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Wizards roster not up to competition level in blow-out loss to 76ers

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The numbers were not pretty.

Washington Wizards v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Two Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Let’s put last night’s game aside for a moment. It’s the kind of thing to be expected in a No. 1 v. No. 8 seed matchup.

The prevalent sentiment on Twitter — and in my infernal text messages — was that the Wizards are being held back by That Moron Scott Brooks who’s too stupid to play (depending on who’s complaining) Chandler Hutchison, Garrison Mathews, Anthony Gill or Isaac Bonga. One guy tweeted at us that Brooks should employ the never-fail strategy of “something else.”

Hmm.

To be clear, I’m in favor of replacing Brooks (I hear Someone Else is GREAT). But when I watched the season and these playoffs games, what I continue to see is a deficient roster. As I wrote last weekend:

The Wizards have to address small forward in the offseason. I ran PPA scores for the Wizards by position (as assigned by Basketball-Reference) and here’s the breakdown (in PPA, 100 is average, higher is better, and replacement level is 45):

SG: 113

PG: 108

C: 98

PF: 75

SF: 33

The SF group was Deni Avdija, Chandler Hutchison, Troy Brown Jr., and Isaac Bonga. B-R classifies Garrison Mathews as a SG. Making him a SF boosts the position’s PPA to 43. Brown’s PPA in Chicago: 75.

“Addressing” the position should include a serious offseason development plan for Avdija. It should also include bringing in some help that’s not currently on the roster.

Here’s a quick look at the rotations, ordered by PPA (PPA is my overall production metric. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.):

  1. Joel Embiid, PHI — 201
  2. Tobias Harris, PHI — 168
  3. Bradley Beal, WAS — 153
  4. Ben Simmons, PHI — 149
  5. Russell Westbrook, WAS 134
  6. Daniel Gafford, WAS 130
  7. Danny Green, PHI 127
  8. Seth Curry, PHI 114
  9. Alex Len, WAS 106
  10. Raul Neto, WAS 93
  11. Robin Lopez, WAS 87
  12. Furkan Korkmaz, PHI 86
  13. Dwight Howard, PHI 85
  14. Rui Hachimura, WAS 75
  15. Matisse Thybulle, PHI 74
  16. Davis Bertans, WAS 73
  17. Tyrese Maxey, PHI 72
  18. Shake Milton, PHI 71
  19. Ish Smith, WAS 69
  20. George Hill, PHI 54 (in Philly)

So, Philly (at least according to PPA) has the two most productive players in the series, three of the top four, and five of the top eight. Gill’s PPA in 218 total minutes this season was 90. If there was a draft from these teams to win one game, the order of the top five would shuffle a bit, but the top two would still come from Philly, and it’s arguable that it could be the top three.

The Wizards’ top six rotation producers: are a SG (Beal), two PGs (Westbrook and Neto), and three centers (Gafford, Len and Lopez). Hachimura and Bertans each rated well-below average this season.

Mathews this season: 64. Hutchison: 32. Bonga: 4. Their best SF was Deni Avdija, who rated at replacement level, or maybe Mathews, who was well-below average and whose production dropped the more he played.

Brooks isn’t a good NBA coach. In a fantasy draft of coaches, he’d go at or near the bottom. But, as I’ve been saying all season, he’s a problem, not The Problem. The Problem is a lack of talent on the roster. A motivated 76ers team with title aspirations is making that clear.

And by the way, as you’ll see in the table below, Brooks gave all the “Play Bench Guy You Idiot” heroes minutes, and they all stunk. Gill, Hutchison, Mathews and Bonga played a combined 36 minutes last night against Philadelphia. Collectively, they had 4 points on 1-10 shooting (0-3 from three-point range), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, and 2 fouls.

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.

Game 2: Wizards at 76ers

FOUR FACTORS 76ERS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS 76ERS WIZARDS
EFG 0.608 0.413
OREB 8 13
TOV 11 13
FTM 13 19
PACE 101
ORTG 119 94

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.

Game 2: Wizards SIR & ORTG

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG SIR +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG SIR +/-
Bradley Beal 35 73 33 107 34.7% 37 -22
Daniel Gafford 20 42 11 134 21.9% 26 -1
Alex Len 12 26 6 138 17.5% 16 -11
Rui Hachimura 26 54 11 108 17.6% 10 -6
Russell Westbrook 29 61 10 87 31.3% 3 -16
Raul Neto 19 41 4 97 10.4% 2 -17
Robin Lopez 10 21 4 130 10.3% 1 -12
Anthony Gill 8 17 0 0 4.4% 0 -1
Chandler Hutchison 16 35 4 79 14.8% 0 -17
Cassius Winston 5 11 2 56 41.1% 0 -2
Ish Smith 23 49 10 74 24.8% 0 -10
Garrison Mathews 8 17 0 0 8.9% 0 -1
Isaac Bonga 4 8 0 0 28.3% 0 2
Davis Bertans 24 50 0 0 0.0% 0 -11

Game 2: 76ers SIR & ORTG

76ERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG SIR +/-
76ERS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG SIR +/-
Ben Simmons 29 60 22 143 27.7% 31 18
Joel Embiid 26 55 22 158 23.1% 18 19
Tobias Harris 23 49 19 134 23.7% 17 11
Matisse Thybulle 20 42 5 100 9.4% 14 9
Furkan Korkmaz 16 33 13 140 24.7% 11 12
Tyrese Maxey 14 29 10 114 29.7% 8 8
Danny Green 22 46 5 139 9.3% 7 8
Seth Curry 23 48 9 143 13.0% 6 19
Paul Reed 5 11 4 205 17.2% 5 2
George Hill 23 48 7 114 13.6% 2 15
Dwight Howard 16 33 4 83 25.0% 1 4
Anthony Tolliver 2 4 0 0 0.0% 0 0
Mike Scott 5 11.5 0 0 6.8% 0 2
Isaiah Joe 3 7 0 35 26.3% 0 -2
Shake Milton 14 28 0 0 27.0% 0 0