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The Numbers Crunch: Giannis dunks the Wizards

Stats, analysis, commentary.

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards fail on the defensive boards and lose to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

This was the kind of game I expected when the Wizards traded away Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis to initiate a complete rebuild. Washington gave a good effort, stayed in contact with a better opponent (even taking the lead briefly in the fourth quarter), and then got stomped over the final 10 minutes to end up a 13-point loser.

Don’t get me wrong, Washington’s defense was abysmal. But they tried and got their collective teeth kicked in by a much better team led by an all-time great at the height of his powers. It happens.

Once again, the Wizards got pummeled on the boards. The Bucks had 16 offensive rebounds and 27 second chance points on what was also a great shooting night. Their offensive rebounding percentage was a preposterous 43.2%.

In reviewing the video, a theme emerged: Wizards defenders spectating when the shot went up instead of boxing out or going to the glass. Deni Avdija put a hand in Damian Lillard’s face at the three-point line, then turned and watched the ball in flight. The ball bounced directly into the space he should have been covering, and right into the hands of Lillard.

Daniel Gafford closed out on a shooter, and then turned and watched the ball in flight instead of boxing out his man or getting back into the paint. His man got the offensive board.

There was Avdija unable to hold his ground against Bobby Portis on a Giannis Antetokounmpo missed free throw. And then again not boxing out Antetokounmpo, who swooped in for a two-handed putback jam.

There was Jordan Poole standing near the basket with his arms at his sides as the ball caromed off the rim...and then waving uselessly as the Bucks grabbed the rebound and got another shot.

There were Kyle Kuzma and Gafford both failing to box out Antetokounmpo in transition.

And so on. Their inability to rebound is a teamwide failure to remain engaged in the play once the shot goes up.

Somehow, this was still a somewhat encouraging game from the Wizards. And yes, I’m aware of how #SoWizards it is that “somewhat encouraging” came on a night when their defensive rating was 27+ points worse than average.

Musings & Observations

  • Poole was better, which is not the same as good. He scored 30 points and had no turnovers. He also shot 11-26 and had just 1 rebound and 1 assist in 33 minutes. His offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) was 109. That’s a quantum leap for Poole this season (his ortg entering the game was 90), but league average is 113.7 (so far), and the Bucks ortg was 140.
  • Strong offensive game from Kuzma — 22 points on 15 shots, 13 assists to 2 turnovers, 2 steals and a block. He definitely got overpowered in his attempts to defend Antetokounmpo, which happens to most NBA players. This was a quality outing for Kuzma, who had a career high in assists.
  • Tyus Jones was good — shot well and I swear I saw him execute a peel switch closeout perfectly.
  • Bilal Coulibaly made shots and tried on defense. He was overmatched by Milwaukee’s size and strength, which is to be expected from a 19-year-old in his 13th professional game.
  • In a recurring theme for this game, Gafford got overwhelmed inside by Brook Lopez, Antetokounmpo, and Bobby Portis.
  • Deni Avdija had one of his worst games of the season. His offensive output was anemic, he spectated instead of hitting the defensive glass, and (like everyone else on the team) was overwhelmed by Milwaukee’s size and strength.
  • Johnny Davis got a six-minute rotation in the first half. He had a rebound and an assist, and the team was -10 with him on the floor. He didn’t return in the second half.
  • Antetokounmpo was 20-23 from the floor, and he attempted just three shots from outside the restricted area.
Giannis Antetokounmpo shot chart.

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: Bucks at Wizards

EFG 0.644 0.606
OREB 16 5
TOV 13 4
FTM 21 9
PACE 101
ORTG 140 127

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

Kyle Kuzma 31 65 144 27.9% 5.6 254 32.0 3
Tyus Jones 26 56 142 20.8% 3.3 171 18.3 9
Bilal Coulibaly 25 53 148 13.9% 2.5 144 14.8 4
Corey Kispert 21 44 126 20.2% 1.1 128 10.9 -7
Landry Shamet 14 31 157 16.3% 2.1 142 8.4 -3
Daniel Gafford 29 61 114 19.1% 0.1 71 8.2 -1
Jordan Poole 33 69 109 35.0% -1.2 60 8.0 -26
Deni Avdija 31 66 133 8.9% 1.2 47 6.0 -28
Johnny Davis 6 13 238 2.2% 0.3 62 1.5 -10
Danilo Gallinari 18 38 97 15.8% -1.0 21 1.5 -14
Anthony Gill 1 3 0.0% 0.0 333 0.0 2
Eugene Omoruyi 1 3 122 68.4% 0.2 105 0.0 2
Jared Butler 1 3 0.0% 0.0 0 0.0 2
Ryan Rollins 1 3 0.0% 0.0 0 0.0 2

Stats & Metrics: Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo 34 72 152 37.1% 10.2 389 53.6 10
Malik Beasley 33 70 178 11.7% 5.3 186 25.1 20
Brook Lopez 32 68 140 16.1% 2.9 162 21.2 13
Damian Lillard 33 70 139 24.6% 4.4 144 19.3 6
Bobby Portis 23 49 133 21.3% 2.0 147 14.0 13
Khris Middleton 23 49 118 34.7% 0.8 132 12.4 23
Pat Connaughton 26 56 207 4.6% 2.4 85 9.1 -4
Cameron Payne 16 35 117 14.1% 0.2 99 6.6 8
Andre Jackson Jr. 1 3 261 8.5% 0.3 319 0.0 -5
Thanasis Antetokounmpo 1 3 #DIV/0! 0.0% 0.0 0 0.0 -5
AJ Green 15 31 70 9.9% -1.3 -29 0.0 -9
Robin Lopez 1 3 #DIV/0! 0.0% 0.0 -348 0.0 -5