The Wizards beat the Hornets in Charlotte for the first time in six years because Jordan Goodwin went full Linsanity.
Goodwin went undrafted after four decent seasons with the Saint Louis Univeristy Billikens. The Wizards signed him in August, and he’s bounced between the NBA team and the G-League Capital City Go-Go.
Injuries and health rules gave Goodwin the first extended NBA action of his career, and he’s made the most of it. In the loss to Memphis, Goodwin was outstanding — 9 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block in 26 minutes. Turns out, he was just warming up.
Last night against Charlotte, Goodwin was a perfect 7-7 from the floor (including a three) and 2-2 from the free throw line. He collected 4 rebounds (2 on the offensive end) and tallied 5 assists and 2 blocks in just 21 minutes. His offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) was a preposterous 197. And, oh yeah, he defended well.
Goodwin won’t keep playing this well, but maybe the Wizards have stumbled into a young player who can perform. At very least, he’ll be able to tell his grandkids about the time he was the best player on the floor in two consecutive NBA games.
It’s a good thing Goodwin played so well because he got scant help from his supporting cast. Daniel Gafford was terrific but received just 11 minutes of playing time. Kristaps Porzingis was...okay.
Kyle Kuzma had looked fine in the glory stats — 20 points, 6 rebounds — but he committed 2 turnovers and shot 1-5 from the free throw line. His offensive rating was an anemic 96 on a 26.6% usage rate.
There was much ballyhoo online about Rui Hachimura, who scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half. His overall performance once again was less than met the eye. Yet again, his points came on poor efficiency (offensive rating of 92 with usage at 27.2%), and he didn’t grab his first rebound until there were less than three minutes to play in the game. He had zero assists, zero steals and two turnovers.
The Hornets offered a good illustration of the point I keep making about Hachimura. Kelly Oubre Jr. made a number of spectacular plays with his outlandish athleticism. He finished with 20 points. But did he play well?
In my estimation, Oubre was terrible. He took bad shots and missed them (8-20 from the floor, 1-7 from three). He committed dumb fouls. He notched zero assists, steals or blocks and just one rebound in 29 minutes. His offensive rating was 92 with a 28.0% usage rate.
Contrast these guys with Goodwin, who produced offensively with extreme efficiency while also defending and setting up teammates for easy scores. Or Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels, who was rated well above average despite scoring an inefficient 9 points. That’s because he also contributed 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
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: Wizards 108 at Hornets 100
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
|Dennis Smith Jr.||34||69||3||76||17.9%||3||0.5||-5|
|Kelly Oubre Jr.||29||58||20||92||28.0%||-49||0.0||-3|