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Wizards fumble a chance to sweep the Nets

Let’s break down the stats behind last night’s contest.

Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets
Wizards guard Russell Westbrook played an excellent game except for his 8 turnovers.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Despite sprinting out to a 20-6 first quarter lead, there was a depressing feeling of inevitability about this game. Predictably, the Brooklyn Nets went on a run and took the lead. And while the Wizards stayed close enough to win, they never conveyed a sense they would actually get the job done.

Washington shot better than the Nets, grabbed just as many offensive rebounds, and had one fewer made free throw. They lost because they were -12 in turnovers. During the 95 possessions for each team, the Nets got 90 field goal attempts; the Wizards 79.

The turnovers were mostly attributable to the team’s stars. Russell Westbrook committed 8 in an otherwise excellent game. Bradley Beal struggled throughout and ended up with 6, including 3 offensive fouls.

Rui Hachimura had a nice game — 20 points on 9-11 shooting (including 2-2 from three-point range) and 10 rebounds. If his 167 PPA (see below) feels low (it does to me), keep in mind that he he had zero free throws, assists, steals or blocks.

Scott Brooks and the coaching staff will need to figure out how they’re going to compensate for the absence of Davis Bertans. Isaac Bonga was awful overall and got lit up on defense. Much the same was true of Deni Avdija whose lone positive contribution was 1 rebound in 11 minutes. The team was -18 in Avdija’s time on the floor.

Don’t think I’m blaming Avdija for the loss, though. Responsibility falls heaviest on Beal and Westbrook for committing 14 turnovers and failing to foul in the final seconds when Kyrie Irving was trying to run out the clock. Those two are veterans and team leaders, and they’re supposed to know time and situation. They let any chance of winning tick away while Brooks and the coaching staff yelled for them to foul.

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 Nets

EFG 0.539 0.576
OREB 10 10
TOV 7 19
FTM 16 15
ORTG 119 112

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

Rui Hachimura 40 80 167 4
Russell Westbrook 39 77 166 -4
Alex Len 29 57 152 5
Robin Lopez 19 38 186 -12
Raul Neto 20 40 27 -9
Garrison Mathews 30 60 15 4
Isaac Bonga 12 24 -94 -8
Deni Avdija 11 22 -113 -18
Bradley Beal 39 76 -43 3

Nets PPA

James Harden 39 77 165 7
DeAndre Jordan 17 34 364 -7
Kyrie Irving 35 68 174 -7
Bruce Brown 16 31 294 8
Nicolas Claxton 26 52 120 6
Joe Harris 35 70 67 9
Tyler Johnson 20 40 46 4
Landry Shamet 12 23 56 2
Jeff Green 25 49 19 1
Blake Griffin 15 30 8 12