To the Basket: Jeff Teague and John Wall


Photo credit: Keith Allison

In my Q&A with Seth Partnow about John Wall, Seth said John Wall should model his game after a more talented Jeff Teague. I looked into this further to determine what is it about Teague that Wall should go after.

First their usage rates are comparable (via Nylon Calculus)

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 3.21.55 PM

And in many ways Wall is a superior ball handler in every category. So it’s not that he’s lacking a skill set necessarily, but what is Teague doing on the court that Wall isn’t?

A quick look at Teague’s efficiency on the offensive end (also via Nylon Calculus)


In typical pick and roll point guard fashion, Teague spends a lot of energy inside the paint, even if his shooting below the circle, but above the basket is below the average, he’s still pushing his ability to get in there and draw fouls

Here’s Wall’s efficiency-


Wall’s range within the paint is very limited. Unless he is getting directly to the basket he is not taking a shot. It looks as though he’s taking a PnR high on the floor, but instead of using his speed to jet him to the basket he is pulling up to just above the foul line. This means he is fouled much less, but it also means his threat to slash to the hoop is far less. If he’s not directly in front of the basket, Wall isn’t shooting it from inside the paint, so let him take his jumpers, because that’s one less foul the opposition is spending on him.

This is verified by Wall’s Heat map (via basketball reference)


That’s a huge chunk of space in between the jumper at the elbow and the section front of the hoop. And again, being able to save on fouls and physical play on a smaller and faster guard, who will have a greater chance to keep a pure shooter off the line and they won’t get nickle-and-dimed in garbage time.

Now here’s Teague’s Heat Map


Teague’s threat takes over a bulk of size in the middle of the paint, increasing his chances to get fouled. Teague took 376 Free Throw attempts last year, kicking in 318 of them for a 84.6% average. John Wall on the other hand took 394 attempts but made only 317 of them. But Wall’s Free Throw Attempt Rate was only 29.5%, Teague’s 36.2%. Teague had more options for attempts, but knocked down only one more FT than Wall did.

So taking Seth’s advice, John Wall needs to become a better slasher, get to the hoop and create more options on the inside.

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