The Washington Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 113-112, but the bigger stories for both teams were the moves they made at the NBA’s annual trade deadline.
Brooklyn collaborated with the Philadelphia 76ers to make the biggest headlines by swapping James Harden for Ben Simmons. The full deal:
- Ben Simmons
- Seth Curry
- Andre Drummond
- Two first round picks (2022 — unprotected, and 2027 — protected)
- James Harden
- Paul Millsap
Tommy Sheppard and the Wizards made three trades to correct mistakes and find new homes for guys who weren’t happy in Washington. The biggest of these was acquiring Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis. Here’s the quick breakdown of the deals:
- Kristaps Porzingis
- a future 2nd round pick
- Spencer Dinwiddie
- Davis Bertans
- a trade exception
- cash considerations
Phoenix Suns received:
- Aaron Holiday
- Ish Smith
- Vernon Carey Jr.
- possibly a 2nd round pick
Charlotte Hornets receive:
- Montrezl Harrell
Oh yeah, there was a game too.
Both teams have had a rough go lately. The Wizards were 2-8 over their last 10, and the Nets came to DC on a nine-game losing streak. For the first 28 minutes, it seemed like the Wizards were playing well, but they were trailing. Then they went on a tear, opening a 13-point fourth quarter lead before Brooklyn clawed back to make things close at the end.
For the Wizards, Rui Hachimura had his best game of the season — 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 22 minutes. He shot 5-8 from the floor and knocked down a pair of threes.
Thomas Bryant also played his best game since coming back from a torn ACL — 13 points on 9 field goal attempts, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in just 20 minutes. He also wasn’t a train wreck defensively.
Washington also got an outstanding performance from Raul Neto (21 points on 9 field goal attempts, and 6 assists in 31 minutes), and solid games from Anthony Gill (15 points on 7 field goal attempts) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Kyle Kuzma notched the first triple-double of his career, though I wouldn’t say he had a good game. He finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds (all on the defensive end) and 10 assists in 38 minutes. He also shot just 6-15 from the floor, 1-5 from three-point range, and committed 5 turnovers and 4 fouls.
The Wizards withstood a barrage of shotmaking from rookie Cam Thomas, who scored 27 points on 18 shots for the Nets.
Neither team could be accused of playing well defensively, but the Wizards started blitzing Brooklyn star Kyrie Irving in the second half and they harassed Irving into 2-9 shooting and 3 turnovers in the last two quarters.
Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses 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, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.
Four Factors: Nets 112 at Wizards 113
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 in this game. 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 112.3. 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.
Key Stats: Wizards
Key Stats: Nets
|David Duke Jr.||10||20||0||0||7.4%||-96||0.0||-7|