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By the Numbers: Wizards center Thomas Bryant gets revenge on the Pistons

The Washington center had a nice game to finish his preseason.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Wizards center Thomas Bryant dunks on Pistons center Mason Plumlee.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Sure, most of the attention goes to Russell Westbrook making his Wizards debut. But serious basketball people know the truth: this was the Thomas Bryant revenge game.

In the previous preseason game, Detroit Pistons cheap-shot artist Blake Griffin flung Bryant to the ground in a pointless and gratuitously violent foul. Bryant lost composure and went after Griffin, and was so mad he pushed a ref away and got slapped with a $45,000 fine. Along the way, Griffin teammate Mason Plumlee called Bryant a name (easily discernible to lip readers) and then Griffin and Plumlee giggled to each other secure in their toughness — and the wall of players and refs between them and Bryant.

It’s only preseason. The game doesn’t matter. Regardless, last night Bryant went out and took them apart — 22 points on 12 shots and 7 rebounds. Plus an offensive rebound and putback dunk on Plumlee.

If I was working with the Pistons, I’d be at least a little worried about their ability to score. The Wizards were the league’s worst defensive team last season and they throttled Detroit tonight, holding them to a .483 effective field goal percentage, forcing 20 turnovers, and keeping them off the free throw line and the offensive glass.

The Wizards offense mostly cooked when they had their rotation guys on the floor. Their efficiency waned when they turned to the bench.

Overall, the Wizards have to be encouraged by the preseason performance of Deni Avdija and Troy Brown Jr. — especially Avdija. The rookie will take some lumps this season, but he’s confident, skilled and big, which is a good combination.

For Brown, this was another productive game. He’s more assured taking threes — on one possession, he had an open 20-footer, which he turned down to dribble back to three-point line (which he knocked down).

Last night was Westbrook’s debut and he did Westbrook things — 8 points on 10 shots (0-3 from three-point range) to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in just 17 minutes. His shot selection will strain credulity and test patience at times, but his outlandish production and positive leadership are welcome additions to the team.

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 0.483 0.500
OREB% 0.163 0.085
TOV% 0.189 0.160
FTM/FGA 0.125 0.112
PACE 106 106
ORTG 90 93

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

Thomas Bryant 25 394
Deni Avdija 32 147
Bradley Beal 27 160
Troy Brown Jr. 21 186
Raul Neto 19 205
Robin Lopez 16 167
Russell Westbrook 17 109
Jerome Robinson 15 82
Ish Smith 23 9
Cassius Winston 5 -123
Davis Bertans 11 -93
Moritz Wagner 7 -176
Isaac Bonga 7 -205
Anthony Gill 16 -128

Pistons PPA

Delon Wright 18 309
Josh Jackson 22 235
Jahlil Okafor 20 139
Blake Griffin 25 88
Svi Mykhailiuk 21 85
Killian Hayes 21 76
Jerami Grant 33 30
Mason Plumlee 23 35
Derrick Rose 27 22
Isaiah Stewart 5 80
Saddiq Bey 3 0
Wayne Ellington 9 -199
Sekou Doumbouya 14 -213