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Wizards eke out win against NBA-worst Detroit Pistons

Washington was led by veterans on expiring deals, including Raul Neto and the newly-signed Tomas Satoransky

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards guard Raul Neto
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards took on the Detroit Pistons — one of the NBA’s two worst teams — and squeaked out a home win. For the Wizards, the victory kinda-sorta lets them keep hoping they can scrap back into a play-in game. For the Pistons, it lets them keep hoping for a high draft pick to pair with Cade Cunningham.

Washington was led by Raul Neto and Tomas Satoransky, neither of whom will be in high demand to return to the team next season. Next most productive was Thomas Bryant, who’s on an expiring contract and might not be back. Then came Daniel Gafford (young and under contract) and Ish Smith, who will probably latch on somewhere for another year at the minimum.

Their trio of first round picks from the past three seasons weren’t much good when they were on the floor, though Deni Avdija was limited to just 9 minutes after suffering a quad contusion.

Rui Hachimura’s performance was downright infuriating at times. He was 3-3 from three-point range, but he still seems remarkably unaware of what’s happening on the floor. He grabbed 1 rebound for a fourth straight game. To go with his 1 rebound, Hachimura had 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks and 3 fouls in 21 minutes.

And his effort was absent when it came to things like getting back on defense. One play jumps to mind: he got his shot blocked, and instead of sprinting back to defend against Detroit’s fast break, he jogged back so slowly he hadn’t reached the free throw line before the Pistons were attempting a layup.

While a number of fans are pushing for him to get more playing time, it’s difficult for a coach to justify when his only contribution is taking shots — especially when half his shots are non-paint twos, and he’s connecting on just 30% of them.

For the Pistons, Saddiq Bey showed some impressive skills, and Cunningham made some dazzling plays. Killian Hayes had a rare good game — he’s been basically replacement level this season.

Something to keep in mind: both teams are bad defensively (Wizards ranked 24th entering the game, the Pistons 25th), and both were worse than their norm.

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 113 at Wizards 116

FOUR FACTORS PISTONS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS PISTONS WIZARDS
EFG 0.522 0.579
OREB 14 12
TOV 12 15
FTM 19 21
PACE 96
ORTG 118 121

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 +/-
Raul Neto 24 48 13 160 17.1% 203 18.6 -5
Tomas Satoransky 14 28 4 224 6.6% 298 15.8 9
Thomas Bryant 22 44 16 126 24.9% 158 13.4 10
Daniel Gafford 20 40 12 136 20.2% 167 13.0 0
Ish Smith 23 47 11 124 23.3% 140 12.6 6
Corey Kispert 36 72 11 109 15.0% 86 11.9 12
Kyle Kuzma 34 68 21 108 29.8% 89 11.6 -12
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 32 63 15 113 19.8% 69 8.3 -6
Rui Hachimura 21 41 11 130 16.4% 86 6.8 1
Deni Avdija 9 18 2 96 21.7% 115 4.1 6
Anthony Gill 5 10 0 0 7.5% -90 0.0 -6

Key Stats: Pistons

PISTONS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
PISTONS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Jerami Grant 36 71 26 145 22.6% 197 28.1 6
Saddiq Bey 31 62 19 134 21.3% 193 24.0 5
Killian Hayes 27 54 7 109 17.8% 145 15.7 1
Kelly Olynyk 21 41 10 177 14.8% 180 15.0 2
Cade Cunninghman 32 63 20 107 29.6% 101 12.8 4
Cory Joseph 16 31 9 246 9.6% 180 11.2 -8
Isaiah Stewart 27 54 9 108 19.3% 57 6.2 -5
Rodney McGruder 7 15 2 89 16.3% -3 0.0 -1
Isaiah Livers 10 21 2 105 12.5% -16 0.0 -1
Hamidou Diallo 19 38 6 64 18.4% -31 0.0 -7
Frank Jackson 14 29 3 58 17.5% -78 0.0 -11