In the wildest game of the season, the Wizards rode a vintage performance from Russell Westbrook, 22 fourth quarter points from Bradley Beal, and a good Thomas Bryant impersonation from Moritz Wagner to emerge with a 149-146 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Washington shot well — .574 effective field goal percentage — but allowed a scorching .676 from the Nets, despite once again inducing an opponent to take lots of midrange jumpers. When those shots are getting taken by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a fair amount will go in.
That Nets efg ties for the Wizards 12th worst one-game defensive efg. The five worst:
- 2021-01-06 — at Philadelphia 76ers .728
- 1986-03-04 — at New York Knicks .712
- 2010-11-17 — at Boston Celtics .711
- 2018-12-19 — at Houston Rockets .706
- 2019-02-06 — at Milwaukee Bucks .704
Allowing opponents a great shooting night is typically a way to lose. Coming into last night’s game, the Wizards were 0-32 in games where they allowed an opponent and efg of .65 or better. They were 1-99 in their 100 worst defensive efg games.
They won despite the shooting differential because they were plus-10 in turnovers and plus-4 on the offensive glass. That translated into 20 additional field goal attempts.
Westbrook — 41 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and just 3 turnovers — looked healthy for the first time this season. He attacked the rim repeatedly and largely eschewed the two-point jumpers that had been a staple of his offensive repertoire all season.
Beal struggled for three quarters before transmogrifying into an unstoppable offensive weapon in the 4th quarter.
Many scoffed at Scott Brooks calling Ish Smith a “game changer” but Smith proved him right with a highly efficient 13 points and 7 assists. He also used the Speed Force to make Brooklyn’s Tyler Johnson fall down.
Ish Smith just told Tyler Johnson to take a seat pic.twitter.com/7BWp7T9RxX— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) February 1, 2021
A day after Brooks compared Wagner to Bill Laimbeer, Wagner had his best game of the season — 17 points on 8 shots, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in just 21 minutes. He defended instead of flopping to draw charges, and he kept the dumb fouls to a minimum.
Robin Lopez was also productive again with 10 points on 5 shots and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes.
If this kind of performance persists from Davis Bertans, it’s going to be a problem. He’s shot poorly and contributed little else (as expected) all season. If the Wizards are going to make a run at reaching the postseason, they need Bertans hitting from long range.
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 decided to simplify 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: Nets at Wizards
Player Production Average
Below are Player Production Average (PPA) results from last night’s game. PPA is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, play-making, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls). PPA is a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
PPA is a per possession stat. The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.