The Wizards' preseason, by the numbers

The Wizards' preseason has come and gone, so it's time to turn to everyone's favorite thing: numbers!  

Okay, I'm being facetious.  I get the natural reaction to ignore these things, since it's preseason and all.  But they also can potentially tell us a lot about how the season is going to play out, and they give us an idea just how well the Wizards are doing with their projected strengths and weaknesses.  Jake covered some of the more traditional statistical quirks on SB Nation D.C., but below the jump, here are some more advanced statistics, thanks to the wonderful Advanced Statistics calculator on Pick and Scroll.

For more on some of these, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post's guide to them from earlier this summer.

TEAM FOUR FACTORS (bold=very good, italics=very bad)

Team Pace Off Eff eFG% FT/FG OREB% TOr
OFFENSE 97.6 97.6 48.2 18.2 19.8 13.5
DEFENSE

96.9 47.2 24.9 20.3 15.3

 

A couple observations:

  • Maybe Basketball Prospectus was on to something when it said the Wizards' offense would struggle this year.  Even with John Wall (more on him in a second), the Wizards' offense was not very efficient during the preseason.  The defense, however, was quite good, though defenses are usually ahead of offenses in preseason.
  • The Wizards' defensive rebounding was particularly good, which is big because rebounding, on paper, looks like a major weakness this year.  More on this in a minute.
  • Getting to the free-throw line was a major issue.  For all his breathtaking play, Wall only got there less than 4.5 times a game.  It'll take him some time to get some respect from the referees, and he's the guy who the team is relying on getting to the line often.  

Some individual stats:

John Wall

  • 43.1 eFG% 
  • 47.9 TS%
  • 37.5% assist rate
  • 19% turnover rate
  • 24.7% usage rate

Yeesh.  While we're all gushing over Wall's preseason performance, those are not pretty numbers.  A 37.5% assist percentage is pretty solid, but Wall also turned it over a lot, and his shooting was really bad.  The silver lining is we knew he'd struggle with shooting and with turnovers, so it shouldn't be surprising that he struggled there.  I also expect that usage rate to go down with Gilbert Arenas playing regularly, so that should help his efficiency too.  But the lack of free throws is pretty surprising, since that's supposed to be one of the defining characteristics of his game.

All in all, Wall proved that he still has growing up to do.  That's okay.  Let's just enjoy that ride.

Andray Blatche

  • 49% TS%
  • 13.4% REB%
  • 28.1% usage rate

This is the guy that really disappointed me during the preseason.  I realize he's still working his way back from his foot injury over the summer, but you have to be concerned about what we saw from him.  

The big problem with Blatche is that he's still conditioned to being the top option with a bunch of bad teammates.  As such, he's launching a ton of shots and not hitting very many of them.  Now that he's being asked to do more things than post up, Blatche is struggling.  He's taking shots off the dribble, not getting into the paint enough and even taking three-pointers.  I don't question Blatche's mentality, because he does need some time to adjust, but I do think he still isn't really sure how he fits in with Wall and a healthy Arenas.  This is something to watch as the season gets going.

JaVale McGee

  • 59.3% TS%, 
  • 27.8% DREB%
  • 18.9% REB% 
  • 18.2% TO%
  • 8.8% BLK%
  • 21.5% USG%

We can certainly argue with his technique, but it's hard to argue with McGee's performance on the defensive glass.  When you can snare close to one in five rebounds while you're on the court, you're doing an excellent job.  He's also scoring extremely efficiently, and the 8.8% block percentage is out of control.  The next step for JaVale is cutting down on the turnovers.

Kirk Hinrich

  • 58.5% TS%
  • 20.7% AST%
  • 15.1 TO%
  • 15.2% USG%

Hinrich may have been the Wizards' best player in the preseason.  He probably won't shoot as well as he has been shooting, but he's filled in the blanks in a limited role and been extremely efficient.  Even if that TS% goes down a bit, it should stay pretty high assuming he continues to be good at spotting up from three.

Gilbert Arenas

  • 58.4% TS%
  • 19.4% AST%
  • 10.2% TO%
  • 20.7 USG%

It's a limited sample, but Arenas was very efficient in the four preseason games he's played.  It's worth noting that the Wizards went just 1-3 this preseason when Arenas didn't play (we're counting the Bucks game).  The next step is getting to the free-throw line more than seven times in 3+ games.

Yi Jianlian

  • 50% TS%
  • 14.3% REB% 
  • 19.1% USG%

As much as we enjoyed Yi's play this preseason, his advanced numbers weren't very far off from his career numbers. He was a little more efficient and a little better on the glass, but overall, he was the same guy on offense.  His defense did look better, but let's not pretend he broke out just yet. 

Nick Young

  • 51.7 TS%
  • 3.4% AST% 
  • 6.5% TO%
  • 23% USG%

I'll just quote Jake here.

3: The number of assists Nick Young compiled in 150 minutes of preseason action. That's an assist every 50 minutes, or two minutes longer than a regulation NBA game.    

Al Thornton

 

  • 53.4% TS%
  • 8.1% REB%
  • 15.5% USG%
The most striking thing about Thornton is how little he shot the ball.  If he can keep that up, maybe he can earn those small forward minutes.

Trevor Booker

  • 31.6% TS%
  • 18.3% REB%
  • 22% TO%
  • 17.6% USG%
Booker's rebounding numbers are inflated by his big last game against Detroit.  All in all, it was a pretty bad preseason for him.  He looked tentative, which contributed to his shooting and turnover issues.  When you're open, Trevor, shoot the ball. 

 

FINAL ROSTER SPOT SMACKDOWN

Lester Hudson

 

  • 47.4 TS%
  • 31.5% AST%
  • 20.1% TO%
  • 25.6% USG%
Hudson shot a lot, didn't do so efficiently and turned it over a lot.  I liked him being on the final roster, but these numbers make me pause.

 

Cartier Martin

 

  • 68.1% TS%
  • 8.4% REB%
  • 22.8% TO%
  • 11.7% USG%
To me, the stat that tells the whole story is that Martin grabbed more available rebounds than Al Thornton.  He was on fire with his shot, which won't carry over, but I love his performance in the effort stats.  I think he's earned his spot on the team.

 

Adam Morrison

 

  • 56.3% TS%
  • 10.1% TO%
  • 11% USG%
Morrison didn't play badly.  He just didn't play as well as Cartier Martin.

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