The Wizards lost, 119-118 to the Brooklyn Nets, but they didn’t play badly. Despite the absence of Kevin Durant, and a bad game from James Harden, the Nets got a terrific performance from their other All-NBA level performer, Kyrie Irving. That’s depth.
Even with Durant out of the game, the Wizards were underdogs in this one. Quality play off the bench from Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Montrezl Harrell made it an entertaining game with a wild finish.
The three-headed center rotation, pioneered by former head coach Scott Brooks, was productive again. The combination of Daniel Gafford, Thomas Bryant and Harrell went for 28 points on 12 field goal attempts, had 14 rebounds (including 7 on the offensive glass), 4 assists and 4 blocked shots.
On the other hand, they collectively got torched by LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points on 15 shots) and Day’Ron Sharpe (14 points on 6 FGA, plus 6 rebounds in 16 minutes). The only times when the Wizards defense was worth a damn was when Bryant and swingman Corey Kispert were on the floor.
Bradley Beal had a good game despite 7-18 from the floor. He finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, a block and just 1 turnover.
One interesting development: DNP-CDs for Raul Neto and Aaron Holiday. In the latest edition of the Bullets Forever 3PT Play, Matt Modderno, Osman Baig and I kicked around what the Wizards could do to shorten their rotation. While the team didn’t follow many of our ideas, it did remove the replacement level little guys from the rotation for a night. And it almost worked.
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.
Four Factors: Nets 119 at Wizards 118
Below are a few performance metrics, including the Player Production Average (PPA) Game Score (very similar to the one I used to call Scoreboard Impact Rating). 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).
Game Score (GmSC) converts individual production into points on the scoreboard in this game. The scale is the same as points and reflects each player’s total contributions for the game. The lowest possible GmSC is zero.
PPA is a per possession metric designed for larger data sets. In small sample sizes, the numbers can get weird. But some readers prefer it, so I’m including PPA scores as well. Reminder: in PPA, 100 is average, higher is better and replacement level is 45. For a single game, replacement level isn’t much use, and I reiterate the caution about small samples producing weird results.
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 last season was 112.3. Points produced is not the same as points scored. It includes the value of assists and offensive rebounds, as well as sharing credit when receiving an assist.
USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.
ORTG and USG are versions of stats created by 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.
Key Stats: Wizards
Key Stats: Nets