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Wizards outshoot Bucks, go to 7-3

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Another game, another win for the 2021-22 Washington Wizards. This time, the Wizards beat the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, 101-94.

The Bucks were missing All-Star Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo and Brook Lopez. The Wizards were missing Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant and Davis Bertans.

The Wizards “lost” three of the four key factors that determine who wins and loses in the NBA, but “won” the most important one — shooting from the floor with a 57.4% effective field goal percentage to Milwaukee’s 44.7%.

The team’s designated franchise player Bradley Beal led the way with a reasonably efficient 30 points and 8 assists. Beal’s shooting was excellent (14-22 from the floor and 2-3 from three point range), but he committed 6 turnovers against 8 assists. His 30-5-8 “glory stats” line was just what the Wizards needed to beat the defending NBA champions.

Beal was supported by a rock solid 15-10=5 line from Kyle Kuzma, as well as superb defense and rebounding from Deni Avdija. Avdija didn’t shoot well, but he produced 9 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks in 27 minutes.

Daniel Gafford chipped in with 11 points on 5-6 shooting, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in 22 minutes. Montrezl Harrell, his tag-team partner in the middle, produced 15 points on 7 field goal attempts, as well as 4 rebounds in 26 minutes. The centers combined for 24 points on 13 field goal attempts, 12 rebounds, a steal, and 3 blocks. That’s quality production.

The Wizards defense was excellent for a second straight game. They held the Bucks to a 44.7% efg and an offensive rating (points per possession x 100) of just 96. That’s good work against one of the NBA’s better offensive teams over the past several seasons.

While the Wizards were favored to win by my prediction machine, this is yet another good win for Washington. The Bucks have struggled in the early season due to injury, but they still had Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. And the Wizards controlled them.

Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 18 rebounds, but had an offensive rating of just 99. His career ortg is 115, a mark he’s beaten the past six seasons (including this one). The Wizards badgered Holiday into 6-16 shooting for the night.

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; Bucks 94 at Wizards 101

FOUR FACTORS BUCKS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS BUCKS WIZARDS
EFG 0.447 0.574
OREB 16 4
TOV 12 19
FTM 10 8
PACE 98
ORTG 96 103

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.

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 +/-
Bradley Beal 37 76 30 111 34.20% 194 25.9 7
Kyle Kuzma 30 61 15 116 21.50% 176 18.7 2
Deni Avdija 27 56 3 155 6.50% 181 17.7 10
Daniel Gafford 22 44 11 168 13.90% 222 17.2 -2
Montrezl Harrell 26 53 15 125 21.10% 117 10.9 7
Aaron Holiday 11 23 7 102 31.50% 155 6.3 -1
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 26 53 5 55 13.80% 45 4.2 6
Corey Kispert 12 24 5 80 20.60% -24 0 -4
Spencer Dinwiddie 26 54 6 94 16.00% -23 0 6
Raul Neto 22 46 4 38 18.30% -161 0 4

Key Stats: Bucks

BUCKS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
BUCKS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Grayson Allen 34 70 19 154 16.5% 215 27.3 -2
Giannia Antetokounmpo 39 80 29 99 37.3% 166 24.3 -6
Bobby Portis 31 63 13 86 25.7% 146 16.8 10
Semi Ojeleye 18 36 3 277 4.1% 208 13.7 -9
Jrue Holiday 30 61 14 90 24.4% 69 7.7 0
Pat Connaughton 29 59 7 73 15.6% 29 3.1 -8
Jordan Nwora 13 27 3 102 8.0% 23 1.1 -5
Thanasis Antetokounmpo 6 12 0 0.0% 0 0.0 -7
Justin Robinson 8 16 0 0 4.7% -120 0.0 -8
George Hill 33 67 6 63 14.9% -91 0.0 0