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The Numbers Crunch: Knicks take their turn pummeling the Wizards

Stats, analysis, commentary.

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards got blown out for a third straight game, this time by the New York Knicks. The final margin was a deceptively close 16, courtesy of some garbage time “heroics” and a buzzer-beating three from Anthony Gill. When Wes Unseld Jr. conceded, the Wizards were down 21.

Washington trailed by as much as 26 in the game and never led. They were down 20 at the half, trimmed the lead to as little as five...and then ran out of gas. There was no point in the game — even when as close as five — that the Wizards felt like a genuine threat to win. Washington’s third quarter run was more a case of the Knicks needing pull their collective heads out of their collective butts and start playing a bit more seriously. Did Nenê give a halftime speech?

While the Wizards got taken to school by Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, the Wizards did some encouraging things. Deni Avdija played well, the Wizards held their own on the boards, and Jordan Poole actually tried on 3-4 defensive possessions. Gotta take the “wins” where you can get them.

Musings & Observations

  • Avdija played hard and well despite the Knicks sitting on his right hand and trying to force him left. He was aggressive pushing the ball in transition and found ways to get back to his right hand for finishes. He scored 23 on just 13 shots, and dealt 6 assists. The only real negative was four turnovers, mostly a result of trying passes that didn’t make a lot of sense. Even so, he posted a 129 offensive rating (points produced per possession x 100) on a 25.6% usage rate. That’s excellent.
  • Poole had yet another atrocious offensive game. At one point, Knicks broadcaster (and Hall of Famer) Walt Frazier described Poole as being “in disarray.” He at least tried some on defense in the second half, which is a welcome change of pace.
  • Corey Kispert somehow committed four turnovers in 15 minutes. After one, Frazier said, “And more blundering from the Wizards.” Ouch.
  • Kyle Kuzma seemed intent on shooting every time he touched the ball and exhibited little interest in other aspects of the game like rebounding or playmaking. He finished with 27 points on 21 shots and an offensive rating of just 106. He had two rebounds, two assists, and three turnovers.
  • Rough game for Bilal Coulibaly — 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists...and 3 turnovers and 3 fouls. It was still a good learning experience. He defended both Brunson and Randle on one possession and showed good defensive screen navigation throughout the game.

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: Knicks at Wizards

FOUR FACTORS KNICKS WIZARDS
FOUR FACTORS KNICKS WIZARDS
EFG 0.575 0.547
OREB 11 12
TOV 14 20
FTM 21 12
PACE 100
ORTG 122 105

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 +/-
Deni Avdija 33 68 129 25.6% 2.3 181 28.9 -7
Daniel Gafford 31 64 154 9.2% 2.2 100 14.8 -8
Kyle Kuzma 32 66 106 30.6% -2.0 71 11.0 -8
Jordan Poole 30 62 89 17.7% -2.9 32 4.6 -1
Tyus Jones 28 58 91 24.3% -3.4 29 3.9 -1
Corey Kispert 15 30 89 24.4% -2.0 49 3.5 -20
Jared Butler 3 7 262 36.9% 3.9 935 0.0 5
Anthony Gill 3 7 301 10.0% 1.3 342 0.0 5
Delon Wright 17 34 63 14.7% -2.6 -16 0.0 -20
Eugene Omoruyi 3 7 61 13.4% -0.5 -78 0.0 5
Johnny Davis 3 7 99 20.1% -0.2 -117 0.0 5
Mike Muscala 14 29 51 18.8% -3.5 -34 0.0 -13
Bilal Coulibaly 28 58 75 13.4% -3.1 -32 0.0 -22

Stats & Metrics: Knicks

KNICKS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
KNICKS MIN POSS ORTG USG +PTS PPA GmSC +/-
Julius Randle 38 78 137 34.7% 5.8 271 49.5 24
Jalen Brunson 35 72 150 29.8% 7.5 265 44.9 20
Isaiah Hartenstein 39 81 70 14.9% -5.5 96 18.3 26
OG Anunoby 31 65 127 11.3% 0.9 99 15.0 11
Donte DiVincenzo 26 55 105 17.5% -1.0 94 12.1 3
Miles McBride 13 27 125 22.3% 0.5 140 8.9 -4
Quentin Grimes 15 31 103 16.3% -0.6 83 5.9 -6
Josh Hart 32 67 95 14.5% -2.0 30 4.7 24
Precious Achiuwa 8 16 200 4.7% 0.6 35 0.0 -8
Jericho Sims 2 4 0.0% 0.0 0 0.0 -7
Malachi Flynn 1 2 0 45.3% -0.9 -582 0.0 -3