The Wizards defense was a calamity — a defensive rating of 152 (league average is 111.7), their worst defensive performance since a 155 defensive rating against the New York Knicks on January 14, 2009. Washington let the Celtics run free for shots at-rim or from three. Boston shot 56-91 from the floor and 23-44 from three-point range, which works out to an effective field goal percentage of 74.2%.
That’s the worst mark of the season, and the worst since at least 2008. I couldn’t make myself keep digging through game logs on a Sunday afternoon when it’s 85° out.
For the Wizards, positives were rare. Ish Smith entertained by skittering around Boston defenders and shooting 8-10 from the floor. Tomas Satoransky was decent too — he handed out 7 assists and launched 4 shots, a veritable barrage from him. The rest of the team stunk.
Meanwhile, the Celtics collectively played like NBA MVPs. Their team PPA was 230. Jaylen Brown led all producers with a PPA of 711. How does 32 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals become a 711 PPA? When the 32 points comes on 17 field goal attempts in just 29 minutes, and the opponent can’t score when you’re on the floor — Washington’s offensive rating against Brown was 82. League average: 111.7.
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 102 at Celtics 144
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
Key Stats: Celtics