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.
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:
- Memphis Grizzlies +0.47
- Los Angeles Clippers +5.71
- Philadelphia 76ers +2.34
- Milwaukee Bucks +7.14
- Milwaukee Bucks +7.14
- Sacramento Kings -5.07
- Utah Jazz +10.31
- at Brooklyn Nets +4.21
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 assists...as well as 22 field goal attempts and 5 turnovers.
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
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.