The Wizards 92-86 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers was ugly. It wasn’t a bad loss, but it was aesthetically repugnant.
Washington was on the second half of a back-to-back, made even more challenging by losing in double overtime the previous night to the San Antonio Spurs back in DC.
Washington led by 9 with 5:50 left in the game, and then they ran out of gas. Cleveland finished things out with a 17-2 run. Yes, the Wizards managed just two points in the final stretch of the game.
Meanwhile, a spate of injuries to their backcourt had the Cavaliers trying to figure out how to run their offense without a competent point guard on the roster. They never quite got into a cohesive flow, but they won by shutting down every Wizards play, forcing turnovers and crashing the offensive glass.
For the Wizards, Kyle Kuzma was excellent — an efficient 34 points and 13 rebounds. His night included going 8-11 from three-point range.
Daniel Gafford was also productive with 14 points on 9 shots and 5 offensive rebounds in 24 minutes.
Rui Hachimura scored 10 points and hit a pair of threes, and somehow grabbed just 1 rebound in 22 minutes. He was clueless on the defensive end — multiple missed rotations and a stunning lack of awareness.
The other six Wizards who played ranged from bad to awful. Washington’s PGs, Raul Neto and Ish Smith, combined to shoot 4-20 from the floor.
Washington outshot the Cavaliers last night, but lost because they got pummeled on the offensive glass (13-7), they had 18 turnovers to Cleveland’s 13, and they committed 24 fouls to the Cavaliers’ 10. Cleveland finished the game +15 from the free throw line.
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 86 at Cavaliers 92
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: Cavaliers
|RJ Nembhard Jr.||4||8||0||243||3.1%||114||1.4||-3|