Look, the Knicks stunk and still managed to eke out a win in the final preseason game for New York and for the Washington Wizards. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is nuts. In an utterly meaningless game, he played Julius Randle — his team’s best player — 35 minutes, and he kept key contributors RJ Barrett and Derrick Rose on the floor for 34 and 29 minutes respectively.
This. Is. Crazy.
In contrast, 23-year old Daniel Gafford, Washington’s starter at center, was high man for the Wizards at 30 minutes.
I’m generally in favor of irrational exuberance, but Thibs is pyschotic.
Anyway, the Wizards 115-113 loss to the Knicks felt a bit like the show Who’s Line Is It Anyway? where the games are made up and the points don’t matter. Mercifully, the preseason is over and the team can move on to meaningful games. Maybe — how meaningful they are will ultimately depend on how good they can be. But that’s an article for another day.
Against the Knicks, Raul Neto was terrific and Aaron Holiday was good too. Spencer Dinwiddie and Montrezl Harrell weren’t bad either. Corey Kispert made some threes, and Daniel Gafford blocked shots, grabbed rebounds and committed turnovers.
On the Knicks side of things, Rose and Obi Toppin were outstanding, Barrett and Kemba Walker were pretty good, and the rest of the roster was terrible. Somehow, it was enough to send Thibodeau away a winner, which is apparently what matters most to him.
Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).
I’ve simplified them a bit. While the factors are usually presented as percentages, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.
PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.
Wizards 113 at Knicks 115
Player Production Average
Player Production Average (PPA) is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, playmaking, 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 and role. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.
POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.
PTS = points scored
ORTG = offensive rating, which is points produced per individual possessions x 100. League average last season was 112.3.
USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.
ORTG and USG are slightly modified versions of stats created by now-Wizards assistant coach Dean Oliver and modified slightly by me. ORTG is an efficiency measure that accounts for the value of shooting, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. USG includes shooting from the floor and free throw line, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.