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The Numbers Crunch: Wizards can’t rebound against the Charlotte Hornets

Stats, analysis, commentary.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Wizards broke the mold last night against the Charlotte Hornets — they won the first and third quarters and got blasted in the fourth to drop their record to 2-6 for the season and 0-2 (corrected) during the In-Season Tournament.

Two numbers are key to understanding why the Wizards lost to the Hornets: 12 and 25. The first is how many offensive rebounds Charlotte big man Mark Williams collected. The second is how many the Hornets grabbed as a team.

The Hornets had a terrible shooting night — and effective field goal percentage of 49.5% (average is 53.7% this season) and just 6-28 from three — and the Wizards shot well (56.8% efg, 14-38 from deep). And the team that shoots better from the floor wins nearly 80% of the time in the NBA.

Charlotte won pulling away because they had 18 more offensive rebounds and six fewer turnovers. That was enough against a Wizards team whose highest usage players (Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Poole, and Landry Shamet) combined for 7 turnovers and 24 missed shots. Their collective offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) was 90.

Washington’s offensive rating for the game, including those three, was 114. With a bit of math, we can see that their teammates had an ortg of 132.

Back to Williams and his 12 offensive rebounds — they tied for the fourth most against the Wizards in franchise history. Kevin Willis set the record at 16 for the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 19, 1992. Other top offensive rebounders (single game) against the Wizards: Jayson Williams, New Jersey Nets (14), Larry Smith, Houston Rockets (13).

Williams became the fifth player to get 12 offensive rebounds against the Wizards, joining Yi Jianlian, Anderson Varejao, Cliff Levingston, and Moses Malone.

Yes, somehow this franchise gave up 12 offensive rebounds to Yi. It was part of a 20 points, 19 rebound game he put up. Yi and the Nets came up short, however. They lost 89-85 to a Wizards team led by (and I’m not making this up) Andray Blatche and Al Thornton. Blatche had 36-15-4, and Washington was +13 in his minutes. Thornton had 20-8.

By the way, Charlotte’s 25 offensive rebounds doesn’t even crack the top 25 against the Wizards. The record is 33 — by the Seattle Supersonics on Dec. 18, 1977, and the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 23, 1976.

Enough history.

Musings & Observations

  • The city edition uniforms and the special court looked great.
  • Coulibaly did stuff, and it was good to see. He put up four threes (made two) and went 4-4 from the free throw line. It was messy at times (a couple turnovers), but this is how he learns.
  • Probably my favorite play of the night won’t show up in the NBA clips or highlights. Coulibaly got the ball in transition with a man between him and the basket. He went straight to the rim, planted his shoulder in the defender’s chest and went up for the shot. The refs called a foul, and Coulibaly got two of his free throws. That technique has lineage — Kuzma got it from LeBron James, and has apparently passed it along to Coulibaly.
  • Daniel Gafford had a great sequence in the fourth quarter where he blocked Charlotte’s Mark Williams three consecutive times at the rim. It was an impressive display of his length and athleticism.
  • Corey Kispert shot well — 5-6 from the floor and 3-3 from three. He also had four rebounds, which was not his career high. He’s not explosive when he drives, but he’s patient, kept his dribble (a marked improvement over his first two seasons, and he’s a good shot maker.
  • Danilo Gallinari can barely move, and he’s still somehow able to create open shots one-on-one. That’s a tribute to his skill, experience, and knowledge of what matters.
  • Kuzma, Poole, and Shamet shot (and turnover-ed) the Wizards out of the game.
  • When Mark Williams was on the floor for Charlotte, Washington’s offensive rating was 91.
  • Poole continues to exhibit questionable decision-making and general sloppiness. He was credited with 6 assists. Watching them back, as well as his turnovers, I was struck by the inaccuracy (he was credited for an assist on a pass that Jones had to save from being a turnover) and how casually he attempted difficult passes.
  • The Wizards were +9 in Deni Avdija’s 31 minutes. The other four starters: -19, -16, -17, -29.
  • While liked a lot of what Avdija did, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about his shooting. He was 1-4 from outside the restricted area, and his form looked shaky. Bright side, I liked his cutting and drives to the basket, and he finished against strong contests (4-5 around the rim).
  • This was Kuzma’s worst performance of the season so far — 17 points on 17 shots, and 3 turnovers to 1 assist. The team defense was terrible with him out there, though I think Jones and Poole were more responsible for that.
  • Gordon Hayward had 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists, plus 4 steals and 5 deflections.

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: Hornets at Wizards

EFG 0.495 0.568
OREB 25 7
TOV 9 15
FTM 18 17
PACE 102
ORTG 121 114

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

Corey Kispert 16 35 218 15.9% 5.9 278 19.7 -6
Daniel Gafford 30 64 112 15.9% 0.0 109 14.2 -16
Deni Avdija 31 66 105 17.8% -0.8 107 14.2 9
Tyus Jones 34 72 132 16.2% 2.3 95 13.9 -29
Delon Wright 14 30 141 17.3% 1.6 160 9.9 4
Bilal Coulibaly 20 42 131 17.4% 1.4 103 8.8 15
Danilo Gallinari 18 38 135 20.7% 1.8 113 8.8 9
Kyle Kuzma 29 62 85 27.8% -4.7 17 2.1 -19
Jordan Poole 31 67 93 24.0% -3.0 -2 0.0 -17
Landry Shamet 17 36 95 25.5% -1.6 -19 0.0 -3

Stats & Metrics: Hornets

Mark Williams 30 63 148 25.2% 5.8 363 46.9 19
Gordon Hayward 36 77 140 23.8% 5.2 296 46.3 16
LaMelo Ball 38 80 132 22.2% 3.6 168 27.6 0
Nick Richards 18 39 167 20.0% 4.3 131 10.4 -12
JT Thor 20 43 110 14.0% -0.1 77 6.8 17
P.J. Washington 38 81 86 17.4% -3.6 39 6.3 -1
Theo Maledon 16 33 92 18.6% -1.2 76 5.1 1
Brandon Miller 32 67 86 19.5% -3.4 -2 0.0 3
Bryce McGowens 13 28 96 9.6% -0.4 -24 0.0 -1