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Wizards fall to Nets in wild finish

Brooklyn Nets v Washington Wizards
Wizards forward Deni Avdija leads the team in their loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

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.

Four Factors: Nets 119 at Wizards 118

FOUR FACTORS NETS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS NETS WIZARDS
EFG 0.573 0.535
OREB 7 13
TOV 12 12
FTM 17 26
PACE 99
ORTG 120 119

Key Stats

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

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Deni Avdija 23 47 13 178 16.2% 278 25.8 3
Bradley Beal 37 76 23 123 26.3% 159 23.6 -11
Rui Hachimura 17 35 14 143 23.6% 291 19.7 7
Montrezl Harrell 24 50 14 132 22.4% 137 13.3 3
Daniel Gafford 12 26 8 194 15.7% 211 10.6 -7
Corey Kispert 14 28 4 156 9.6% 173 9.5 4
Thomas Bryant 12 24 6 117 22.5% 186 8.7 3
Spencer Dinwiddie 31 65 11 103 18.5% 49 6.2 5
Kyle Kuzma 31 65 16 91 25.0% 6 0.8 -8
Davis Bertans 8 17 0 0 4.3% -91 0.0 4
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 31 65 9 79 15.4% -33 0.0 -8

Key Stats: Nets

NETS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
NETS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Kyrie Irving 38 79 30 126 30.0% 198 31.7 13
Patty Mills 38 78 17 181 10.1% 194 31.0 12
LaMarcus Aldridge 32 66 27 174 22.5% 224 30.4 4
Day'Ron Sharpe 16 33 14 201 22.5% 292 19.7 -3
Kessler Edwards 35 73 5 107 5.9% 41 6.2 -8
Bruce Brown 20 42 4 122 9.9% -10 0.0 -7
Cam Thomas 21 44 4 59 12.1% -84 0.0 2
James Harden 39 81 18 73 36.0% -97 0.0 -8