The Wizards got a 127-110 win against the Orlando Magic. Washington did some good things, but let’s acknowledge from the outset that the Magic were not serious about winning.
Sure, the guys who took the floor gave a good effort. But, the Orlando coaching staff gave 44 minutes to former Wizards greats Robin Lopez, Admiral Schofield and Moritz Wagner, plus 27 to R.J. Hampton (who one day could win MVP of Basketbol Süper Ligi), and 11 to someone named Jeff Dowtin. And just 11 to Wizards Slayer and Human Torch Terrence Ross. For those keeping score at home, that’s more than a third of their minutes given to players with minimal NBA futures.
I mean, the played Schofield — who was so bad in his year with the Wizards that they traded down in the second round to dump him.
That said, the Wizards can’t control who the other team chooses to play, and they can’t dictate how the opposition pursues its organizational goals. What they can control is their own performance, and that wasn’t bad.
What Went Well
- Kristaps Porzingis bounced back from a subpar game against the Chicago Bulls by going full unicorn on the Magic. He notched 35 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 29 minutes. The Wizards throttled Orlando’s offense — the Magic managed an offensive rating of just 97 with Porzingis in the game.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit shots. He finished with 25 points on 17 field goal attempts, including 5-9 from three-point range, and played solid on defense. KCP normally doesn’t contribute much other than shooting and sometimes competent defense. Last night, he had 3 assists and a couple steals — one of which he turned into a breakaway dunk.
- Daniel Gafford was a load inside, and Magic big men couldn’t handle him, at least on the offensive end — 17 points (on 7 field goal attempts), 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in just 19 minutes.
- Tomas Satoransky had a Darrell Walker-esque 0 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists. He was once again quite good on defense.
- Ball movement — 35 assists on 47 made field goals with just 11 turnovers.
What Didn’t Go Well
- Corey Kispert had a second straight subpar game. It was the fourth less-than-good game out of the last five. If he’s hitting the proverbial rookie wall, the Wizards might be wise to trim him minutes, perhaps by playing KCP more at SG and boosting Deni Avidja’s minutes.
- Speaking of Avdija, this was an interesting game from the second-year forward. The numbers weren’t good — 3-10 from the floor, 1-6 from three-point range, a pair of turnovers and four fouls. He also had 8 rebounds and 5 assists in his 26 minutes. And, he made a number of good decisions and smart plays that didn’t quite work out because he didn’t finish or he didn’t quite have the requisite skill to finish the job. As I’ve written a number of times, there’s not a lot wrong with his game that can’t be fixed with an offseason of work on his shooting and ball handling.
The 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: Magic 110 at Wizards 127
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. 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 111.6. 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: Magic