The Wizards finished their six-game homestand 5-1 after beating the Charlotte Hornets. They’re now 10-7 as they keep stacking wins against opponents missing key players. Last night, it was LaMelo Ball. Of course, the Wizards had some guys out of action as well, including Monte Morris, Delon Wright and Rui Hachimura.
I mention the missing opponents not to denigrate the Wizards or make excuses for the other team, but as a reminder to fans who want to stay more sober minded to look hard at what’s going on before making the leap to believing the team might defy preseason expectations. For those who think that bowl of champagne punch looks good, drink away. (It might actually be Kool Aid spiked with grain alcohol.)
The Hornets entered the game with the league’s 28th ranked offense, and the Wizards shut them down. If you want something to worry about, Charlotte was 22nd in defense, and they shut the Wizards down. In fairness, at least some of that was self-inflicted — Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 13 of the team’s 19 turnovers. My guesstimate is that 6 or 7 of those 13 were sloppiness and had nothing to do with a Hornets defender.
- Corey Kispert made a huge impact with few touches. His offensive efficiency was outrageous, again — 14 points scored on 7 field goal attempts, including 2-3 shooting from three-point range. He also had 3 assists and a block. And the team was at its best on both ends of the floor when he was in the game.
- Kyle Kuzma had one of his better games of the season. He shot 10-18 with four made threes and added 10 rebounds and 5 assists. He got sloppy at times (4 turnovers) and he didn’t impress on the defensive end, but it was a good night for him.
- Starting as the titular point guard, Bradley Beal was pretty good, though in ways that were somewhat unusual for him. The usual: he scored 26 points on good shooting (including some threes) and had 5 assists. His efficiency was undercut by 5 turnovers, a couple of which were unforced. The unusual: He also had five steals and contributed to an effective Wizards defensive effort.
- Deni Avdija was good — efficient on offense, alert rebounding, solid defense. He avoided the foul trouble that’s plagued him all season and produced 12 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes.
The Not So Good
- Will Barton was rough — 1-6 from the floor — though he did some positive defensive work when he was in the game.
- Daniel Gafford was terrible, and he was the team’s most productive center on the night. Taj Gibson missed some shots and committed a couple fouls in 6 minutes. Kristaps Porzingis shot 4-19 from the floor and had 4 turnovers and 5 fouls, though he also contributed 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.
- Johnny Davis looked bad in his return from the G-League. He turned down a couple open threes, one of which he converted into a long two, which he missed.
- Beal took a knee to the thigh driving to the basket late in the game, and he appeared to turn an ankle on the same play. He stayed in the game briefly, and then limped to the locker room.
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: Hornets at Wizards
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: Hornets
|Kelly Oubre Jr.||29||64||23||117||24.6%||169||30.7||-3|
|Dennis Smith Jr.||25||54||6||104||11.3%||159||24.5||15|