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Wizards smashed by Celtics on Halloween eve

Stats, analysis, and commentary.

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards
Wizards star Eugene Omoruyi
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

If the Washington Wizards were a moth fluttering about in the twilight, the Boston Celtics were the windshield of a car cruising down the highway at 70 miles per hour.

If the Wizards were an ant with a broken leg struggling to bring a scrap of food back to the colony, the Celtics were the steel-shanked boot that stomped.

If the Wizards were Michael Spinks, the Celtics were...never mind. You get the point. The final margin of this one was 19 points, and it was that close only because Eugene Omoruyi dominated the fourth quarter while Boston’s clear the bench mob were taking turns laying bricks and committing turnovers.

The Celtics effective field goal percentage (efg) for the game was 59.3%, which is excellent. Their efg through the first three quarters: 66.9%.

The Boston bench mob committed nine turnovers in the fourth quarter — the same number as the team had in the first three quarters combined.

Boston broke out the full court press they’ve been using at times this season. In the NBA, full court pressure is generally employed in special situations. Sometimes one guy will harass a ball handler, mainly to delay the offense initiating their half court set.

But a zone press? Usually only in special situations, though Boston apparently has other ideas. Anyway, the reason? In general, NBA players are too skilled, too athletic, and too experienced to get flustered into turnovers. Instead, they typically break the press, and the offense gets a 4-on-3 or 3-on-2 power play.

Naturally, against the Wizards, Boston forced turnovers and got layups.

Positives

  • Bilal Coulibaly played 28 minutes and took 12 shots. His usage rate reached 18.4%, and he had a couple nice dunks — one on a baseline drive and another on a fast break.
  • Kyle Kuzma was efficient on offense (21 points and 4 assists on 15 shots) and did some playmaking. He started at center for Washington because of Gafford’s ankle injury.
  • Eugene Omoruyi was 5-5 with a three and three free throws, and grabbed 6 rebounds (3 on the offensive glass), and had an assist, a steal, and a block — all coming in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter score: Omoruyi 14, Boston 14.
  • The Wizards don’t have to play Boston again until February.

Not So Positives

  • There was an oceanic distance in the quality of these two teams. Boston’s top six were ready for a game against anyone. The Wizards starters might have lost an intra-squad scrimmage. This is both unsurprising and a good benchmark for how much the Wizards need to build and improve to have a hope of competing at the level of a championship contender.
  • Jordan Poole has a seemingly infinite number of moves that don’t get him open shots. He’s enormously skilled, but he’s not a good NBA player because of his atrocious decision-making and careless play. So far in this young season, he’s been a thoroughly unserious player. For someone being handed the opportunity to lead a team, his lack of focus and effort is embarrassing. There’s still plenty of time for him to seize the chance he’s been given. But he needs to do it.

Here are the offensive ratings (points produced per possession x 100) for the Boston starters:

  • Jaylen Brown: 152
  • Derrick White: 152
  • Jayson Tatum: 151
  • Jrue Holiday: 147
  • Kristaps Porzingis: 146

For the Wizards:

  • Kyle Kuzma: 123
  • Tyus Jones: 115
  • Deni Avdija: 112
  • Bilal Coulibaly: 77
  • Jordan Poole: 84

Four Factors

Below are the four factors that decide wins and losses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).

Four Factors: Celtics at Wizards

FOUR FACTORS CELTICS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS CELTICS WIZARDS
EFG 0.593 0.511
OREB 15 11
TOV 18 15
FTM 5 18
PACE 104
ORTG 122 103

Stats & Metrics

Below are a few performance metrics, including the Player Production Average (PPA) Game Score. 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. 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 sometimes producing weird results.

POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.

ORTG = offensive rating, which is points produced per individual possessions x 100. League average last season was 114.8. 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 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.

+PTS = “Plus Points” is a measure of the points gained or lost by each player based on their efficiency in this game compared to league average efficiency on the same number of possessions. A player with an offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) of 100 who uses 20 possessions would produce 20 points. If the league average efficiency is 114, the league — on average — would produced 22.8 points in the same 20 possessions. So, the player in this hypothetical would have a +PTS score of -2.8.

Stats & Metrics: Wizards

WIZARDS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
WIZARDS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
Eugene Omoruyi 12 26 203 25.9% 6.3 567 23.7 14
Kyle Kuzma 26 57 123 25.8% 1.9 136 12.5 -24
Ryan Rollins 12 26 132 28.1% 1.6 282 11.8 14
Tyus Jones 27 57 115 18.9% 0.5 104 9.6 -31
Deni Avdija 22 48 112 19.6% 0.2 84 6.5 -26
Bilal Coulibaly 28 60 77 18.4% -3.6 64 6.3 -5
Jordan Poole 25 55 84 23.1% -3.3 58 5.2 -29
Corey Kispert 24 51 88 14.9% -1.6 16 1.3 -13
Anthony Gill 10 21 117 20.9% 0.3 22 0.7 9
Delon Wright 12 25 75 12.0% -1.0 -2 0.0 -6
Patrick Baldwin Jr. 6 12 59 8.6% -0.5 -27 0.0 4
Danilo Gallinari 16 35 59 18.1% -3.2 -14 0.0 -14
Johnny Davis 16 34 72 18.6% -2.4 -38 0.0 8
Jared Butler 6 12 22 23.8% -2.5 -198 0.0 4

Stats & Metrics; Celtics

CELTICS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
CELTICS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
Jaylen Brown 32 68 152 28.3% 8.1 418 46.1 32
Jayson Tatum 28 60 151 30.3% 7.4 376 36.2 27
Derrick White 24 51 152 12.2% 2.6 225 18.5 5
Jrue Holiday 27 58 147 13.5% 2.9 190 17.7 28
Kristaps Porzingis 24 52 146 17.6% 3.3 174 14.5 30
Al Horford 16 33 121 22.7% 0.8 215 11.6 4
Svi Mykhailiuk 5 10 175 16.0% 1.1 318 5.4 1
Sam Hauser 25 54 95 16.7% -1.3 42 3.7 -10
Lamar Stevens 6 12 106 40.3% -0.2 85 1.6 -4
Dalano Banton 10 21 89 18.3% -0.8 0 0.0 -17
Luke Kornet 11 23 29 9.4% -1.8 -88 0.0 -11
Oshae Brissett 10 22 38 15.0% -2.4 -105 0.0 -10
Payton Pritchard 25 54 39 20.8% -8.0 -134 0.0 -2