The Wizards losing streak hit six despite the best efforts of Jordan Goodwin, who turned in another stellar performance starting in place of the injured Monte Morris. With the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Washington is five games under .500, has lost 9 of their last 10, and is about to embark on one of their toughest stretches of schedule.
This was the John Wall Homecoming game, and the former number one pick and franchise player provided some vintage flashes. On a few plays, he was able to break down his defender and get to the rim (though he missed the layups). After an impressive 90-second run that ended with him crossing over Corey Kispert and hitting a long two, the Wizards called timeout. Wall left the court shouting, “This is still my city!”
Overall, he looked heavier and slower than he did in his prime, which is to be expected considering the serious injuries he’s suffered. To my eye, he looked gimpy at times. The Clippers are wise to be cautious with his health, keep him on a minutes restriction and avoid back-to-backs, because even older and slower, he’s the best point guard they have.
- Starting in place of the injured Monte Morris, Jordan Goodwin turned in another stellar performance. He was the best Wizards player on the floor — 17 points on 13 field goal attempts, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals (a new personal best). His defense was outstanding all night.
- Kyle Kuzma got off to a terrific start and finished with some impressive numbers — 35 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists. He shot 7-11 from three-point range. He also missed some shots closer to the basket that the team needed him to hit and committed 6 turnovers. His offensive rating was low — just 104 on a usage rate of 36.6%.
- Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t great (just 8-20 from the floor with 3 turnovers), but he hit a pair of threes (he’d been missing the past several games), grabbed 15 rebounds, and handed out 5 assists. He was also solid defensively.
- Deni Avdija hit some threes, produced 6 assists, and defended well.
Not So Good Stuff
- Corey Kispert played 43 minutes and produced just 7 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. He was a negative on defense, and he shot 3-11 from the floor and 1-5 from three-point range.
- Daniel Gafford did basically nothing when he was in the game. In 11 minutes, his entire contribution was 1 rebound. The defense was atrocious with him out there, and the team was -13 with him on the floor.
- Missing the team’s top three guards, as well as Rui Hachimura, Wes Unseld Jr. probably did as well as could be expected to give the Wizards a chance. One questionable move was the decision to double-team Kawhi Leonard in the fourth quarter. Leonard was having a poor shooting night (5-13, 0-4), and his shot was alarmingly flat. This version of Leonard was having trouble getting past Wizards defenders. The strategy invited Leonard to beat Washington by passing to teammates for open shots, and the Clippers have an array of good shooters. Even iffier: the Wizards were doubling from one pass away like it was the 1980s.
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: Clippers 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: Clippers
|Marcus Morris Sr.||30||62||19||168||15.5%||245||25.3||5|
|Brandon Boston Jr.||15||30||3||83||12.1%||11||0.5||-1|