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After tough loss to the Celtics, the Wizards schedule is about to get even tougher

Let’s take a look at the numbers from yesterday’s game.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal poured in 46 points against the Boston Celtics.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards lost a tough one to the Boston Celtics and...stop me if you’ve heard this one before...the schedule is about to get even tougher.

The last time I wrote about the team entering a difficult stretch, they won 7 of 8 — 7 of 9 if you want to count last night.

Bright side: the next 7 games are at home. The downside: this upcoming group is tough.

The most likely win until March 17 is tomorrow night against the Memphis Grizzlies. On the 17th, Washington has a rare “get-well” game against the Sacramento Kings.

To put this into perspective, the Wizards’ average opponent so far this season has a strength-of-schedule adjusted scoring margin of -0.30. That’s about the level of a 40-win team over an 82-game schedule.

The rest of the season’s opponents currently rate a +0.31 — about the level of a 42-win team.

The next 8 opponents, including the Kings, are collectively +4.03 — about the level of a 50-win team.

Here’s the slate and their adjusted scoring margins:

It would be a significant show of strength if the Wizards can take 7 of 8 off this group. Getting 3 or 4 wins over the next 8 would be impressive. For now, the team’s focus should be on bouncing back and taking a winnable game against the Grizzlies.

A few statistical observations from last night’s game:

  • Bradley Beal is a scoring machine — 46 points on 29 field goal attempts. Beal had 16 of Washington’s 38 made field goals against Boston.
  • Davis Bertans is back. He was 5-9 from three-point range last night, en route to 20 points on 9 field goal attempts. Over the team’s past 9 games (he’s played in 8 of them), Bertans is shooting 51.6% from three.
  • He’s slow and awkward and goofy looking, but Robin Lopez is the team’s best healthy center. This should not be misconstrued into a statement that he’s good. He’s a drag on the offense, but the defense has been significantly better when he’s out there.
  • I’ll be writing more about Russell Westbrook and the quality of his play in the next few days. Last night he had 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 well as 22 field goal attempts and 5 turnovers.

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.

PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.

Four Factors: Wizards at Celtics

EFG 0.528 0.506
OREB 13 7
TOV 18 14
FTM 17 25
PACE 102
ORTG 108 107

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.

Wizards PPA

Bradley Beal 39 84 252 2
Davis Bertans 26 56 228 10
Robin Lopez 28 60 125 14
Russell Westbrook 36 77 62 -12
Alex Len 7 16 231 -1
Raul Neto 27 57 48 3
Rui Hachimura 25 54 -6 -1
Deni Avdija 7 14 -109 -1
Moritz Wagner 13 27 -70 -12
Isaac Bonga 16 34 -107 8
Garrison Mathews 16 34 -149 -15

Celtics PPA

Jayson Tatum 39 83 173 13
Daniel Theis 32 69 198 5
Kemba Walker 33 70 155 4
Javonte Green 33 71 66 -1
Robert Williams 18 37 61 -7
Tristan Thompson 19 40 30 8
Grant Williams 6 13 -57 -6
Payton Pritchard 21 44 -19 -9
Jeff Teague 22 46 -59 -3
Semi Ojeleye 19 40 -68 1