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Wizards PPA Update: Washington’s most productive player so far might surprise you

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(It’s not Otto Porter. Seriously!)

NBA: Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Player Production Average (PPA) is an overall rating metric developed by our very own Kevin Broom that credits players for things they do that help a team win and debits them for things that hurt the cause. PPA is pace neutral, accounts for defense, and includes a “degree of difficulty” factor based on the level of competition a player faces while on the floor.

In PPA, average is 100, higher is better, and replacement level is 45. You can find more on the metric here.


Wizards PPA through the first seven games of the season

PLAYER POS AGE GMS MPG 2018-19 PPA 2017-18 PPA
PLAYER POS AGE GMS MPG 2018-19 PPA 2017-18 PPA
Markieff Morris PF 29 6 25.7 120 92
Bradley Beal SG 25 7 33.3 117 135
John Wall PG 28 7 33.9 115 128
Otto Porter SF 25 7 30.9 92 175
Kelly Oubre SF 23 7 27.4 79 62
Jason Smith C 32 5 15.8 67 9
Tomas Satoransky SG 27 7 13 61 122
Ian Mahinmi C 32 6 16.8 57 49
Jeff Green PF 32 7 26.1 56 84
Austin Rivers SG 26 7 23.4 10 78
PPA - Player Production Average. In PPA 100 is average, 45 is replacement level. Kevin Broom

A few notes:

  • How about Markieff Morris? His career night against the Blazers propelled the Wizards to their only win of the season so far, and he’s been averaging career-highs in blocks and true shooting percentage while decreasing his usage. We’ll see how things change once Dwight Howard returns, but he’s been a bright spot so far.
  • This is still small sample size theater. Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr., and Jordan McRae aren’t listed in the table because they’ve played so few minutes and they’ve come almost exclusively during garbage time in their blowout losses to the Clippers and Warriors. That said, if you’re genuinely curious, Bryant’s PPA is 81, Brown’s is 73, and McRae’s is -25.
  • Probably the biggest thing people might twitch on is Kelly Oubre vs. Otto Porter. In raw terms, Oubre’s numbers look slightly better. But, the “degree of difficulty” factor indicates that Oubre’s minutes are “easier”—he’s getting a lot of his playing time against reserves (who aren’t as good) while the bulk of Porter’s minutes are coming against starting lineups (which are better).
  • The Wizards don’t have anyone producing at an All-Star level at the moment, but if you’re looking for a silver lining, take solace in that only one player (Austin Rivers) is producing at a below-replacement level so far this season.