Powered by a 19-point scoring binge from Kristaps Porzingis, the Wizards jetted to a 19-point first quarter lead against the New York Knicks. But Porzingis disappeared from the offense — he didn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter — and the Wizards wilted and lost, 115-109.
That’s not to say the Wizards played poorly. It was a competitive and hard-fought game that included eight ties and 19 lead changes. But Washington got out-worked and out-hustled. New York won the offensive rebounding battle 12-3 and points in the paint 58-32.
The Knicks won the game inside — Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson thoroughly out playing Porzingis and Daniel Gafford. And while Porzingis was the vanishing unicorn, he got precious little help from Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal. who shot a combined 16-37 from the floor with nine turnovers.
Between them, they tallied 25 zero-point possessions (possessions where the team fails to score a single point). The team had 97 possessions total in the game.
- Deni Avdija harassed Jalen Brunson into a subpar night while also shooting 5-7 from the floor, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing 5 assists. One of those assists was a gem — a daring length-of-the-floor outlet to Kuzma, who had a step on a couple defenders.
- Delon Wright hit 5-7 from three.
Not So Good Stuff
- Washington had 0.0 answers for Randle, who tied his career high 46 points. While Avdija did a good job on Brunson, it was a curious decision from coach Wes Unseld Jr. to not give him reps against Randle.
- The Wizards inexplicably did not foul down just two with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.
- The loss gives the Knicks an advantage over the Wizards in NBA postseason seeding tie-breakers.
Below are the four factors that decide wins and losses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).
I’ve simplified them a bit. While the factors are usually presented as percentages, I often find the raw numbers more useful when analyzing a single game.
Four Factors: Knicks at Wizards
Stats & Metrics
Below are a few performance metrics, including the Player Production Average (PPA) Game Score (very similar to the one I used to call Scoreboard Impact Rating). 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 112.0. 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 slightly 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 = Tentatively dubbed “plus points,” this stat 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.
Note: I dropped points scored from the table because a) it’s easily available just about everywhere, and b) there’s a limit to the number of columns I could use in the tables.
Stats & Metrics: Wizards
Stats & Metrics: Knicks