This might sound like a fake response but my sense is that Walton's high assist rate toward the end was less the result of him being a great assist man, rather, it was much more a result of him being overwhelmingly the primary ball handler surrounded by great shooters and him finally deciding to find more opportunities to run in transition.
Our transition opportunities were aided by our improved defense and the fact that DJ/ Wagner were unusually good at leaking out, outrunning bigs and finishing.
Great assist man in the half court? I don't think so.
The degree of difficulty on his assists in the halfcourt was pretty low, IMO.
I am not trying to diminish what he did....But I do give credit to JB for recognizing that our team could have success by moving away from pNR. Why did we move away from PNR? Because Walton was not good at running it? .Luckily we had MAAR, Wagner, Wilson and Robinson who could fill it up. Irvin filled it up nicely toward the end too.
The Walton assist highlight reel is kind of boring isn't it?
I could be wrong about all of this....It is just my impression....and the reason I think good ball handlers (if not great) and deep 3 point shooting threats like Brooks and Poole will Help to fill the void...