After a five-game skid to open the season, the Wizards stomped on the depleted Minnesota Timberwolves 130-109 for their first win of the year. It was a feel-good game for nearly everyone on the roster. The game wasn’t as close as even the 21-point final margin might suggest — the Timberwolves closed the gap in garbage time.
With 31 points on 20 shots, 3-5 shooting from three-point range, and 7 assists, this was Bradley Beal’s best game of the season. He scored at will on helpless Timberwolves defenders.
Thomas Bryant had another terrific game with 18 points on 7 shots, as well as 7 rebounds in just 22 minutes. Bryant’s rebounding, which was decent in previous seasons, has dipped this year. While Russell Westbrook, who didn’t play on the second night of a back-to-back, can be relied on to collect defensive rebounds, the Wizards could use stronger board work from their starting center.
Bryant was a perfect 7-7 from the floor and has shot 17-18 over the past two games.
Rookie Deni Avdija had an excellent all-around game. He gets lost in the shuffle a bit on the offensive end, but he defended well (3 steals last night), made several quality passes to set up teammates (including a sweet lob to Bryant), and shot 3-5 from three-point range.
Raul Neto continued to make the case for pushing ahead of Ish Smith in the backup guard rotation. He shot 5-7 from the floor, 2-3 from three-point range and generally annoyed Timberwolves counterpart Ricky Rubio into a bad game. Smith was good too with 9 assists in 21 minutes, but Neto’s better shooting is more of a need with Westbrook and Beal.
Jerome Robinson got 22 minutes and did something with them — 13 points on 8 shots, including 2-3 from three-point range. Scott Brooks should not interpret this to mean Robinson should be a regular part of the rotation.
Davis Bertans, Robin Lopez and Troy Brown Jr. were decent. Lopez was productive, but committed 5 fouls in 20 minutes. Bertans hit some threes and Brown did a little of everything.
Rui Hachimura had a rough outing in his second game back from conjunctivitis.
The garbage time crew was bad. Brooks had Isaac Bonga playing PG, which seems an odd decision considering that’s a role that might have made sense for Brown, even late in a blowout. Bonga was fine as a garbage time PG.
Garrison Mathews launched 4 threes in just 9 minutes (he hit 1).
Anzejs Pasecniks was 1 offensive rebound and 1 assist from being a complete negative. In 6 minutes, he missed a three-point shot, and committed 5 turnovers and 2 fouls.
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: Wizards at Timberwolves
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 a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
PPA is a per possession stat. The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.
|Troy Brown Jr.||14||95||5|