It’s okay. The Milwaukee Bucks are a title contender and one of the best teams in the NBA. They have an elite player in Giannis Antetokounmpo (whose name I just spelled correctly without having to look it up for the first time ever), two excellent “second star” types (Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton), and a bunch of solid pros who are productive and know how to play.
Missing Middleton basically evened things up a bit with the Wizards — over the past month, the Wizards have had an elite performer on many nights in Russell Westbrook, an excellent “second star” in Bradley Beal, and then a grab-bag of different guys on different nights doing the supporting cast thing.
The formula held for the Wizards, at least at the top. Westbrook was terrific again — 29 points, 12 rebounds, 17 assists, good shooting and just 2 turnovers. As you’ll see below, according to my Scoreboard Impact Rating (SIR — we’ll set aside PPA tonight), his production was worth 47 points to the Wizards.
Beal was outstanding as well — 42 points on just 24 field goal attempts. He attacked the rim relentlessly (11-14 from the free throw line) and he made 3-6 from three-point range. According to SIR, his production was worth 37 points on the scoreboard.
Daniel Gafford dominated in his brief moments on the court — 12 points, 10 rebounds and a block in just 14 minutes. He got 32 possessions on the floor. The other parts of The Hydra combined for 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in 77 possessions. Altogether, the centers tag-teamed their way to production worth 26 points.
Garrison Mathews had a nice game in scant playing time, primarily because the Bucks defenders were unaware that he jumps forward when he shoots threes.
The rest of the team didn’t contribute much. Four players — Alex Len, Chandler Hutchison, Isaac Bonga, and Ish Smith — collectively played 47.9 minutes and had production that added nothing — zero points — to the scoreboard. Add in another 18 minutes from Anthony Gill whose production was worth 2 points, and 28 minutes from Davis Bertans, whose play was worth 6. This game was a heavy lift for Beal and Westbrook.
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 Bucks
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.
Scoreboard Impact Rating: Wizards
In case you were wondering, here are the team’s full-season leaders in SIR per game:
- Beal — 26.4
- Westbrook — 19.6
- Thomas Bryant — 15.8
- Daniel Gafford — 11.9
- Rui Hachimura — 10.8
- Davis Bertans — 9.4
- Raul Neto — 8.5
- Robin Lopez — 7.8
- Alex Len — 7.5
- Ish Smith — 6.2
- Garrison Mathews — 5.3
- Deni Avdija — 5.2
- Anthony Gill — 2.8
- Jimmy Butler 41.1
- Kawhi Leonard 39.3
- Stephen Curry 37.0
- Nikola Jokic 36.8
- James Harden 36.3
- Giannis 36.0
- LeBron James 35.1
- Kyrie Irving 35.1
- Zion Williamson 32.0
- Kevin Durant 31.4
Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, and Damian Lillard are within a point of the top 10. Beal ranks 24th overall in a group with Zach LaVine, Jayson Tatum, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Mike Conley and CJ McCollum.
Scoreboard Impact Rating: Bucks
Also, if someone can come up with a better name for this SIR stat, I will send you a bespoke Wizards-themed T-shirt that I will force my son to design. Bonus points if you can work in the name of a current or former player from franchise history — like Nate Silver’s PECOTA (which stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), or Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE, or Football Outsiders’ KUBIAK, and so on.
Extra bonus points if you can figure out a way to name this thing after Charles Jones.