So, the Wizards have a game Thursday against the Indiana Pacers — a true “win or go home matchup.” Winner gets the 8th seed and a best-of-seven series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Loser gets a lottery pick and a no-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean island of their choice.
In Washington’s biggest game of the season — after six weeks of the best play the franchise has seen in years — they came out and had their worst game in weeks. Nearly everyone was bad.
- Ish Smith — 17 points on 6-8 shooting from the floor, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block in 26 minutes. His total production was worth 41 of the Wizards’ 100 points on the scoreboard.
- Russell Westbrook — 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks. It wasn’t the All-NBA level performance Westbrook has been turning in lately — he shot just 6-18 from the floor and committed 4 turnovers and 5 fouls — but it was still worth 26 points on the scoreboard.
- Daniel Gafford — 12 points on 7 shots with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 21 minutes. The problem: 4 fouls, which kept him from getting more playing time. His performance was worth 17 points, according to my Scoreboard Impact Rating.
No other Washington player cracked double digits in value of production. Bradley Beal, still dealing with a hamstring injury, needed 25 shots to score 22 points. He added 9 rebounds, 8 assists and a couple blocks but the offensive inefficiency was a major drag on the Wizards’ ability to score.
Rui Hachimura made 4-of-5 shots for 8 points in 17 minutes, but also had 2 turnovers and 5 fouls. Davis Bertans was 0-7 from three-point range and managed just 1 rebound in 33 minutes of playing time.
The Wizards got effectively nothing from their other two starters, Alex Len and Raul Neto.
After a rough start, Boston’s Jayson Tatum torched the Wizards, and every coverage variation they threw at thim. He finished the night with 50 points (and a 137 offensive rating) with 8 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks.
That’s a superstar game for a team missing its second-best player, Jaylen Brown, and which lost its starting center Robert Williams III to injury when he landed on Tatum’s leg.
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.
Wizards at Celtics
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. League average this season is 112.3.
USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.
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 SIR & ORTG
Celtics SIR & ORTG
|Robert Williams III||14||30||4||231||6.0%||10||8|