The Wizards overtime victory against the Toronto Raptors was a good win, in part because they entered the game gassed. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal — who nearly stole a win the previous night against the Milwaukee Bucks — were visibly dragging from the start.
Anthony Gill got the start in place of Rui Hachimura (sidelined for a second night with a non-COVID illness) and gave them nothing. Chandler Hutchison was bad. So was Ish Smith. Westbrook too.
And the Wizards won anyway. On the road. Second night of a back-to-back after a taxing and hard-fought loss the night before. That’s good stuff.
In many ways, the team is taking on Westbrook’s on-court personality. As a group, they’re messy and inefficient...and they’re tough, feisty, and competitive. No one plays as hard as Westbrook, but there are no slackers — at least not among the guys who are part of the rotation.
The Wizards scrapped out an overtime win because
Captain Hook...umm... Robin Lopez played great, Raul Neto was excellent, Beal was decent, and they got just enough plays from others to get the job done.
Lopez dominated — 24 points, 7 rebounds (6 offensive), 3 blocks in 23 minutes. Toronto couldn’t guard him without fouling, which sent Lopez to the free throw line 14 times (he made 12).
Neto reminded me of John Paxson last night — accurate shooting when open (5-7 from three), and a little bit of everything else — 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. He finished the night with 25 points.
Beal attacked the soft Raptors middle repeatedly en route a reasonably efficient 28 points. His 114 offensive rating (points produced per individual possessions used x 100) was just under the Wizards 118 for the game.
With 13 points, 17 rebounds and 17 assists, Westbrook notched another triple-double (he’s one behind Oscar Robertson for the all-time NBA record), and according to my analysis it added up to zero points on the scoreboard.
How is that possible? His offensive efficiency — even accounting for the value of the assists — was just that bad. He shot 5-19 from the floor with 1 made three. That’s a .289 effective field goal percentage in a game where the Raptors shot .514 and the Wizards .505.
He didn’t make it up at the free throw line where he was just 2-4. The rebounds and assists added value, but he also committed 7 turnovers and fouled out. For the game, he used 28 possessions to produce 21 points for the team. Including the value of offensive rebounds and assists, that works out to an offensive rating of 78 — 40 points below the team average...with a team-high usage rate.
Westbrook’s been playing great the past month, so I suspect this bad outing was due to exhaustion. Give him respect for a gutty effort. He’ll probably play a lot better in upcoming games after he’s had a chance to get some rest.
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 Raptors
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.
By request, I’ve added points scored (PTS).
|Gary Trent Jr.||36||76||25||26||4|