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Wizards’ hot start continues with double-overtime win over Celtics

Things are still looking real good for the Wizards!

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards to a double-overtime win against the Boston Celtics.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

It was messy and difficult, but the Wizards emerged from the double-overtime thriller against the Boston Celtics with the win to run their record to 5-1.

For the Wizards, 5-1 is rarified air. Their last start this good was 2005-06, which was Gilbert Arenas’ first healthy season in Washington. The team would finish that year 42-40 and lose in the first round to a 21-year old Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The franchise’s only other 5-1 start was 1989-90. It was the definition of false hope — the team went 26-50 to finish the year 31-51 and miss the playoffs.

The 1974-75 Bullets (probably the best team in franchise history) had the best start. They finished the season 60-22 and reached the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors.

Yesterday’s game would not fit most criteria for a well-played game. It’s the kind of game Jeff Van Gundy or Tom Thibodeau might have loved from the late 90s or early aughts. Lots of effort, lots of missed shots, lots of fouls.

Shooting was atrocious for both teams — the Celtics effective field goal percentage as 42.1%; for the Wizards 41.3%. Boston bricked their way to 2-26 from three-point range. Washington won each of the other three key factors: offensive rebounds (12-8), turnovers (13-11), and free throws (29-22).

Four Factors

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.

Celtics 112 at Wizards 115, 2OT

FOUR FACTORS CELTICS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS CELTICS WIZARDS
EFG 0.421 0.413
OREB 8 12
TOV 11 13
FTM 22 29
PACE 98
ORTG 94 97

Game Score

Today, I’m (re)introducing the Player Production Average (PPA) Game Score (very similar to the one I used to call Scoreboard Impact Rating). 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 metric designed for larger data sets. In small sample sizes, the numbers can get weird.

Game Score (GmSC) converts individual production into points on the scoreboard in this game. The scale is the same as points and reflects each player’s total contributions for the game. The lowest possible GmSC is zero.

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: Game Score & Key Stats

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG GmSC +/-
Bradley Beal 46 95 36 99 36.6% 33.9 4
Spencer Dinwiddie 40 82 20 102 24.3% 22.2 -5
Kyle Kuzma 48 98 17 95 17.4% 17.8 -3
Montrezl Harrell 35 72 20 116 25.1% 17.1 -1
Aaron Holiday 12 24 6 176 11.6% 10.4 2
Raul Neto 18 38 4 100 12.9% 7.7 5
Deni Avdija 24 50 3 84 9.1% 5.9 -5
Corey Kispert 4 8 0 0.0% 0.0 -1
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 41 85 2 50 9.4% 0.0 3
Davis Bertans 22 44 7 69 18.4% 0.0 16

Celtics: Game Score & Key Stats

CELTICS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG GmSC +/-
CELTICS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG GmSC +/-
Jaylen Brown 47 97 34 110 26.6% 39.6 -6
Al Horford 41 84 8 110 10.1% 31.4 -2
Dennis Schroder 42 87 6 100 14.0% 16.8 -3
Josh Richardson 37 76 18 105 19.5% 12.1 3
Romeo Langford 18 36 2 108 8.8% 4.7 -9
Grant Williams 24 50 6 119 11.0% 3.8 3
Payton Pritchard 18 38 5 100 12.0% 3.1 -3
Enes Kanter 5 9 2 82 28.6% 0.6 -2
Jabari Parker 12 25 4 70 21.6% 0.0 2
Jayson Tatum 46 94 27 76 36.6% 0.0 2