With Spencer Dinwiddie sitting this one out to rest, and Daniel Gafford sidelined with a quad contusion, the Washington Wizards rolled up a 20-point lead before fighting off an Atlanta Hawks rally to by 11 and run their record to 4-1.
This was a “good win” against a quality opponent. The Hawks were preseason picks almost everywhere to end up among the Eastern Conference’s top four seeds. That’s still where they’re likely to end up. But last night, the Wizards made life tough for All-Star guard Trae Young and played well enough notch a convincing victory.
They did it in somewhat unorthodox fashion. As I’ve previously written, the team that shoots best in a game wins 78% of the time in the NBA. In this one, the Hawks outshot the Wizards 58.0% (effective field goal percentage) to 53.0%, and the Wizards won because of decisive differentials in each of the other four factors.
The Wizards got positive contributions that ran seven deep. Montrezl Harrell (a hyper-efficient 25 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists — plus 2 steals and a block) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (a hyper-efficient 21 points on just 10 field goal attempts, and 8 rebounds) were terrific.
Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal were good, and the team got solid play from Aaron Holiday, Raul Neto and Davis Bertans. Corey Kispert barely played (and not well), and Deni Avdija had a rough outing.
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.
Hawks 111 at Wizards 122
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 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.
Wizards: Key Stats
Hawks: Key Stats