The Washington Wizards 2021-22 season is over. The finale was a fitting end — a 124-108 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets seemed mainly focused on goofing off early. LaMelo Ball had 7 first-half turnovers attempting highlight-reel passes and moves.
Charlotte finally got kinda serious in the third quarter when Ball left the game with a bloody nose and was replaced by Isaiah Thomas. Thomas naturally wrecked the Wizards — a persistent theme throughout his career, including his time with the Wizards.
The Hornets got serious in the third quarter, and closed the game outscoring Washington 54-36 over the final 16+ minutes. The primary difference between the Wizards keeping it close for the first three-and-a-half quarters and getting walloped later was Charlotte missing layups and wide-open threes early, and making them later.
What Went Well for the Wizards
- Tomas Satoransky gave another demonstration of how to impact the game without shooting or scoring. In 20 minutes, he had 5 points on 2-3 shooting, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal, just 1 turnover and 2 fouls.
- Corey Kispert made shots — 4-8 from three-point range.
- Rui Hachimura scored an efficient 21 points.
- No one got hurt.
- They didn’t hurt their draft position.
What Didn’t Go Well for the Wizards
- Defense! Their plan and execution was awful from tip. They repeatedly went under screens against Ball, who entered the game shooting 38.4% from three-point range. They permitted wide-open looks from three and free runs at the rim. When Charlotte started connecting, they pulled away. The Hornets finished with an effective field goal percentage of 64.0%, their 9th best mark of the season. For the Wizards, it was their fifth worst defensive efg and the 10th time this season an opponent has shot better than 60% against them. Opponents shot 59% or better four more times.
- Hachimura can score, but has next to zero impact in any other aspect of the game. He repeatedly gave up middle on drives and just lucked into Charlotte missing some easy shots. I was so surprised when he defended Ball in the corner correctly that I tweeted about it.
- Kispert’s value is a lot like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s and Davis Bertans’ — entirely predicated on making shots.
- Deni Avdija got off to a nice start and then disappeared. I’ll write about this more during the offseason, but his defensive impact has been sliding steadily for the last couple dozen games. It was poor against Charlotte.
- Presumably, the Wizards will bring Vernon Carey Jr., Jordan Schakel, Isaiah Todd and Cassius Winston to Summer League and training camp next season. None of them have shown even a glimmer of a future NBA rotation player. Maybe one of them gets there with an offseason of work.
Now that the season is over, I’ll shift into offseason evaluations. Who are you interested in hearing about first?
Which player should Kevin analyze first?
This poll is closed
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: Wizards 108 at Hornets 124
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 111.7. 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
|Vernon Carey Jr.||19||38||11||112||27.8%||118||7.3||-9|
Key Stats: Hornets
|Kelly Oubre Jr.||16||34||6||109||14.1%||92||5.0||19|