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Wizards fall behind early, never threaten in loss to Toronto Raptors

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards
Kentatvious Caldwell-Pope’s shooting was one of the bright spots for the Washington Wizards in the team’s loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

There’s no shame losing to the Toronto Raptors in Toronto. They’re not an Eastern Conference power, but the Raptors have some talent, play together and are well-coached. But this was yet another non-competitive game for the Wizards. In a continuation of a worrisome trend, Washington fell behind big and never threatened.

In this one, the Raptors blasted out to a 25-point second quarter lead, and the game was effectively over. The Wizards narrowed the gap to as little as 11 in the final minutes, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Bright spots for the Wizards:

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made shots — 8-9 from the floor and 4-4 from three-point range.
  • Raul Neto was good off the bench with 2-3 shooting from three.

That’s about it.

Bradley Beal was decent overall — just 4-12 shooting, but he had 7 assists and didn’t commit any turnovers. The problem: he’s supposed to be The Franchise Player. The Wizards aren’t paying him max money to be average.

The Wizards got nothing from rotation players Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, Daniel Gafford and Deni Avdija. Montrezl Harrell rebounded well, but was inefficient offensively.

Bertans was back to firing blanks — 0-6 from three-point range. He was a wreck defensively, and the team was a staggering -19 in his 14 minutes on the floor.

This was not a case of the Raptors just playing well. Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa were the only starters who rated average or better in PPA. Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet — Toronto’s other starters — rated at or below replacement level. The Wizards got sand kicked in their face by guys like Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk, Chris Boucher and Yuta Watanabe.

The next few weeks are going to be challenging. For the Wizards, 9 of their next 11 are on the road, and my prediction machine has them favored in just 3. How rough have the last dozen games been for Washington? When they beat Orlando, my prediction machine forecasted them at 50.7 wins if they (and the rest of the league) continued to play as they had to that point in the season.

After last night’s loss to the Raptors, the forecast is down to 39.5 games.

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: Wizards 90 at Raptors 102

FOUR FACTORS RAPTORS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS RAPTORS WIZARDS
EFG 0.494 0.466
OREB 10 6
TOV 8 10
FTM 18 22
PACE 90
ORTG 113 100

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 +/-
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 28 52 26 179 24.0% 392 41.1 3
Bradley Beal 35 65 14 111 22.4% 103 13.4 0
Kyle Kuzma 30 57 9 95 17.2% 97 11.0 5
Raul Neto 13 24 9 110 29.2% 156 7.5 -9
Anthony Gill 4 7 5 172 39.3% 435 5.9 4
Montrezl Harrell 29 55 6 83 16.6% 51 5.6 -8
Aaron Holiday 9 18 4 190 9.0% 136 4.8 -14
Joel Ayayi 4 7 0 0.0% 49 0.7 2
Corey Kispert 4 7 0 59 14.5% -57 0.0 2
Isaiah Todd 4 7 0 29 29.1% -97 0.0 2
Cassius Winston 4 7 2 74 38.3% -165 0.0 2
Deni Avdija 16 31 0 59 3.4% -48 0.0 -17
Daniel Gafford 15 28 4 64 23.2% -70 0.0 -8
Spencer Dinwiddie 31 59 9 76 21.1% -34 0.0 -5
Davis Bertans 14 26 2 27 21.0% -188 0.0 -19

Key Stats: Raptors

RAPTORS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
RAPTORS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Pascal Siakam 36 68 31 128 33.2% 176 22.2 4
Dalano Banton 15 29 5 129 20.1% 298 16.2 13
Svi Mykhailiuk 16 30 5 164 12.7% 251 14.0 12
Chris Boucher 18 34 14 158 24.0% 213 13.6 12
Yuta Watanabe 17 33 7 128 14.1% 204 12.5 16
Precious Achiuwa 31 57 10 105 18.7% 106 11.4 -3
Gary Trent Jr. 30 57 6 98 11.5% 52 5.6 -5
Justin Champagnie 2 3 2 207 25.6% 594 3.2 1
Scottie Barnes 37 69 11 102 13.9% 14 1.8 11
Isaac Bonga 2 3 1 149 39.0% 163 0.9 1
Malachi Flynn 2 3 0 0.0% 138 0.7 1
David Johnson 2 3 0 0 25.6% -482 0.0 1
Fred VanVleet 33 62 10 74 21.9% -117 0.0 -4