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Clippers beat Wizards in Wall Homecoming game

Stats, analysis and observations of Washington’s 6th consecutive loss

LA Clippers v Washington Wizards
Wizards guard Jordan Goodwin outplayed former franchise player John Wall, but it wasn’t enough as Washington suffered its sixth straight loss.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

Good Stuff

  • 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.

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: Clippers at Wizards

EFG 0.527 0.529
OREB 9 8
TOV 10 14
FTM 15 17
ORTG 115 108

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

Jordan Goodwin 38 79 17 124 19.4% 236 30.9 5
Kyle Kuzma 38 79 35 104 36.6% 190 25.1 -5
Kristaps Porzingis 37 77 30 112 34.1% 138 17.8 6
Deni Avdija 39 80 11 116 13.2% 110 14.7 4
Anthony Gill 16 34 4 211 5.1% 69 3.9 -8
Devon Dotson 15 31 3 94 18.6% 41 2.2 -10
Corey Kispert 43 88 7 77 10.7% 11 1.6 -9
Daniel Gafford 11 22 0 0.0% 11 0.4 -13
Taj Gibson 3 6 0 0 18.8% -244 0.0 -5

Stats & Metrics: Clippers

Paul George 41 84 36 127 32.5% 292 41.2 8
Marcus Morris Sr. 30 62 19 168 15.5% 245 25.3 5
Luke Kennard 24 50 10 123 18.6% 212 17.7 18
Kawhi Leonard 30 63 13 116 20.1% 160 16.8 0
Nicolas Batum 33 67 12 116 15.4% 131 14.7 19
Moses Brown 7 14 4 208 13.1% 235 5.5 -4
John Wall 29 60 13 88 24.7% 27 2.7 -9
Brandon Boston Jr. 15 30 3 83 12.1% 11 0.5 -1
Ivica Zubac 20 41 4 68 15.8% -27 0.0 -8
Terance Mann 12 24 0 23 12.0% -96 0.0 7