Now that’s how to snap a losing streak. After 5-1 start and a couple stumbles in a row, the Wizards came out and dominated the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, taking control midway through the second quarter, and cruising to a 115-87 win.
For the Wizards, the victory came from stellar play in virtually every facet of the game. Their effective field goal percentage was a lofty .643, and they throttled the Memphis offense throughout.
During their two-game skid, Washington’s defensive contested shots numbered in the 20s. Tonight, they challenged 59 Grizzlies attempts, and it resulted in their best defensive performance of the season. Memphis managed an efg of just 38.5%.
The only significant mar on the Wizards performance was turnovers, and those seemed mostly a function of an emphasis on passing and sharing the ball.
- Every Washington player who took the floor rated above average in my PPA metric, except Deni Avdija. While the numbers weren’t good (2-6 from the floor, no threes, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 28 minutes), his defense was excellent, and he played with a pace and assertiveness that were good to see.
- It was great to see Bradley Beal apparently more focused on finding open teammates than hunting his own shot. Next step: cutting the turnovers (5 in 27 minutes tonight).
- Even in a bad game, I was impressed by Grizzlies guard Ja Morant. He had a rough time shaking loose against determined Wizards defenders and couldn’t find the basket — just 4-17 from the floor. Still, the way he thinks the game is outstanding, and he’s already a master of change-of-pace moves that will only get better as he gains experience.
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: Grizzlies 87 at Wizards 115
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.
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
Grizzlies: Key Stats
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||25||51||13||82||32.8%||80||9.5||-20|