Wizards ranking and how they can get better

WAS clearly is off to a good start. But lets keep in mind we won an OT and and 2x OT. Lose those and we are 5-5. Its a small margin from 7-3 to 5-5 but we are 7-3 and that's the nature of winning and losing over and 82 games season. Every game is really important from game one of the season so its nice to finally win early and win on the margin early. And given how we are winning with defense a big part of it along with some good coaching, that makes projection good things a little more believable. But 7-3 doesn't erase roster challenges that had people worried before the season started. Specially concerns about the roster as a playoff team.

All other things considered, one basic way to rank a team and project it forward is net pts. Like most stats a larger sample size is better because one blow out in just 10 games can change that number by 1/10 at this point in the season.

Right now after 10 games, WAS is 7th in the league in net pts and 4th in the conference behind MIA, CHI and PHI. We need to manufacture like 4 more net pts to get to the top level of teams as things stand.

So how do you improve net pts. There are lots of smaller details to how but macro its two basic things. Better defense and more efficient offense if you get up at least as many FGA and FTAs as the other team. Or you can be a little less efficient if you can get up more of those things via drawing fouls or getting more rebounds and turnovers then the other team.

Defense or limiting points to get a better net pts
They are 1st in the league in eFG% which is 2s and 3s without FTs included.

WAS is 3rd in FTA but only 9th in percentage so they can make up a point or so improving there but its not like they are regularly losing the FTAs battle. Even though it was the main reason they lost to ATL WAS is 78.9% from the FT line. Top 4 is 81.3%. So they are likely to squeeze much net pts out of that.

With FTs included you get TS% which sadly NBA reference doesn't report in their defensive 4 section. I emailed them asking them to add it. Anyone that enjoys using NBA reference that has a moment, please email them and ask them to add it. It would help a lot.

More FGA is from things like to many turnovers or not enough rebounds.

WAS is 16th in FGA and 15th in TOs. So limiting TOs would get them move attempts.
The main offender there is Beal at 4 per 36. If he could stop just 1 turnover a game they would rank 5th least per game in the league. One more shot attempt per game at TS 56% could add 1 more net point per game. That's important. We need like 4 more net pts. That accounts for one of them.

WAS is 20th in 3P% so clearly they can add points there.

They have had games with 21, 19 and 18. That's not something you want to see. But they did actually win all those games. The 3 loses were to TOR, BRK and ATL where they were 13, 12, and 12 in turnovers. So at a macro level they want less TOs but to date, he hasn't lead to them losing a game. I doubt that trend last though.

WAS is currently 11th in TS% at 56%
Top 5 in the league is 57%

So if you are a WAS player scoring at less then TS 57%, you are pulling the average down. The most attempts you take are lower TS, the worse it is on the team weighted average.

You can see player TS here

Beal is low now but last 4 games he is TS 61.3%. Beals TS is key because of the volume of shots he takes he is more of the weighted average.

Kuz is an issue. His first 6 games he had just 1 good game at 72.7%. The rest were bad

But 3 of the last 4 games have been good. TS 60%, 65% and 68%

So Beal and Kuz seem to be turning the corner. Beal we can trust to stay there because he was a volume scorer at TS 59% last year. Kuz hasn't proven he can do that yet.

That leaves the last player to focus on. KCP
KCP hasn't been efficient nor put on a run where it looks like he is turning the corner recently. He did have 3 of 4 good games early on games 2, 4 and 5. Since then, just 1 good game which was game 9 vs MEM

KCP is TS 54.9% on the year which isn't horrible. But that's an average made up of huge swings from TS 90% down to 20%. KCP has to be a lot more reliable. Averaging 55% playing from 52% to 57% is better for the team then being great one game then ass the next. The good news is KCP was TS 58.4 and 58.8% the last 2 seasons.

The bad news, looking at last year, he does seem to go on runs on good and then bad. Not very consistent.

So all that brings me back to what I thought before researching all that. Kuz and KCP have to be more consistently efficient and until they are, I will wonder about upgrades at those positions.

Game 3
BRK both teams were bad from 3. Both team had about the same FGAs, FTs, rebounds.
The difference looks like non 3s efficiency. That said we were 9-39 from 3 or 23.1%
Lost 90-104 Both team were inefficient but WAS was horrible with a TS of just 43.4%. This was before Beal starting scoring efficiently the last 4 games.

Game 7
at ATL. Stats were pretty even expect FTA. Neither teams missed from the line but
ATL was 29-29 and WAS was 16-16. That was the game right there. 13 more points for ATL
WAS lost 111-118

TOR we lost mostly because we were 8-32 from 3. Kuz and KCP were horrible 5-23 and 0-11 from 3
We lost by 9. That was the difference.

So 2 of 3 games we lost was due in large part to poor 3 point shooting.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.