We now know what the Washington Wizards will do with three days off following consecutive humiliating defeats: add a third straight embarrassment to the pile. The latest was a 115-95 beatdown at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.
And here’s the thing: the Grizzlies didn’t even play very well. Their shooting was okay at best, but the Wizards couldn’t be bothered to grab defensive rebounds. Memphis collected 21 of their missed shots for an offensive rebounding percentage of 41.2%.
Positives for the Wizards: Kyle Kuzma played well in the second half and finished with 30 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block. He also had 5 turnovers, which should be forgiven since he was just about the only player in a Wizards uniform who competed.
Designated franchise cornerstone Bradley Beal had a terrible game, shooting just 2-11 from the floor. He did have 12 assists, but no one would accuse him of playing better on defense than he has in previous games.
Memphis got outstanding production from Steven Adams, who had 10 offensive rebounds in 29 minutes, and Ja Morant who carved up a feeble Wizards defense for 34 points. The Grizzlies also got quality play from Jon Konchar, Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke.
Wes Unseld Jr. tweaked the rotation by benching Daniel Gafford for Thomas Bryant, which kinda made sense considering the team’s been considerably worse with Gafford out there despite him leading the team in per possession production. The move didn’t work out: Bryant had shot 2-8 from the floor en route to 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 fouls.
Best part of the night was the NV13 Cain Cuvee wine I picked up this morning. Excellent red blend with notes of smoke, oak, dark fruits and cherry. It made yet another crummy Wizards game palatable.
Washington’s losing streak is now at five games and could realistically stretch to 10. Here’s the schedule ahead, and their odds of winning each, according to my prediction machine:
- at Milwaukee Bucks 27%
- at Philadelphia 76ers 28%
- Phoenix Suns 29%
- Miami Heat 39%
- Brooklyn Nets 47%
The next time the Wizards are favored to win is February 12 against the Sacramento Kings.
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: Wizards 95 at Grizzlies 115
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: Grizzlies
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||23||45||10||95||23.8%||83||5.1||11|