The Wizards avoided the sweep with an entertaining 122-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Second-year forward Rui Hachimura produced his best game in weeks — 20 points and a career-high 13 rebounds — to lead the team to its first post-season win of 2021.
Hachimura scored efficiently — he had an offensive rating (points produced per individual possession x 100) of 147 and he scored 20 on a 12.5% usage rate. He also had several possessions of solid on-ball defense that helped secure the win.
Davis Bertans broke out of his slump with 15 points (including 3-6 from three-point range) and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes. Then he strained his right calf — the same one he hurt earlier this season — and missed the rest of the game. His availability for game five Wednesday night is an open question. If he can’t play, the Wizards will need to reshuffle their lineup again.
Scott Brooks and the team braintrust made Bertans a starter for Game 3. In Game 4, they kept him there and promoted Daniel Gafford. Gafford’s first shift was rough, but he bounced back with a high-quality 12 points, 4 rebounds, 5 blocks in 26 minutes.
Robin “Captain Hook” Lopez was sensational as the primary backup, flicking in an array of his patented hook en route to 16 points on 8-11 shooting, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 19 minutes.
Russell Westbrook finished the game with a 95 PPA (average is 100 and higher is better), which is astounding considering he was 3-19 from the floor and committed 4 turnovers. The 6-3 guard found myriad ways to contribute — 13-16 from the free throw line, 21 rebounds (6 offensive), and 14 assists.
Raul Neto was pretty good off the bench — 11 points, 3 rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes.
Bradley Beal was not good last night. He had 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, which sounds good, except he was 9-23 from the floor and 7 turnovers.
On the Philly side, George Hill was solid and Ben Simmons was reasonably productive overall when he wasn’t in foul trouble. They were undone by the injury to Joel Embiid and a poor performance from Tobias Harris. For Harris, the Glory Stats — 21 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists — look fine. But he shot 8-24 from the floor, 1-5 from three-point range, and committed 2 turnovers and 4 fouls. In a game where Philadelphia had an offensive rating of 107 and the Wizards 115, his individual ortg of 92 was decidedly subpar.
The possibility that Bertans will be unavailable puts Brooks and the Wizards back into the muck of their roster construction. Assuming Bertans can’t play, they’ll likely need to go back to Neto in the starting lineup. It’s less than ideal, but the other options — Chandler Hutchison, Garrison Mathews, Isaac Bonga, Anthony Gill — are even less palatable.
The 76ers, of course, have their own health concerns. Embiid sat after a hard fall in the first quarter with a sore knee (it looked like it might have actually been his tailbone, hip or lower back). If he can’t play, Philly will likely start Dwight Howard, which is a less than ideal solution for them. Howard is okay at this point in his career, but he spends so much energy trying to be “physical” that he commits dumb fouls and takes himself out of plays.
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 4: 76ers at Wizards
Player Production Average
Player Production Average (PPA) is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, playmaking, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls). PPA is a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense and role. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.
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 was 112.3.
USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.
ORTG and USG are slightly modified versions of stats created by now-Wizards assistant coach 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 4: Wizards By the Numbers
Game 4: 76ers By the Numbers