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By the Numbers: Wizards lose to Grizzlies for a second time

NBA: Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies
Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook.
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards opened the second half of the season in much the way they did the first — by getting whomped on the road by a better team. In the season opener, it was a 14-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Last night, a 15-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

In a fast-paced game (108 possessions per team), the Wizards couldn’t shoot straight (.458 effective field goal percentage) and couldn’t contain the Grizzlies’ front court. Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas bludgeoned Washington with 29 points, 20 rebounds and 4 blocks.

The Wizards’ center tandem — Moritz Wagner, Robin Lopez, and Alex Len (you can find them at the bottom of the PPA table below) combined for 13 points (on 4-15 shooting), 11 rebounds, 4 turnovers, and 9 fouls. Valanciunas had a PPA 274. The Wizards centers combined for a -40.

It wasn’t just the centers. Aside from Deni Avdija’s excellent game (13 point on 8 field goal attempts, 3-5 shooting from three-point range, and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes), the Wizards got little helpful production from the forwards. Meanwhile, Brandon Clarke grabbed 10 rebounds in 24 minutes, Desmond Bane scored 20 points on 13 shots, and Kyle Anderson got some “get right” moments against the porous Wizards defense.

For the Wizards, Russell Westbrook was solid — 20 points on 19 shots, 5 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals, as well as 4 turnovers.

Bradley Beal had a tough outing against a well-designed defense and the Grizzlies’ big, physical wing defenders. Garrison Mathews did what he does — hit threes and get fouled attempting a three.

Scott Brooks added Troy Brown Jr. to the rotation, and while Brown didn’t shoot well, he had a good all-around game with 3 assists and some defensive plays in 13 minutes.

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 Grizzlies

EFG 0.545 0.458
OREB 14 6
TOV 15 9
FTM 19 25
PACE 110
ORTG 116 102

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

Deni Avdija 24 55 189 2
Russell Westbrook 36 81 120 3
Bradley Beal 34 78 81 -12
Garrison Mathews 15 34 170 -8
Troy Brown Jr. 13 30 176 3
Raul Neto 24 56 51 -17
Davis Bertans 21 47 58 -14
Rui Hachimura 25 58 43 -17
Robin Lopez 23 53 2 -12
Alex Len 2 6 -111 -7
Moritz Wagner 22 49 -79 4

Grizzlies PPA

Jonas Valanciunas 32 74 274 17
Desmond Bane 31 70 163 4
Brandon Clarke 25 58 159 12
Ja Morant 33 75 110 17
De'Anthony Melton 18 41 185 11
Kyle Anderson 23 52 144 3
Tyus Jones 15 35 -8 -2
Xavier Tillman 16 35 -50 -2
Justise Winslow 22 50 -36 -7
Dillon Brooks 25 57 -50 22