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Wizards’ late comeback not nearly enough in loss to Milwaukee Bucks

Washington Wizards v Milwaukee Bucks
Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith led the team’s comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks, but the team lost in the end, 114-102.
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

The Wizards never led and fell behind by as much as 28 before staging a fourth quarter comeback to lose by a semi-respectable 12 points. It was their eighth loss in nine games, as well as their 42nd loss of the season. They’ve now secured their fourth consecutive season with a losing record.

Both teams had significant players out of action. The Milwaukee Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The Wizards were missing Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma. I think most would agree the Bucks took a bigger hit in terms of expected production.

At this point, Washington season should be more about getting players some experience and giving them opportunities to produce. The only young player to do much was rookie guard Corey Kispert, and his game was thoroughly meh.

Rui Hachimura’s statline is extraordinary. He scored an inefficient 10 points on 11 shots, got 7 rebounds, and in 24 minutes had zero assists, steals, blocks, turnovers or fouls.

Deni Avdija played hard, though not well. He was 5-13 from the floor, 2-7 from three, and had 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 32 minutes. His defensive effort seemed good to the eye, but the team had a defensive rating of 128 with him on the floor, the second worst mark on the team. During the team’s fourth quarter rally, he scored 7 points on 3-4 shooting. It’s tough to get too encouraged — Milwaukee’s intensity clearly waned when they were up 20+ in the final period.

Overall, the Wizards defense was crummy. They allowed the Bucks an effective field goal percentage of 61.7% — the second straight game (and 8th time this season) the opponent shot better than 60% from the floor.

The Wizards are back in action tonight at the Detroit Pistons. My prediction machine has this one as a tossup. Washington figures to be the better team, but they’re on the road and it’s the second night of a back-to-back for them.

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: Wizards 102 at Bucks 114

FOUR FACTORS BUCKS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS BUCKS WIZARDS
EFG 0.617 0.527
OREB 4 12
TOV 15 11
FTM 14 5
PACE 95
ORTG 119 107

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 this season is 111.4. 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 +/-
Ish Smith 28 55 17 126 27.5% 255 27.7 -5
Anthony Gill 14 28 9 229 12.6% 338 18.7 21
Corey Kispert 30 59 5 94 10.3% 114 13.2 -12
Kristaps Porzingis 32 64 16 117 20.4% 104 13.1 2
Raul Neto 20 40 9 120 21.9% 143 11.4 -7
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 33 65 16 95 24.2% 73 9.3 -2
Rui Hachimura 24 47 10 91 20.7% 58 5.4 -15
Deni Avdija 32 63 12 95 18.4% 27 3.3 -8
Daniel Gafford 16 31 6 92 20.2% 0 0.0 -14
Tomas Satoransky 13 26 2 65 16.6% -75 0.0 -20

Key Stats: Bucks

BUCKS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
BUCKS MIN POSS PTS ORTG USG PPA GmSC +/-
Grayson Allen 29 57 21 165 19.5% 303 28.4 4
Jrue Holiday 33 65 24 113 35.7% 184 19.9 15
Pat Connaughton 23 45 16 164 20.5% 256 19.0 12
Jevon Carter 13 26 8 185 18.8% 340 14.7 -4
George Hill 23 46 10 163 13.2% 178 13.5 9
Serge Ibaka 17 33 11 178 17.9% 238 12.9 15
Wesley Matthews 28 55 0 102 2.4% 45 4.0 7
Bobby Portis 29 58 11 83 21.0% 16 1.5 -7
Brook Lopez 28 56 13 93 25.6% -2 0.0 1
Jordan Nwora 18 36 0 0 12.9% -213 0.0 8