I’m not usually one to pin full responsibility for a team winning or losing on one guy. Last night, in the Wizards loss to the Boston Celtics, Russell Westbrook came about as close as possible in a team sport.
Westbrook, who suffered a dislocated finger on his dominant hand earlier in the week, shot an astonishing 4-16 from the floor and committed 7 turnovers. His cataclysmic inefficiency wrecked the Wizards offense — just 12 points on 16 field goal attempts and 8 assists to counter the giveaways.
Westbrook led the team with 17 zero-point possessions. Teammate Bradley Beal was second with 16. Except, Beal scored 41 points and put points on the board on 56% of the possessions he used. Westbrook’s “score percentage” was 28%.
For the game, the Wizards had a pedestrian .528 effective field goal percentage. On non-Westbrook shots, their efg was .576. The team got points on 45.2% of its possessions last night. When Westbrook didn’t use the possession, it was 50.2%. To sum up: Westbrook wrecked the Wizards offense.
That offensive wreckage was the key to the game. While the Wizards defense wasn’t good against Boston, it wasn’t terrible either. The team’s scheme, game plan, and execution still doesn’t make a lot of sense but there were some bright spots.
It felt like Beal was getting torched by Jayson Tatum. The NBA’s tracking data shows Beal actually held his own — with him defending, Tatum shot 5-12 from the floor (including 0-4 from three-point range) and committed 2 turnovers. Overall, Boston shot 6-18 from the floor, 1-7 from three, and committed 5 turnovers when Beal was defending.
Westbrook was also reasonably effective — the Celtics shot 3-11 (2-5 from three) and committed 3 turnovers in possessions where he was assigned responsibility.
Thomas Bryant was also decent, albeit less busy than he had been in previous games. Boston shot 5-9 (1-2 on threes) and committed 3 turnovers when he was defending.
Mortiz Wagner made a rare appearance. In 13 minutes of playing time, Boston shot 1-6 and committed 3 turnovers with Wagner defending. He also was whistled for 3 fouls and committed a turnover. This tiny sample should not be used as an argument for Wagner getting more playing time. That case has already been made — even with Lopez playing better the past few games, it’s unlikely Wagner could be any worse.
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 Celtics
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.