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Wizards hit late threes to swipe a win from the Miami Heat

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of late threes to help steal a win from the Miami Heat.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards were sloppy, and the game continued to reveal fault lines in their offensive structure, but Washington rallied from 10 down with four minutes to play to beat the Miami Heat, 103-100.

The sloppy: 19 turnovers, including 6 from Bradley Beal and a whopping 4 in just 15 minutes of court time from Daniel Gafford.

The fault lines: Washington’s offensive sets don’t consistently produce advantages by putting the opponent into rotations. Their set plays break down, they don’t produce open looks, and they end up either forcing passes that result in turnovers or going one-on-one.

What saved them last night: good shooting despite that inability to create advantages and massively huge gargantuan clutch threes from Spence Dinwiddie and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the game’s closing minutes.

What also saved them: sturdy defense throughout despite foul trouble for Daniel Gafford, their best rim protector, and outstanding defense in the closing minutes.

For most of the game, it felt like the Heat were simply better and that Washington on the way to a second consecutive loss at their hands. But this year’s Wizards are a feisty and competitive bunch that just doesn’t stop coming. They kept scratching and clawing — even when down 16 in the third quarter — and put themselves in position to make winning plays late.

Man do I hope these teams meet in the playoffs.

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: Heat 100 at Wizards 103

FOUR FACTORS HEAT WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS HEAT WIZARDS
EFG 0.512 0.561
OREB 10 9
TOV 12 19
FTM 17 20
PACE 91
ORTG 109 113

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.

Key Stats: Wizards

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Spencer Dinwiddie 30 58 16 147 17.2% 186 23.6 3
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 27 52 16 132 18.9% 197 22.6 -4
Montrezl Harrell 25 49 13 133 22.3% 190 20.3 17
Deni Avdija 27 51 8 135 14.0% 124 13.9 4
Kyle Kuzma 30 57 6 104 14.7% 61 7.7 -4
Raul Neto 19 36 8 124 16.0% 81 6.4 5
Bradley Beal 37 70 21 104 31.9% 33 5.0 1
Corey Kispert 18 34 5 108 11.9% 47 3.5 5
Aaron Holiday 11 21 4 56 24.9% -71 0.0 -1
Daniel Gafford 15 28 6 74 21.6% -72 0.0 -11

Key Stats: Heat

HEAT MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
HEAT MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Jimmy Butler 38 73 29 131 27.5% 225 33.5 1
P.J. Tucker 34 65 14 188 11.7% 208 27.6 1
Tyler Herro 30 58 20 110 28.2% 171 20.2 -14
Caleb Martin 18 34 4 125 9.9% 140 9.7 -1
Duncan Robinson 20 37 7 103 18.7% 82 6.2 8
Bam Adebayo 29 56 15 105 29.2% 24 2.7 -6
Dewayne Dedmon 9 18 2 102 8.5% -39 0.0 -4
Max Strus 25 47 2 51 6.3% -62 0.0 -2
Kyle Lowry 36 69 7 71 20.0% -89 0.0 2