Wizards Underwhelming Pick-and-Roll Attack
This is not to say the Wizards are hopeless as both Bradley Beal and Wall show flashes of ability to read the defense and vary the pace of their attack. For example, yesterday I talked about how the Spurs are able to avoid a trap in a blitzed PnR by hitting the screener on the "short roll" in space. Here is an example of Beal executing this to perfection in game 1 resulting in great ball movement and an open 3:
As an example, on this pick-and-roll, his speed coming off the screen works to his disadvantage:
In any event, faced with no obvious options, Wall plays into the defense's hands, and settles:
And it's not all a result of poor offensive spacing or timing. On this play, Wall gets good spacing and waits for Gortat to get a solid screen, but makes up his mind early that he's shooting a pull up instead of attacking:
Wall's tendency to rush the play also hurts him against ICE defense:
I should close by saying that some of this criticism isn't totally fair - the Wizards are playing against a superior defensive team, with Gibson and especially Noah being highly skilled at reading and reacting to what Wall or Beal are doing with the ball. Further, the Wizards don't have quite the same personnel around their ball-handlers. With due respect to Nene and Gortat, Diaw and Tim Duncan are simply more skilled options in terms of either receiving the ball out on the floor or rolling and finishing in traffic. Not to mention, there is every indication that the decision to settle for early mid range jumpers is partially a coaching decision.
But those caveats aside, for the Wizards to go from good to great offensively, a little more patience and better execution in this staple play from their young guards will be a necessity.