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The Numbers Crunch: Wizards offense can’t keep pace in loss to Indiana

Stats, analysis, commentary.

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards guard Jordan Poole led the team in defeat.
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Wizards lost their sixth in a row, this one to an Indiana Pacers team missing Tyrese Haliburton and starting forward Jalen Smith.

The Pacers struggled on the offensive end without Haliburton, which makes sense since he’s been the primary driver of one of the best offenses in league history. Their struggle ended when the second half began. Indiana’s offensive rating (points per possession x 100) was 102 in the first half and 121 in the second.

Washington’s offense was consistently bad all night. First half offensive rating: 104. Second half: 104.

It was a tale of two halves in other areas as well. The Wizards are the league’s worst rebounding team, yet they corralled 11 offensive rebounds in the first half...and just two in the second half. For the season, they’ve been outrebounded by 10 boards per game. Last night: by nine.

Corey Kispert torched the Pacers for 15 first-half points...and failed to score in the second.

Overall, it wasn’t a particularly bad game for the Wizards. They basically held their own with Indiana outside a stretch to open the third quarter, and another in the fourth quarter when they fell behind by 17.

Musings & Observations

  • Believe it or not, this was not Jordan Poole’s best game of the season — at least according to my PPA metric. His best was a 251 PPA on December 15 against the Indiana Pacers. Hmm. He matched his PPA from tonight on December 26 against the Orlando Magic.
  • Outside of a handful of forehead smacking field goal attempts, Poole played well — 28 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals. His offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) was 125 on a usage rate of 30.3%.
  • Daniel Gafford had 12 points on 6 shots, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 6 blocks. He also committed three turnovers and four fouls. His counterpart, Myles Turner, had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks.
  • Deni Avdija played well defensively and got to the free throw line seven times. The Pacers forced him left and he had trouble finishing.
  • Kyle Kuzma was rough — 11 points on 5-12 shooting, 1-5 from three-point range, and three turnovers. He was aggressive on the boards in the first half — 7 of his 10 rebounds, and 2 of his 3 offensive boards but seemed to fade in the second half.
  • A relatively rare bad game from Tyus Jones, who’s been extremely efficient on offense much of the season. Last night — 5-12 from the floor, 4 assists and 2 turnovers.
  • Rough night for Bilal Coulibaly, who was 1-5 from the floor and was on the receiving end of a hard flagrant foul committed by Isaiah Jackson.
  • The Wizards perimeter defense was atrocious against the Pacers. The team got lit up by T.J. McConnell and Bruce Brown. The duo combined for 30 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 steals, a block, and zero turnovers. The backcourt damage would have been worse if Andrew Nembhard could have made an occasional floater.

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 Pacers

FOUR FACTORS WIZARDS PACERS
FOUR FACTORS WIZARDS PACERS
EFG 0.472 0.489
OREB 13 14
TOV 12 13
FTM 21 22
PACE 99
ORTG 105 113

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 former 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 +/-
Jordan Poole 34 69 125 30.3% 2.0 209 30.5 0
Corey Kispert 30 61 133 16.5% 1.7 140 18.0 -11
Daniel Gafford 37 77 108 13.9% -0.8 101 16.4 -3
Deni Avdija 25 51 113 23.0% -0.3 66 7.0 2
Kyle Kuzma 34 70 79 24.7% -6.4 45 6.6 -10
Tyus Jones 34 69 92 17.4% -2.9 30 4.4 -5
Mike Muscala 14 30 101 15.7% -0.7 0 0.0 -5
Bilal Coulibaly 22 46 96 12.8% -1.2 0 0.0 -5
Delon Wright 11 22 78 25.0% -2.0 -52 0.0 -3

Stats & Metrics: Pacers

PACERS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
PACERS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
T.J. McConnell 22 45 162 20.0% 4.2 319 30.3 7
Bruce Brown 27 56 143 20.2% 3.1 210 24.9 -3
Myles Turner 31 64 118 25.2% 0.3 165 22.0 6
Obi Toppin 28 58 131 17.3% 1.5 148 18.0 3
Isaiah Jackson 17 36 141 22.5% 2.1 202 15.2 2
Bennedict Mathurin 28 59 104 24.0% -1.6 77 9.5 6
Jordan Nwora 17 36 129 13.8% 0.6 88 6.7 5
Aaron Nesmith 24 50 110 15.0% -0.4 63 6.6 1
Buddy Hield 19 39 51 14.7% -3.7 -69 0.0 12
Andrew Nembhard 26 54 45 22.5% -8.6 -111 0.0 1