Against the Toronto Raptors last night, the Wizards dashed out to a 13-point lead in the first half, fell behind by as much as 18 early in the fourth quarter and staged a furious comeback only to fall short, 109-105.
The story of this game is told clearly in the numbers. The Wizards won the most important of the four factors that decide who wins and loses, outshooting Toronto with a 57.1% to 52.8% effective field goal percentage. In the NBA, the team with the better efg wins 78% of the time.
Washington even tied in offensive rebounds, another of the factors. So why’d they lose? Turnovers and free throws. Fouls were about even — 16 were called on the Wizards and 15 on the Raptors — but Toronto got 17 free throw attempts to Washington’s 10.
Still, the bigger factor was Washington’s 17 turnovers to Toronto’s 8. The biggest culprit for the Wizards: Bradley Beal. The Raptors had 8. The entire Wizards roster other than Beal had 8. Beal had a whopping 9 turnovers.
Last night tied for Beal’s career high in turnovers. He previously had 9 in a February 4, 2020 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. For Beal, the turnovers reflected his continued difficulty handling double teams and blitzes. The key against doubles is to move the ball quickly to an open teammate. Beal’s tendency is to hold the ball, which gets him trapped and makes passing out of the double more challenging. Last night, it cost him and the team.
Overall, the game was just kinda weird. Spencer Dinwiddie had 17 points on 10 shots, connected on 5-7 from three, had 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and posted an offensive rating (points produced per individual possessions used x 100) of 174, and had a usage rate of just 13.3%.
Beal shot a solid 10-19 and had 5 rebounds and 8 assists, but undercut his production with all the turnovers.
Daniel Gafford was excellent — a team high 334 PPA, and the team was +12 with him on the floor — but played just 12 minutes. Toronto’s offense sputtered when he was out there: an ortg of just 88.0.
Toronto was led by stellar play from Fred VanVleet (who should be an All-Star this year), Scottie Barnes (who will be first team All-Rookie), and Chris Boucher (All-Skinny team?). Pascal Siakam was decent as well.
Don’t read too much into this next part, but some of the plus/minus numbers were too interesting to omit. Like, the Wizards were -12 in Raul Neto’s 5 minutes on the floor, -15 in Thomas Bryant’s 14 minutes, -6 with Corey Kispert, and -13 in Rui Hachimura’s 20 minutes.
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: Raptors 109 at Wizards 105
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: Raptors
|Gary Trent Jr.||29||57||13||111||19.1%||92||9.2||-1|