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Recap: Wizards fall to Celtics, 133-129

And The Numbers Crunch: Stats, analysis, commentary

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards wing Corey Kispert had one of the better games of his career in the teams loss to the Boston Celtics.
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards played well and the Boston Celtics didn’t, which meant Washington’s 133-129 loss was a bit closer than expected.

The Wizards kept things interesting in the first half, sprinting to 18 transition points in the first quarter of action. They finished the game with a 36-18 advantage in transition.

Jordan Poole got off to a pretty good start with 11 points and 4 assists in the first quarter. His production cratered from there. He had 19 points in the first half...and finished the game with 19 points.

Washington was helped in the first half by a low-energy defensive effort from Boston, as well as the Celtics’ poor shooting on open threes.

Things changed in the third quarter when Boston got a little more serious about getting back on defense and getting the ball to Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis, who hit shots. Tatum scored 13 in the period to go along with 3 assists. Porzingis dropped 14 on his old team in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the Wizards shot 7-22 from the floor and committed 6 turnovers in the third quarter as their offense ground to a standstill. Corey Kispert had four of Washington’s seven made shots in the period.

Boston ran their lead to 15 points three times in the fourth quarter, including with just 3:24 left to play. Washington slashed the lead by hitting four straight threes (two by Tyus Jones, one from Kyle Kuzma, one from Bilal Coulibaly) while the Celtics bumbled around with some missed shots, turnovers, and missed free throws.

While the Wizards lost to a much better team, they had some positives. Chief among these was one of Kispert’s best all-around games of his career. He finished with 24 points on 14 shots in just 24 minutes. Even better: 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals. He hit threes and attacked closeouts effectively.

Deni Avdija played a good overall game — 24 points on just 10 field goal attempts, he got to the free throw line regularly by attacking the paint, and he pushed the pace in transition. He shot 3-5 from deep and had 4 assists and 2 steals.

Coulibaly notched career highs in points (21), field goal attempts (18), three-point attempts (12) and usage (27.9%). It wasn’t a great game by any stretch (he shot just 6-18 from the field and 4-12 from three), but Boston was happy to concede three-point attempts to him, and he kept pulling the trigger.

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 Celtics

EFG 0.579 0.582
OREB 5 9
TOV 12 13
FTM 19 26
PACE 108
ORTG 119 123

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

Corey Kispert 24 54 162 25.3% 6.2 326 37.8 -14
Deni Avdija 42 94 145 17.0% 4.6 144 29.3 12
Tyus Jones 37 84 137 16.4% 2.9 132 24.0 7
Bilal Coulibaly 33 73 106 27.9% -2.1 111 17.6 6
Kyle Kuzma 37 83 129 16.4% 1.7 72 13.1 4
Eugene Omoruyi 13 30 82 20.7% -2.1 7 0.4 -16
Jordan Poole 37 84 88 25.1% -5.9 -1 0.0 1
Delon Wright 4 8 0.0% 0.0 -70 0.0 -6
Landry Shamet 14 31 68 11.3% -1.7 -24 0.0 -14

Stats & Metrics: Celtics

Jayson Tatum 38 86 136 30.3% 5.3 245 45.4 9
Jrue Holiday 34 76 143 18.9% 4.0 165 27.2 -11
Kristaps Porzingis 33 74 131 32.9% 3.6 165 26.4 8
Payton Pritchard 17 38 153 16.4% 2.3 187 15.4 7
Al Horford 23 52 122 10.9% 0.4 97 10.9 7
Jaylen Brown 35 78 103 20.5% -2.0 63 10.7 -15
Derrick White 33 74 73 12.7% -4.0 15 2.4 -3
Sam Hauser 16 36 87 16.2% -1.7 18 1.4 14
Luke Kornet 11 25 0.0% 0.0 -21 0.0 4