The Wizards started out on the right foot against the Raptors in Game 1 of their playoff series and won 93-86 in overtime. Let's examine the box score, crunch some numbers, and find out some of the key numbers in the game.
Four Factors Numbers for Game 1
First, let's take a look at the Wizards and Raptors' Four Factors numbers to get a feel on how things played out in Game 1, both overall, and for each period:
|WIZARDS FOUR FACTORS||PERIOD||RAPTORS FOUR FACTORS|
As a whole, the Wizards started out cold against the Raptors where they only made one out of their first ten shots in the game. They played very well in the second and third quarters of this game which helped them build a 15-point lead in the fourth. But the Raptors came back and forced overtime when it shouldn't have been that way. Fortunately, Washington turned on the jets once again in the extra period to come out with the victory. In short, the Four Factors numbers, especially by quarter help paint a picture on how this game went.
Now, let's take a look at some key stats in this game from the good, to the bad, to the ugly.
The Good Stats
Controlling the turnovers - The Wizards only committed ten turnovers while the Raptors committed 12, which contribute to both teams' good TOV% rates. You have to give props to the Wizards for taking care of the basketball and having a better TOV% rate against a team that was fourth in that category heading into the playoffs. Often, we look at turnovers as a reason why teams lose games. But in Saturday's case, the lack of turnovers are why the Wizards won.
Rebounding - The Wizards outrebounded the Raptors, 61-48, and they also outrebounded them 9-3 in overtime. Washington also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds to get 20 second chance points, while Toronto only had 14.
Paul Pierce's 20 points - The Truth led all scorers in Game 1 -- and he shot 7 of 10 from the field -- but the timing of his points was at least as crucial. He scored 10 points in the second quarter, including a basket to give them their first lead in this game. He also scored five more points in overtime. His first basket was another go-ahead three-pointer.
Limiting the Raptors to just 14 free throw attempts - Toronto is one of the best teams at getting to the free throw line. The Raptors' FT/FGA factor was higher than the Wizards, but they also attempted fewer free throw attempts than Washington (14 vs. 15).
Controlling Lou Williams - The Wizard Killer of Killers scored 10 points but shot 4 of 16 from the field in order to do so. I'll take that any day.
The Bad Stats
A lack of free throws - The FT/FGA factor is the least influential of the Four Factors for winning games. But the Wizards managed to attempt zero free throws in the third quarter. Fortunately, so did the Raptors.
Free throw efficiency - The Wizards only made nine of their 15 free throw attempts, and that needs to improve throughout the series. Nene and Bradley Beal missed two free throws each while Ramon Sessions and Otto Porter missed one each.
John Wall and Bradley Beal come out cold - The House of Guards shot a combined 11 of 41 from the field, and Beal only made one out of his seven three-point shots on Saturday. Fortunately, both Wall and Beal contributed in other areas, as they had solid assist and rebounding numbers.
The Ugly Stats
The start of this game - As mentioned previously, the Wizards only made one out of their first ten shots in the game and were very cold. Fortunately, the Raptors weren't shooting at a high clip themselves (2 of 7 in the first five minutes), so they bailed the Wizards out that way. I don't think Washington would be as lucky next time they start out this cold.
Allowing the Raptors to come back in the fourth quarter - After the Wizards led 74-59 with 8:45 left in regulation, they allowed the Raptors to go on a quick 13-4 run, which was capped off by a Lou Williams three with 4:18 left. Runs are going to exist in the game of basketball, but I feel that there was some complacency once it looked like this game was going to be a blowout.
There is a lot to be happy about in Game 1 of this playoff series. However, even though we saw the Wizards have a really good game controlling the turnovers and limiting the Raptors' free throw attempts, I do expect some regression to the mean in Game 2. Nevertheless, if we can see a better game from Wall and Beal on Tuesday and see most of these things holding up, we could very well see the Wiz Kids take the playoff series to D.C. with a 2-0 series lead.