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By the Numbers: Wizards youngsters get some experience in loss to Pistons

Here’s the statistical breakdown of the Wizards’ loss last night.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Wizards forward Isaac Bonga made his case for being a starting forward this season.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

A desultory preseason game was brought to life when Wizards center Thomas Bryant went after Blake Griffin because of a pointlessly violent foul. Bryant lost his cool to the point that he even tussled with a ref briefly, which earned him a technical foul and probably a fine.

The Wizards defense was disastrous early and then either they tightened up or the Pistons offense went futile. To my eye, it was some of both — Detroit bricked some open looks and made a bunch of dumb turnovers, but Washington did some good defensive work as well.

A worrisome sign in the numbers: the Pistons had .570 effective field goal percentage. As I’ve written a bunch of times, lowering opponent shooting efficiency is the single most important thing for a team’s defense in the NBA. The inability to force misses is a major problem for the Wizards.

Turning to individuals, Bryant’s defensive rotations were much quicker and decisive than they’ve been in previous seasons. He challenged a number of shots at the rim and finished with 4 blocks and a steal. He also committed some not good fouls. While he’s normally kept his turnovers low, he committed five last night. That’s something that cannot continue.

Isaac Bonga made something of a case to be a starting forward with a fairly efficient 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. The only real mar on his performance were 3 turnovers. Overall, he was decent.

Rookie Deni Avdija, who had a terrific first preseason game, came back to earth last night. He made some impressive plays that show his promise, but was also 0-4 from three-point range, 1-3 on free throws, and he committed 3 turnovers.

Bradley Beal made his first appearance of the preseason, which wasn’t impressive. Not a big deal — it’s just one preseason game. Presumably, Russell Westbrook will play some in the third and final game.

Four Factors

Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounding percentage), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made divided by field goal attempts).

Four Factors: Pistons at Wizards

EFG 0.570 0.455
OREB% 0.105 0.174
TOV% 0.235 0.235
FTM/FGA 0.089 0.192
PACE 102 102
ORTG 95 84

The Wizards shot poorly and committed a ton of turnovers but sorta stayed in the game by getting to the free throw line at a higher rate than the Pistons. Detroit helped by committing a ton of turnovers themselves.

Player Production Average

Below are Player Production Average (PPA) results from last night’s game. PPA is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, play-making, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls). PPA is pace neutral and accounts for defense. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.

The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.

Wizards PPA

Isaac Bonga 33 125
Troy Brown Jr. 23 145
Moritz Wagner 26 90
Anthony Gill 5 431
Thomas Bryant 29 61
Robin Lopez 15 78
Cassius Winston 7 168
Raul Neto 24 41
Deni Avdija 32 0
Ish Smith 17 -35
Jerome Robinson 15 -65
Bradley Beal 16 -122

Pistons PPA

Delon Wright 19 500
Josh Jackson 24 322
Mason Plumlee 20 287
Svi Mykhailiuk 9 221
Sekou Doumbouya 17 104
Derrick Rose 24 64
Jerami Grant 22 50
Blake Griffin 26 25
Killian Hayes 19 -23
Dzanan Musa 12 -37
Rodney McGruder 3 -368
Jahlil Okafor 23 -58
Isaiah Stewart 5 -309
Saddiq Bey 12 -129
Saben Lee 5 -486