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Avdija leads Wizards to victory over Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija set a new career high with 15 rebounds in the team’s 103-94 win against the Detroit Pistons.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The most important lesson learned from last night’s Wizards win over the Detroit Pistons: wow the Pistons are terrible.

Not every player, of course. Saddiq Bey looks like he’ll be a competent professional. Cory Joseph is a solid backup guard (who’s starting in Detroit). Hamidou Diallo had a nice game and might be a decent player if he continues improving. Isaiah Stewart could be good one day.

Jerami Grant is theoretically their best player, and he was terrible last night. They hope Cade Cunningham becomes a franchise player, and he was terrible too. The guy who really blew the stops off the terrible meter was Killian Hayes, who had an offensive rating of 36 on a 27.6% usage rate. He was 0-5 from the floor, got 1 offensive rebound, and had 3 assists, 2 turnovers and a foul. The Pistons were -14 in his 12 minutes on the floor.

For Washington, the most encouraging thing was Deni Avdija playing well. Yes, he did go mostly against Detroit bench units, but he played with aggression and physicality. He had a reasonably efficient 12 points on 9 field goal attempts, as well as 3 assists. And he grabbed a career high 15 rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points on 7-8 shooting during and outstanding third quarter. He wasn’t as good in the other three periods, and he finished the game with 23 points on below average offensive efficiency (102 offensive rating).

The bad news: Rui Hachimura sprained an ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return to action. He needs to play to give the Wizards more information about whether he’s someone who can be part of the plan in the years ahead.

Four Factors

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: Pistons 94 at Wizards 103

FOUR FACTORS PISTONS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS PISTONS WIZARDS
EFG 0.424 0.524
OREB 13 10
TOV 11 15
FTM 22 14
PACE 95
ORTG 99 109

Key Stats

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

WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Deni Avdija 31 61 12 113 19.3% 218 25.8 13
Ish Smith 20 40 8 121 21.7% 193 15.1 9
Kyle Kuzma 38 74 23 102 25.9% 82 11.9 11
Anthony Gill 26 50 6 130 12.9% 112 11.0 13
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 35 70 16 103 20.0% 80 10.8 -5
Thomas Bryant 20 40 11 151 21.8% 116 8.9 -7
Corey Kispert 33 65 10 100 11.8% 68 8.7 5
Raul Neto 28 55 11 83 23.4% 52 5.6 0
Rui Hachimura 10 19 6 116 24.7% 140 5.2 6

Key Stats: Pistons

PISTONS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
PISTONS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Saddiq Bey 38 75 24 136 23.0% 197 30.1 -3
Cory Joseph 35 69 9 136 9.8% 131 18.5 6
Hamidou Diallo 21 42 10 130 17.4% 184 15.9 -13
Isaiah Stewart 27 54 11 123 16.9% 106 11.7 1
Rodney McGruder 12 25 4 144 9.9% 177 8.8 -3
Marvin Bagley III 21 41 10 94 26.9% 70 5.8 -10
Jerami Grant 32 64 14 94 18.9% 25 3.2 0
Kelly Olynyk 13 26 0 26 17.9% -75 0.0 -8
Cade Cunningham 27 54 12 75 29.0% -75 0.0 -1
Killian Hayes 12 24 0 36 27.6% -374 0.0 -14