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The Numbers Crunch: Kings too strong for the Wizards

Stats, analysis, commentary.

Washington Wizards v Sacramento Kings
Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones had a strong game in the team’s 143-131 loss at the Sacramento Kings.
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

It was the second night of a back-to-back, and the Wizards played like it. Facing a Sacramento Kings team with De’Aaron Fox back in the lineup, Washington took a slender four-point lead into the second quarter and then ran out of gas.

The Kings outscored the Wizards 85-60 in quarters two and three. Washington trimmed the final margin to just 12 with their traditional garbage time rally.

Against Sacramento, the Wizards offense was good. They shot well on twos (54.2%), threes (18-37, 48.6%), and free throws (83.3%), and avoided turnovers . It wasn’t close to enough because their defense seemed predicated on creating paths for Fox to drive to the basket, and for Domantas Sabonis to score inside. Just five of Sabonis’ 16 field goal attempts came from outside the restricted area under the basket.

While the Wizards shot well (62.4% effective field goal percentage), the Kings efg was an excellent 61.5%, and they got nine offensive rebounds to Washington’s five, and had four fewer turnovers.

Musings & Observations

  • A second straight superb game from Tyus Jones — at least on the offensive end. He scored 16 points on 10 field goal attempts, was 2-2 from three, and produced nine assists to zero turnovers.
  • Jordan Poole had a productive game for one reason: he made shots. For the game, he was 10-18 from the floor and 8-13 from three-point range. His decision-making, shot-selection and all-around game was suspect, and his defensive effort nonexistent. In 29 minutes, he had zero rebounds, just two assists and a turnover. But the iffy shots he attempted went in.
  • After going 3-10 from the floor with three turnovers in the first half, Kyle Kuzma went 5-6 from the floor and grabbed six of his eight rebounds in the second. He had just one assist against those three turnovers.
  • Bilal Coulibaly set a new career high in free throw attempts with seven. He also had a pair of assists and a stunning block on Sasha Vezenko in the second quarter in which he seemed to teleport across the lane to swat the alley-oop layup attempt.
  • A day removed from his career night against the Phoenix Suns, Daniel Gafford got overwhelmed inside by Sabonis. While Gafford is the better run and jump athlete, Sabonis is stronger, better at using leverage, and far more skilled with the ball.
  • A rough night for Deni Avdija. He was 3-8 from the floor, 1-3 from deep, and 2-4 on free throws. He had five defensive rebounds, three assists, and a steal, as well as two turnovers and five fouls. The Kings were happy to give him jumpers from anywhere, and his reluctance (inability?) to make them pay bogged down Washington’s offense for stretches of the game.
  • I liked the Keegan Murray “cheer” the Sacramento crowd did whenever Murray scored, which was quite a lot. For those who didn’t watch, when the arena announcer would shout, “Keeegaaannn!” and the crowd would shout back, “Muuurrraaaay!” It started in pre-game introductions and continued throughout the night. Good stuff.

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: Wizards at Kings

FOUR FACTORS WIZARDS KINGS
FOUR FACTORS WIZARDS KINGS
EFG 0.624 0.615
OREB 5 9
TOV 11 7
FTM 25 20
PACE 105
ORTG 125 136

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 28 62 173 17.2% 6.2 188 20.6 -20
Jordan Poole 29 62 143 26.3% 4.6 162 17.9 -8
Kyle Kuzma 29 64 118 32.2% 0.6 141 15.9 -23
Mike Muscala 23 51 147 16.5% 2.7 132 12.0 15
Bilal Coulibaly 33 72 121 13.8% 0.6 74 9.5 1
Daniel Gafford 25 54 150 10.9% 2.0 68 6.5 -27
Anthony Gill 20 43 91 14.7% -1.5 31 2.3 9
Corey Kispert 21 45 87 19.9% -2.5 22 1.7 4
Jared Butler 5 10 176 36.7% 2.3 404 0.0 6
Eugene Omoruyi 5 10 64 24.0% -1.3 -56 0.0 6
Deni Avdija 23 51 84 22.5% -3.6 -14 0.0 -23

Stats & Metrics: Kings

KINGS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
KINGS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
Domantas Sabonis 32 70 157 29.2% 8.6 287 35.8 25
De'Aaron Fox 33 72 131 30.6% 3.5 216 27.7 20
Keegan Murray 32 71 151 21.8% 5.5 211 26.3 20
Sasha Vezenko 12 26 154 23.4% 2.4 424 19.4 -4
Harrison Barnes 34 74 152 13.2% 3.6 130 17.0 22
Kevin Huerter 23 51 138 14.6% 1.7 100 9.0 14
Malik Monk 22 47 136 18.4% 1.8 101 8.5 3
Davion Mitchell 4 8 123 22.1% 0.1 142 0.0 -6
Kessler Edwards 4 9 106 32.2% -0.2 131 0.0 -7
Juan Toscana-Anderson 5 11 203 7.1% 0.7 -31 0.0 -11
Colby Jones 4 8 86 31.5% -0.7 -41 0.0 -6
Keon Ellis 15 32 84 13.2% -1.3 -10 0.0 1
Chris Duarte 4 9 0 8.7% -0.9 -112 0.0 -7
Trey Lyles 18 39 0 5.8% -2.6 -44 0.0 -4