Kyle Kuzma hit some late threes that gave the Wizards a glimmer of hope, but the New York Knicks escaped last night’s slog with a 100-97 win.
This was very much a #SoWizards kind of game. The Knicks got terrible game from their “stars,” RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, shot 34.4% from the floor and had an effective field goal percentage of 40.0% and won.
The Knicks did it by grabbing 19 offensive rebounds (10 from Mitchell Robinson and 4 from Jericho Sims) and inducing the Wizards into 27 fouls. For the game, the Wizards were out-rebounded 60-38. Shades of the 1980s, New York had a 35% offensive rebound percentage.
Credit Washington defenders for the poor shooting from Barrett and Randle — each shot 6-22 with just one made three. Randle had 17 rebounds — 16 defensive boards — as well as 4 turnovers and 3 fouls.
For the Wizards, “feel good” stuff was mostly about who made shots. Rui Hachimura was 2-2 from three-point range, so he ended a positive contributor despite just 2 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points on 9 field goal attempts and grabbed 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. He also committed 5 fouls tussling with Robinson.
Corey Kispert had 14 points on 7 field goal attempts. He managed just 2 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal in his 29 minutes.
On the other hand, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was just 1-5 from three. Kuzma was 6-17 from the floor, but was 4-9 from three-point range (though 3 of those were the basis for the team’s futile comeback), and he had 4 turnovers and 5 fouls.
Deni Avdija was 1-5 from the floor, missed both his threes, and was 2-4 from the free throw line. His defense was decent, but it’s difficult to offset an offensive performance that bad, especially in a game where offense was at a premium.
The Wizards will be decent favorites back in DC Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, who beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime last night. In their last meeting, the Lakers coasted to a 122-109 victory, which was powered by 50 points from LeBron James. At home, the Wizards have a solid chance of ending their six-game losing streak.
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 97 at Knicks 100
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: Knicks