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Beal, Bertans and centers are enough for Wizards to win 5th in a row

Next up: Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors

Oklahoma City Thunder v Washington Wizards
Wizards guard Bradley Beal led Washington to a fifth straight victory with an efficient scoring night.
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

It was an ugly slog, but the Wizards got their win against a drained Thunder squad to run their winning streak to five.

To honor the five-game streak, let’s focus attention on the five Wizards players who rated above average last night:

  1. Bradley Beal — Started at SF because Rui Hachimura was out with a knee injury and because Scott Brooks couldn’t bring himself to start Isaac Bonga or Anthony Gill. Beal scored 30 on 21 field goal attempts, hit 3-4 from three-point range, and came up with 3 steals and a block without exerting himself much on defense.
  2. Davis Bertans — The Latvian Laser was well-calibrated. He hit 6-12 from three en route to 21 points in 28 minutes.
  3. Daniel Gafford — The franchise savior had a...well “monster” game isn’t quite right because he played just 16 minutes. Let’s say super-productive? Eh, whatever you want to call 13 points, 5 rebounds and a block on 6-6 shooting.
  4. Robin Lopez — Lopez missed a couple hook shots and still made 7-9 from the floor. Signed for his defense and rebounding, the big man is helping the Wizards with scoring in the paint and bizarrely effective footwork inside.
  5. Alex Len — Yes, a third center makes the list. Len had 9 points on 3 field goal attempts, plus 4 rebounds in 16 minutes.

Russell Westbrook collected another triple-double but had a low rating overall because of 5-18 shooting and 8 turnovers. The Wizards got the win anyway because the Thunder are tanking by playing teens and G-Leaguers, their best player (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) was out of action, and so was Lu Dort.

Bright side for the Thunder: 34 draft picks, including 16 first rounders over the next 7 seasons.

Bright side for the Wizards and their goals for the season: another win that keeps them in the running for the play-in tournament and possibly the playoffs.

This, by the way, is the team’s second five-game winning streak of the season. They last did it February 14-22. I have Washington as slim underdogs in their upcoming game with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

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: Thunder at Wizards

EFG 0.512 0.560
OREB 9 8
TOV 19 12
FTM 22 17
PACE 105
ORTG 102 114

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.

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 35 77 251 13
Davis Bertans 28 61 236 6
Daniel Gafford 16 35 295 -1
Robin Lopez 16 35 229 6
Alex Len 16 35 160 7
Raul Neto 28 60 41 11
Russell Westbrook 39 85 8 12
Garrison Mathews 13 28 9 -3
Ish Smith 22 47 2 4
Cassius Winston 1 2 0 0
Deni Avdija 26 57 -75 5

Thunder PPA

Ty Jerome 20 44 229 4
Svi Mykhailiuk 25 55 126 -3
Darius Bazley 38 83 84 -11
Kenrich Williams 35 77 79 -13
Tony Bradley 20 43 134 -3
Jaylen Hoard 15 33 168 2
Theo Maledon 29 64 6 -10
Moses Brown 16 36 -44 -14
Justin Robinson 11 23 -93 -10
Aleksej Pokusevski 30 65 -101 -2