The only real surprise in the Washington Wizards’ 112-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was Washington fighting back from a 17-point deficit to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter. It was all Bucks from there, and Milwaukee dealt the Wizards’ their sixth straight loss.
For Washington, Kyle Kuzma was excellent again. He was 9-19 from the floor (with 3 threes), and he attacked Milwaukee’s packed-in defense repeatedly and successfully.
Other positives: Rui Hachimura made 3-5 from the floor, including a three. Corey Kispert wasn’t bad.
With Bradley Beal out, Wes Unseld Jr. for some reason started Aaron Holiday, whose minutes were disastrously bad. Raul Neto, who got backup PG minutes for the first time in a few games, was awful as well. Neither defended effectively against bigger Milwaukee players.
A “significant” ankle injury to Thomas Bryant, who had started his second game of the season, got Daniel Gafford released from purgatory. Gafford played 6 solid minutes in the second half but got no playing time late, even when Montrezl Harrell was running out of gas.
Spencer Dinwiddie had a terrible game — just 7 points on 9 field goal attempts, and 2-7 from three-point range. He did have 7 rebounds and 9 assists, but his defense was poor, and he had 3 turnovers and 3 fouls.
Deni Avdija’s performance didn’t score well because he was passive (14% usage rate) and inefficient (offensive rating of 93). His defense was good on some possessions, but he committed 3 fouls in 22 minutes.
Of course, the story of this game was a monster performance from the truly elite Giannis Antetokounmpo. He had a triple-double — 33 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists — and he thoroughly dominated the Wizards inside to the tune of 14-21 shooting.
Next up for the Wizards is a likely loss tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Prediction Machine gives Washington a 31% chance of winning.
Trivia note: This is the Wizards’ first 6-game losing streak in two seasons.
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: Wizards 98 at Bucks 112
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: Bucks