed to the well-being of his team. Wall also recently made a one-way “bet” with former point guard and current Wizards assistant coach Howard Eisley to pay Eisley $100 for every game in which Wall commits three or more turnovers. Although it will probably not come instantaneously, but if Wall is able to significantly improve his game in these two aspects, he will not only be regarded as one of the best points guards, but wholly as one of the best players currently in the NBA.

Last year, the Wizards began to adapt to the small-ball style of play the rest of the league was transitioning to. Some think that it means only playing one post presence at a time, but Washington made a sub-level component move to increase the pace of their second-unit offense. Not only was the move to send Andre Miller to Sacramento helpful for the team’s backups to play at a pace almost on par with Wall, but it also turned out to be huge in the playoffs.

Sessions was able to step up as the starting point guard for three games last season against the Hawks when Wall went down with multiple dislocated fractures in his wrist. During that three-game stretch, Sessions contributed 42 points and 15 assists while playing solid defense against Jeff Teague as well.

An aspect to Sessions game that hopefully will not be used as often this year with the addition of many capable wing players, is that he is able to play along side John Wall at times as a shooting guard. With the early worries of injuries to Jared Dudley (back), Alan Anderson (ankle), and Martell Webster (hip), Sessions could fill a similar role along side John Wall and Bradley Beal to bridge the gap until everyone is healthy.

Randy Wittman also uses Garrett Temple at times at point guard in spot minutes, but expect most of Temple’s playing time to be as a wing player. Regardless, barring injury, the Washington Wizards will be well off at the point guard position for the upcoming 2015-16 season and likely beyond though Sessions’ contract will expire at the end of the season.

Stay tuned for District Sports Page’s position outlook on the Wizards shooting guards and subsequent positions throughout the rest of the week.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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