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Wizards stomped by Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards center Montrezl Harrell and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid tussle during Washington’s 117-96 loss.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Here’s how bad things got in the Wizards’ 117-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: there weren’t even any moral victories.

Like, Montrezl Harrell played well — an efficient 15 points in just 18 minutes, plus 4 rebounds and 3 assists — but then got himself ejected with an immature push of Philly star Joel Embiid. Chalk the tussle between Harrell and Embiid a few minutes before to a misunderstanding. It looked on replay like Embiid grabbed Harrell to keep from falling, and Harrell thought it was a fight starting.

The incident that got Harrell tossed was just dumb. Embiid was shouting in celebration of a good play. The same thing happens a dozen times per game. Harrell decided to take it personally and pushed him, which led to a quick second technical and trip to the showers. Dumb. Immature.

Back to the lack of moral victories, Washington’s entire starting lineup rated below average in PPA. Spencer Dinwiddie looked good on a handful of plays, but then would have an attempted drive snuffed by the likes of Furkan Korkmaz.

Starting in Beal’s spot, Aaron Holiday managed 8 points and 1 assist in 28 minutes.

Even the Garbage Time Gang — Jordan Schakel, Joel Ayayi and Isaiah Todd — were terrible.

If you want something a little more optimistic, I have two items:

  1. Davis Bertans made some threes — 4-9 from downtown.
  2. Deni Avdjia was decent.

I kvetched on Twitter during the game about Justin Kutcher’s and Drew Gooden’s discussion about the Wizards’ totally awesome depth and the problems Wes Unseld Jr. will have fitting all these wonderful pieces together when they’re all healthy and back in action. And I would love to drive a pike through the head of this inane zombie narrative.

Depth is multiple good players at various positions. Having a bunch of average-to-below-average players at the same position is not depth. The Wizards aren’t a deep team except at PF, and their depth is comprised of mediocrity. Setting aside the Homer Spectacles for a moment, let’s classify where the Wizards players rank in the NBA:

Point Guard

  1. Spencer Dinwiddie — average (maybe a little better than average at his best)
  2. Raul Neto — below average
  3. Aaron Holiday — replacement level

Shooting Guard

  1. Bradley Beal — All-Star level

Small Forward

  1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — average
  2. Deni Avdija — average to below average
  3. Corey Kispert — well-below average

Power Forward

  1. Kyle Kuzma — average
  2. Rui Hachimura — average
  3. Davis Bertans — average to below average
  4. Anthony Gill — well-below average

Center

  1. Daniel Gafford — a little above average
  2. Montrezl Harrell — a little above average
  3. Thomas Bryant — a little above average (pre-injury)

So, let’s stop praising the Wizards for being deep. They’re not.

And let’s especially not do it when the team is trailing by 20 in the fourth quarter.

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.

Four Factors: 76ers 117 at Wizards 96

FOUR FACTORS 76ERS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS 76ERS WIZARDS
EFG 0.570 0.438
OREB 10 14
TOV 12 9
FTM 19 18
PACE 95
ORTG 123 101

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.

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 +/-
Montrezl Harrell 18 35 15 163 28.7% 262 24.8 3
Deni Avdija 29 58 9 96 18.2% 118 18.6 -2
Spencer Dinwiddie 34 67 17 105 23.8% 70 12.7 -20
Davis Bertans 22 43 14 125 22.3% 106 12.4 -3
Kyle Kuzma 29 57 12 100 19.9% 73 11.2 -23
Aaron Holiday 28 55 8 105 11.0% 69 10.3 -23
Anthony Gill 7 14 4 120 27.0% 137 5.3 -4
Daniel Gafford 22 44 7 92 21.8% 4 0.5 -20
Isaiah Todd 4 8 0 0.0% 0 0.0 2
Corey Kispert 35 70 8 76 12.0% -13 0.0 -21
Joel Ayayi 4 8 2 64 50.5% -142 0.0 2
Jordan Schakel 9 18 0 13 25.3% -289 0.0 4

Key Stats: 76ers

76ERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
76ERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Joel Embiid 31 61 36 170 31.1% 467 42.7 25
Tobias Harris 30 59 23 139 26.8% 270 24.0 16
Tyrese Maxey 33 66 13 132 14.9% 143 14.3 31
Furkan Korkmaz 15 29 14 134 32.2% 256 11.1 -14
Georges Niang 17 35 6 105 12.7% 104 5.4 1
Matisse Thybulle 28 55 0 128 2.7% 63 5.2 29
Jaden Springer 4 7 2 110 27.7% 485 5.2 -2
Seth Curry 35 70 11 94 22.5% 44 4.6 29
Myles Powell 4 7 3 158 20.6% 233 2.5 -2
Tyler Johnson 16 32 5 116 13.7% 42 2.0 -5
Paul Reed 11 21 2 110 9.2% -13 0.0 -9
Isaiah Joe 7 14 2 69 21.3% -56 0.0 3
Aaron Henry 4 7 0 0 13.9% -124 0.0 -2
Charles Bassey 6 13 0 55 27.3% -171 0.0 5