Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.
Today’s stat is the Wizards’ pace (the average number of possessions per 48 minutes) with Tomas Satoransky on the floor this season, which is
Pace continues to trend upward around the league this season, so it’s no surprise the Wizards are playing faster than they did last season. Even John Wall, in a season bogged down by injury had the Wizards playing faster than ever before. He bumped the team’s pace up from 100.9 last season to 104.4 this season.
Although Tomas Satoransky can’t match Wall’s blazing speed, he’s kept the Wizards humming about as close to Wall’s pace as you could hope. Washington’s pace with Satoransky on the floor went up from 98.8 last season to 103.7 now. That’s less than a possession difference per 48 minutes between the two.
Those numbers are skewed somewhat because Wall and Satoransky played more minutes together this season than either of the past two even though Wall’s season was cut short. Even once you filter out those minutes, the difference is still minuscule. The Wizards played at a 104.8 pace when Wall was on the floor without Satoransky; they played at a 103.2 pace when Satoransky was on the floor without Wall.
To put that in context, when Wall is on the floor without Satoransky, they play slightly faster than the Kings (104.6), who have the second-highest pace in the league. When it’s Satoransky without Wall, they’re right at the same pace as the Bucks and Pelicans, who are tied for fifth (103.2).
When you have to make a big change on the fly like replacing your injured franchise point guard, anything you can do to keep things normal helps the cause. Satoransky’s ability to keep things moving fast has been an underrated key to the team’s recent success.