Wall, Price complement each other's play

Wall, Price complement each other's play
April 20, 2013, 3:15 pm
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The Wizards (29-53) may look different next season as they set their sights on making a legitimate run for the playoffs. This is the first in a series breaking down the roster by position, how they fared and what's likely ahead. Point guards:

John Wall

Numbers game: 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 44% FG shooting, 80.4% FT shooting.

2013-14 status: Will make $7.45 million on the fourth year of his scale contract. He’s eligible for an extension that can stretch up to five years if he’s given the designated-player tag.

Where he excels: Showed the ability to take over games single-handedly –- and not defer -- when he scored a career-high 47 in an upset of Memphis. His assist totals would've been higher had the Wizards been healthy and Wall, who missed 33 games with a left knee injury, had more players around him who could finish at the rim. Still gambles a lot on defense, but doesn't give up on plays. Can get the Wizards easy scores even off of made baskets because of his end-to-end speed. A positive locker room presence who embraces his role as the face of the franchise.

Quick fixes: Keep working on the mid-range jump shot. It’s improved but not automatic yet. … Extend his range to the three-point line. … Continue to down on turnovers. His 3.2 average was the lowest in his career.

He said it: “If I just keep knocking that (mid-range jump shot) down consistently it makes it easier for me and my teammates. I figured it out in games when I’m making that shot it makes it tough for the defense to guard me.  My job is to get everybody involved and whenever I have to score, I (will).”

Grade: B

A.J. Price

Numbers game: 7.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 39% FG shooting, 79% FT shooting.

2013-14 status: An unrestricted free agent who played on a one-year,$885,000 contract after playing his first three NBA seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He wants to return. Price's 22.4 minutes per game and 22 starts were career-highs. 

Where he excels: Price was a more-than-adequate backup for Wall as the roster had few ball-handlers. His three-point range brings an element they lack with Wall and coach Randy Wittman played them both together towards the end of the season.

Quick fixes: His accuracy has improved but needs to get better. Price has never shot better than 41%. ... A broken hand and hamstring injuries slowed him and bothered his shot, so getting healthy is key. 

He said it: “I think early in the year there was a lot of uncertainty for me. First time being here, having to start and trying to bring a group of guys together who  never really played together, it was a lot of pressure on me. I think I handled it as best I could in the early part of the season and became more comfortable as the year went on, ended up playing well toward the end of the season. Wish I started the season how I ended it."

Grade: B