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Westbrook’s triple-double and the Wizards bench mob are almost enough against the Hawks

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images

With 28 points, 13 rebounds and 21 assists in the Wizards 125-124 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Russell Westbrook is officially the king of the triple-double. With Bradley Beal sidelined because of a hamstring injury, the Wizards needed Westbrook to be great to have a chance, and they nearly pulled off what would have been a surprising victory.

Westbrook got little support from the starting lineup. Raul Neto, Rui Hachimura, Alex Len, and Garrison Mathews were all meh. Neto hit a few shots but didn’t contribute much else, and his overall offensive efficiency (107 offensive rating) was below average for the game.

Hachimua scored 20 points on subpar efficiency (96 ortg — league average this season is around 112, his team’s efficiency in this game was 119, and the Hawks had a 120) and managed just 3 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in his 28 minutes. His effective field goal percentage was .500; the Wizards shot .575.

What kept Washington in the game and fueled their scintillating fourth quarter comeback from a 19-point deficit was the play of their bench. Ish Smith slid into a shooting guard role and scored 16 points on 12 shots, while also contributing 2 steals and a blocked shot. Somehow, that was Smith’s 12th block of the season.

Davis Bertans did his job with 5-9 shooting from three-point range. He got cooked on defense. The Wizards coaching staff will likely rethink the switching scheme that resulted in Bertans matched up on Trae Young.

Robin Lopez had another of his joyously weird games. He pivots and ball fakes, moving defenders around before abruptly going back to his pet shot — the righty jump hook with his left hand as a clear-out claw to fend off potential shot blockers. He sets screens and gets some offensive rebounds, and does a reasonably good job protecting the rim when he manages to be in position. That’s enough for a backup center.

Chandler Hutchison had a nice game in a way that looks potentially sustainable. He scored on an alert cut and a classic 3&D corner jumper (both on passes from Westbrook) and defended — 3 steals and 2 blocks in 25 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 Hawks

EFG 0.531 0.575
OREB 13 8
TOV 12 9
FTM 23 9
PACE 104
ORTG 120 119

Scoreboard Impact Rating

Below are Scoreboard Impact Rating (SIR) results from last night’s game. It’s based on my PPA metric, but it shows each player’s TOTAL contribution for the game in terms of points on the scoreboard. This may make more sense for a single game — PPA is a per possession metric, which probably makes more sense over a larger sample size.

Since SIR is based on the PPA metric, it 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). The scale is points.

POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.

PTS = points scored

ORTG = offensive rating, which is points produced per individual possessions x 100

USG = offensive usage rate.

ORTG and USG were created by Dean Oliver and modified slightly by me. ORTG is an efficiency measure that accounts for the value of shooting, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. USG includes shooting from the floor and free throw line, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.

Wizards Stats

Russell Westbrook 40 87 28 130 32.9% 38
Ish Smith 23 50 16 125 22.2% 18
Davis Bertans 31 68 15 148 13.2% 15
Chandler Hutchison 25 55 6 104 10.0% 12
Robin Lopez 21 46 18 117 29.8% 11
Daniel Gafford 15 32 4 136 14.7% 8
Raul Neto 31 68 12 107 15.6% 8
Rui Hachimura 28 60 20 96 27.8% 7
Alex Len 12 26 2 66 9.1% 3
Garrison Mathews 14 30 3 150 5.4% 3

Hawks Stats

John Collins 33 71 28 170 21.4% 38
Bogdan Bogdanovic 36 78 25 159 18.7% 34
Trae Young 37 80 36 124 37.4% 25
Clint Capela 35 75 10 114 14.7% 20
Solomon Hill 10 21 1 151 5.2% 5
Danilo Gallinari 21 46 8 112 14.2% 2
De'Andre Hunter 14 29 6 97 18.2% 2
Onyeka Okongwu 7 16 2 82 26.1% 0
Lou Williams 11 25 2 42 14.7% 0
Kevin Huerter 37 80 7 69 13.0% 0