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Beal and starters lead Wizards to easy win over the Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards
In his return to action, Wizards guard Bradley Beal led the team to a victory.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Both the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers were missing multiple players from the lineup due to injury or Covid protocols. The guys Washington had available thoroughly outplayed the guys Cleveland had on hand, and the Wizards coasted to a 110-93 win last night.

It’s fair to point out that Cleveland’s injury depletion was worse than Washington’s. The Cavaliers were missing Jarrett Allen — their most productive player — as well as their top three guards — Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio. Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and scrap heap pickup Brad Wanamaker did exactly what they should have done: showed no mercy.

It was the first game back from the NBA’s Covid health and safety protocols for Beal and Caldwell-Pope, both of whom played well. Wanamaker filled in admirably as a street free agent signed the day before the game.

The game was relatively close through the first half, but the Wizards blew things open in the third quarter. Their lead never fell below 10 after the first few minutes of the third, and they led by at least 15 for the last 16 minutes of the game.

For the Wizards, all the starters had terrific games, led by Beal’s 29 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists. Their bench was meh (and worse), but on a night when the opponent had no competent guards, it was enough for an easy win.

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: Cavaliers 93 at Wizards 110

FOUR FACTORS CAVALIERS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS CAVALIERS WIZARDS
EFG 0.470 0.550
OREB 8 10
TOV 12 7
FTM 15 11
PACE 94
ORTG 99 117

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 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 +/-
Bradley Beal 34 66 29 128 34.5% 347 29.8 16
Kyle Kuzma 34 66 25 126 25.6% 273 23.5 18
Daniel Gafford 32 63 11 144 11.5% 202 16.6 10
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 28 55 12 128 16.7% 214 15.2 10
Brad Wanamaker 27 53 7 152 13.1% 216 14.9 12
Deni Avdija 24 47 13 101 24.4% 54 3.3 8
Anthony Gill 12 24 8 146 21.8% 85 2.6 8
Craig Sword 3 6 0 0.0% 288 2.2 -1
Jordan Schakel 5 10 0 244 2.6% 137 1.8 0
Jaime Echenique 3 6 0 0.0% 0 0.0 -1
Isaiah Todd 3 6 1 62 44.6% -74 0.0 -1
Joel Ayayi 3 6 0 0 12.6% -223 0.0 -1
Jordan Goodwin 3 6 0 0 12.6% -308 0.0 -1
Corey Kispert 28 56 4 59 15.1% -89 0.0 8

Key Stats: Cavaliers

CAVALIERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
CAVALIERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Kevin Love 29 58 24 121 29.6% 153 25.4 -13
Evan Mobley 32 63 21 103 30.9% 115 20.8 -10
Lauri Markkanen 26 52 11 107 23.2% 113 16.7 -12
Malik Newman 8 15 8 123 39.2% 218 9.4 1
Lamar Stevens 21 41 7 110 14.6% 70 8.3 -15
Dean Wade 21 42 4 109 9.4% 49 5.9 -8
Dylan Windler 17 32 2 86 7.7% 62 5.8 -6
Tacko Fall 4 7 0 0.0% 33 0.7 3
Isaac Okoro 31 60 11 96 17.3% -23 0.0 -5
RJ Nembhard Jr. 21 42 3 74 12.3% -57 0.0 -6
Ed Davis 5 11 0 0 8.3% -259 0.0 -1
Kevin Pangos 24 48 2 62 17.9% -61 0.0 -13