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Wizards take their lumps in loss to the Hawks

Stats, analysis, and commentary.

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks
Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With 10 minutes to go in the second quarter, the Wizards led the Atlanta Hawks 37-27. Over the next 29 minutes, Atlanta outscored Washington 88-52 and held a 26-point lead with 7:09 remaining in the game. The Wizards mounted a phony comeback and closed the final margin to just nine points. Celebration ensued.

To give a sense of how Washington never seriously threatened to actually win, he’s the in-game win probability chart at NumberFire:

This sort of beating — the team’s third lopsided loss in four games — is to be expected. The roster was in bad shape the past few seasons, and the new management team traded away the most productive players on those rosters.

That’s step one in a rebuild. Step two is getting stomped on by teams competing for something. The next steps are about acquiring future assets and accumulating the on-court talent to eventually become one of those competitive teams doing the stomping.

Note: This was a road game for me, and I don’t have my usual templates for making tables and graphs. I’ll post stats I think are relevant below.

Observations & Musings

  • I hesitate to say this was one of Deni Avdija’s best games because for the first three quarters, it surely was not. He erupted in the fourth, going 7-7 from the floor, including a pair of stepback jumpers. It looked nice and showed he’s put meaningful work into his game. Next time: let’s see it before the team is down 20+ points. He finished the game with a 246 PPA — top mark on the team.
  • Kyle Kuzma continued what’s likely the most consistently efficient stretch of his career. Last night, he was 11-21 from the floor with 9 rebounds, 6 assists and just 1 turnover. That was good for an offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) of 113 on a 36% usage rate. We’re not going to talk about defense. For anyone.
  • Landry Shamet made shots in his first audition for other NBA teams while wearing a Wizards uniform.
  • Johnny Davis had three steals in 10 minutes. Also three fouls.
  • Jordan Poole had yet another terrible game. His PPA: 35. When he sets his feet and takes his time, I think he can be a good shooter. As a someone who creates with dribbles and moves? I’m not impressed so far. It looks flashy and cool, but there’s Atlanta’s backup center Enyeka Okongwu still between Poole and the basket and contesting the midrange jumper Poole has to force.