No Bradley Beal, no Kristaps Porzingis, no problem. The Wizards overcame a rough start and the absence of their top two players to beat a tired Dallas Mavericks team on the second night of a back-to-back.
The star of the show — aside from the pink and blue cherry blossom uniforms — was Kyle Kuzma, who erupted for 36 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. It was a performance that harkened back to the string of quality games Kuzma posted last season when Beal was out with a wrist injury.
Rui Hachimura came off the bench and had his best game of the season — 23 points and 8 rebounds in just 26 minutes. His offensive output came on solid efficiency, about 3 points per 100 possessions better than league average. His excellent shooting (71.4% efg) was offset a bit by 4 turnovers, no assists and no offensive rebounds.
With Porzingis and Taj Gibson missing from the lineup, and Anthony Gill unproductive and in foul trouble, Daniel Gafford dominated in the middle — 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in 25 minutes. The team defense was superb when Gafford played.
The Wizards were helped by a road-weary Dallas team that ran out of gas in the second half. Luka Doncic seemed to be running on fumes from the start, even though the Wizards were giving up easy switches even on slip screens that gave Doncic opportunities to attack defenders other than Deni Avdija.
Avdija’s offensive game was...uhh...not good — 4-13 from the floor, 4 assists and 3 turnovers — and he didn’t have a particularly stout defensive performance. He seems ideal for pestering Doncic, whose game is predicated on fakes, sleight of hand and changes of speed. As I’ve noted a number of times, Avidja is virtually immune to those tactics. He can be beaten with quick, strong, decisive attacks. That’s just not how Doncic plays. All that said, I don’t think Wizards defenders had a lot to do with Doncic’s poor outing.
The Four Factors
Below are the four factors that decide wins and losses 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, I find the raw numbers more useful when analyzing a single game.
Four Factors: Mavericks 105 at Wizards 113
Stats & Metrics
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. 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 112.0. 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.
Stats & Metrics: Wizards
Stats & Metrics: Mavericks
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||28||58||16||130||19.1%||167||18.0||-7||6|