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Wizards fix their shooting but lose to Miami Heat with turnovers and weak defense

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

A night removed from aerial masonry, the Wizards shot well but committed abundant turnovers and failed to defend as they fell to the Miami Heat, 112-97.

Bradley Beal was a prime culprit with 6 of the team’s 17 turnovers. Aaron Holiday, who started in place of Spencer Dinwiddie had 4. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma had 3 each.

It’s usually a good idea to avoid over-reading meaning into a single game — especially one with two starters out (Daniel Gafford was sidelined with a thumb injury) — and that’s warranted here too.

No question the Heat looked like the better team. They were professional, physical, and executed well at both ends of the floor. And they were missing Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo.

Still, Dinwiddie and Gafford have been among Washington’s most productive players all season, and their absence was more significant to Washington than Herro’s and Oladipo’s to Miami.

That said, even at full strength, the Heat figure to be the better team. Jimmy Butler is among the game’s elite producers, and Bam Adebayo has been playing at All-NBA level for the past couple seasons. Throw in cantankerous veteran Kyle Lowry and a bunch of skilled, tough and physical role players, and Miami has the profile of a contender.

Now on a two-game skid, the Wizards face Miami again Saturday night in DC. That’ll be a tough matchup, though Dinwiddie and Gafford should be back. After that, the opponents get a bit weaker, but 7 of the next 10 will be on the road.

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.

Four Factors: Wizards 97 at Heat 112

FOUR FACTORS HEAT WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS HEAT WIZARDS
EFG 0.561 0.591
OREB 7 5
TOV 6 17
FTM 20 6
PACE 91
ORTG 123 107

Key Stats

Below are a few performance metrics, including 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).

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.

PPA is a per possession metric designed for larger data sets. In small sample sizes, the numbers can get weird. But some readers prefer it so I’m including PPA scores as well. Reminder: in PPA, 100 is average, higher is better and replacement level is 45. For a single game, replacement level isn’t much use, and I reiterate the caution about small samples producing weird results.

Now numbers.

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. Points produced is not the same as points scored. It includes the value of assists and offensive rebounds, as well as sharing credit when receiving an assist.

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

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Kyle Kuzma 34 65 19 130 23.5% 212 28.8 -11
Bradley Beal 36 69 30 116 35.3% 185 26.8 -9
Montrezl Harrell 36 69 12 152 12.0% 110 15.9 -8
Corey Kispert 24 46 13 135 17.4% 155 14.9 -6
Isaiah Todd 1 3 3 152 59.8% 858 4.7 1
Deni Avdija 26 49 6 90 12.2% 28 2.9 -10
Joel Ayayi 1 3 0 246 10.1% 400 2.2 1
Anthony Gill 9 17 2 100 17.0% 23 0.8 -9
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 30 56 8 83 16.2% -21 0.0 -13
Aaron Holiday 29 55 4 58 19.7% -101 0.0 -9
Raul Neto 13 25 0 18 14.2% -273 0.0 -2

Heat: Key Stats

HEAT MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
HEAT MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Jimmy Butler 34 65 32 142 33.5% 386 36.0 11
P.J. Tucker 32 60 15 216 10.2% 241 20.8 7
Gabe Vincent 25 48 18 130 27.4% 214 14.7 7
Kyle Lowry 35 67 8 113 18.4% 149 14.3 13
Bam Adebayo 30 57 20 116 29.4% 134 11.0 16
Caleb Martin 24 45 7 99 12.0% 123 7.9 3
Max Strus 20 38 3 102 9.8% 80 4.4 11
Omer Yurtseven 1 3 2 228 35.2% 440 1.6 -1
Duncan Robinson 27 50 6 66 13.7% 8 0.6 5
Marcus Garrett 1 3 0 0.0% 144 0.5 -1
Dewayne Dedmon 9 17 1 86 11.3% 10 0.2 5
KZ Okpala 1 3 0 0.0% 0 0.0 -1