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The Numbers Crunch: Jones and Poole power Wizards to fourth win

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards
Wizards guard Tyus Jones notched the second triple-double of his career in the team’s win over the Indiana Pacers.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

If you had something better to do on a Friday night than watch Wizards basketball, here’s the quick summary: the Wizards played well, and the Indiana Pacers played poorly. The result: Washington broke their six-game losing streak with a resounding 137-123 victory.

It was the team’s best defensive performance since their last win (November 27 against the Detroit Pistons), and their fourth best defensive game of the season. While the Pacers missed an array of shots they normally make, the Wizards also hustled into closeouts, contested shots, and competed on the boards.

They still gave up too many offensive rebounds — Isaiah Jackson had six in just 20 minutes of action — but the guards came back to help, they induced Indy turnovers, and generally made the Pacers offense work.

On the offensive end, Washington’s starting backcourt duo each had their best game of the season. Jordan Poole hit shots, set up teammates without committing turnovers, and generally made good decisions. There were still a handful of in his bag heat checks, but he seemed more focused on good plays than demonstrating dribbling prowess and attempting difficult shots.

Tyus Jones had just the second triple-double of his career — 13 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists.

Next up for the Wizards: a four-game West Coast road trip on which they’ll play four games in six nights against the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and Golden State Warriors.

Musings & Observations

  • Kyle Kuzma overcame a rough start to finish with a productive overall game. He was 2-6 from the floor with 2 turnovers in the first quarter, and finished with 31 points including some fourth quarter daggers that kept the Pacers from making a run.
  • Bilal Coulibaly turned in another strong performance — 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals. He was 6-9 from the floor, including 2-3 from three. Four turnovers deflated his efficiency. Chalk those up to rookie learning opportunities.
  • Daniel Gafford was decent, swatting three shots and grabbing 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
  • Rough night for Deni Avdija, who got his shot blocked three times and ended up 2-9 from the floor. The non-scoring parts of his game were better — 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover in 25 minutes — though he didn’t have a strong defensive outing.
  • The immobile Danilo Gallinari had 5 rebounds in 10 minutes.
  • Credit to myself for Jordan Poole’s excellent game because I published an article yesterday about how bad he’s been all season. Kudos to him for playing better. Now he needs to do it again.

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: Pacers at Wizards

FOUR FACTORS PACERS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS PACERS WIZARDS
EFG 0.519 0.636
OREB 13 8
TOV 15 17
FTM 12 20
PACE 112
ORTG 109 122

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. 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 +/-
Tyus Jones 29 68 162 15.3% 4.8 267 31.4 7
Jordan Poole 32 75 144 26.3% 5.8 231 30.4 15
Corey Kispert 28 67 138 20.2% 3.2 232 26.9 21
Kyle Kuzma 30 69 107 36.9% -1.9 143 17.3 12
Bilal Coulibaly 30 70 113 18.1% -0.3 141 17.2 8
Daniel Gafford 28 67 122 16.4% 0.8 108 12.5 19
Danilo Gallinari 10 24 163 12.6% 1.4 162 6.7 14
Deni Avdija 25 58 81 17.6% -3.5 18 1.8 1
Mike Muscala 19 44 97 3.0% -0.2 6 0.4 -3
Jared Butler 3 7 103 29.7% -0.2 92 0.0 -8
Anthony Gill 3 7 0.0% 0.0 0 0.0 -8
Patrick Baldwin Jr. 3 7 58 37.0% -1.5 -102 0.0 -8

Stats & Metrics: Pacers

PACERS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
PACERS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
Isaiah Jackson 20 47 155 26.3% 4.8 273 22.1 0
Obi Toppin 26 62 159 14.4% 3.9 151 16.3 -11
Aaron Nesmith 24 56 117 16.7% 0.2 107 10.5 -6
T.J. McConnell 20 46 103 26.0% -1.4 118 9.4 -1
Tyrese Haliburton 28 65 107 31.9% -1.7 76 8.6 -18
Bennedict Mathurin 22 51 113 21.6% -0.2 93 8.3 -14
Buddy Heild 27 64 77 20.2% -4.9 56 6.2 -15
Jarace Walker 13 31 126 9.4% 0.3 71 3.8 8
Jordan Nwora 4 10 140 32.5% 0.8 336 0.0 3
Oscar Tshiebwe 4 10 212 10.0% 0.9 150 0.0 3
Ben Sheppard 9 20 123 7.3% 0.1 -16 0.0 3
Myles Turner 20 46 66 21.4% -4.9 -10 0.0 -17
Bruce Brown 23 54 56 11.8% -3.8 -59 0.0 -5