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.
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
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.