As it turns out, the Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and some other third guy was better than Washington’s Big Three of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma. At least for one night.
The Wizards lost because Kevin Durant was great, Joe Harris hit threes and Kyrie Irving was good enough. Durant put on clinical display of efficiency and skill. He shot 13-20 from the floor, including 2-3 from three-point range, and he was 11-11 from the free throw line. He added 5 rebounds, 5 assists and committed just 1 turnover.
For the Wizards, the so-called “Big Three” was a Big One. Porzingis scored 27 points on high efficiency and grabbed a career high 19 rebounds. Beal and Kuzma each scored 25 points but on poor efficiency. The two combined for 45 field goal attempts — just over half of the team’s total for the game.
- Porzingis — 27 points on 14 field goal attempts and 19 rebounds. He also had 14 free throw attempts, though he made just 9. Still, he had a strong game against a weak group of Nets centers.
- Backing up Porzingis, Daniel Gafford dominated in the 10 minute he was one the floor — 4 points (2-2 from the floor), 7 rebounds (including 4 offensive boards) and 2 steals.
- The Brooklyn Nets broadcast was excellent. Ian Eagle is top shelf on play-by-play, and Sarah Kustok is as good an analyst as there is.
The Not So Good
- Beal — 9-20 from the floor, 1-6 from three, 6 assists and 5 turnovers. A couple of his turnovers had me wondering about that left wrist because...he just lost the ball.
- Kuzma started well, and then...yikes. At one point, he was 4-5 from the floor. From there, he shot 6-20. On a usage rate of 26%, this kind of inefficiency hurts the Wizards offense.
- Monte Morris had his first bad game since returning from injury. He missed shots, was inconsequential on defense, and even committed 2 turnovers.
- Will Barton was awful. Again. Just 1-4 from the floor, no rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, a turnover and 2 fouls in 14 minutes.
The Kinda Good
- In an otherwise forgettable performance, Deni Avdija produced 3 assists, a couple of which were nice passes.
- Jordan Goodwin had some good moments off the bench, but his production isn’t keeping pace with the excitement about him. Last night, he had 5 rebounds and 3 assists (including one gorgeous pass through traffic to a cutting Porzingis). But he was also 1-5 from the floor.
- Corey Kispert hit some shots and made some good cuts but provided nothing else. His defense was weak, and he managed just 2 rebounds in 22 minutes.
- The Wizards shot poorly and committed 14 turnovers (to just 9 for the Nets). What kept them in the game: 14 offensive rebounds to Brooklyn’s 4.
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 at Nets
The 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: Nets