The Wizards rode record shooting from Davis Bertans to a third straight victory with last night’s 130-128 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Bertans, who arrived to training camp out of shape and struggled with his shot, hit 9-of-11 from three-point range en route to 35 points on 11 field goal attempts. Bertans became the 44th player in NBA history to score 30 or more points on 11 or fewer field goal attempts. Charles Barkley is the all-time leader with four of these games. Bill Cartwright, Dwight Howard, and Keith Van Horn have two each.
Bertans ties Nikola Jokic for the second highest scoring night with 11 or fewer field goal attempts. Jokic scored 35 on 11 shots in 2018 against the Suns. The all-time leader in this category is Barkely, who scored 36 points on 10 FGA (8-10 from the field and 20-24 from the the free throw line).
In 1981, Cartwright had a preposterous 31 points on 7 field goal attempts in a loss to the Kansas City Kings. He was 6-7 from the floor and 19-19 from the free throw line.
The only other player on the list with single-digit field goal attempts is Andres Nocioni, who got 30 points on 9 FGA for the Chicago Bulls in 2007.
Enough history. Back to the Wizards, their poor defense returned with a vengeance against Jokic and the Nuggets. Denver had a blistering .614 effective field goal percentage and committed just 11 turnovers. The Wizards got the win because Bertans went ham from long range and the Nuggets kept sending Washington to the free throw line.
Once again, Scott Brooks played a tighter 9-man rotation. There was a 10th man because Moritz Wagner started. Brooks benched him after just 3 minutes and went with Alex Len and Robin Lopez at center for the remainder of the game.
At some point, the Wizards organization needs to figure out what they can do with Russell Westbrook. He posted another triple-double last night (12 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists). Several of his passes were examples of high-level playmaking. But he also was just 2 turnovers from a quadruple double, he committed five fouls, and he shot atrociously, again.
The 8 turnovers, 5 fouls, 5-15 shooting from the floor, and 2-6 shooting from the free throw line put Westbrook’s overall production into negative territory, according to my Player Production Average metric.
Given his salary, stature, and ability, he’s going to play a major role for the team. While he appears to be healthy, it’s clear his shot is broken and his decision-making has been wildly inconsistent. It’s time for the team to get real about what Westbrook can do, and build a role around that rather than pretending he’s in a shooting slump that will eventually end.
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: Nuggets 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 and role. 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.
POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.
|Michael Porter Jr.||31||64||66||1|