As far as revenge games go, Sam Dekker’s went a lot better than Isaac Bonga’s. That’s fair, since Dekker had the stronger case to stay with the Wizards than Bonga did. Low bar, I know.
Speaking of low bars, my stat game was definitely in preseason mode after the Wizards’ loss to the Knicks. I broke down the video of my analysis work (what, you don’t video yourself crunching numbers after a Wizards preseason game?!) and the flaws practically jumped off the screen:
- Data entry was poor
- Concentration was lousy
- Cut and paste execution was borderline nonexistent — almost as bad as how Washington’s defenders deliver on the force rules.
Unacceptable performance from a veteran.
Anyway, last night’s Wizards loss to the Toronto Raptors was just about everything that could be hoped for from an NBA exhibition game. Like, Bradley Beal shot 1-11 from the floor and Washington was +12 when he was on the floor. Montrezl Harrell had 17 points on 9 field goal attempts, and the Wizards were -20 with him out there. And four different players had PPA scores of zero (Aaron Holiday, Khem Birch, Dalano Blanton and Isaac Bonga).
Little known fact: In some parts of Germany, “Issac Bonga” is a compound word for “zero production.” (Editor’s Note: No part of the preceding sentence should be considered a fact.)
- Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Davis Bertans made some threes.
- Deni Avdija did some good stuff — 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block in 20 minutes.
- Daniel Gafford had 14 points and 17 rebounds in 27 minutes
- Spencer Dinwiddie had 7 assists.
And, it took the game of Sam Dekker’s life — 18 points on 10 shots, including 4-5 from three, plus outstanding performances from Goran Dragic, Malachi Flynn, Scottie Barnes, Freddie Gillespie and someone named Ish Wainwright for the Raptors to eke out the win. The Wizards totally shut down Bonga, Birch, and whoever this Blanton guy is.
I know, readers from Toronto or NBA locales other than Minnesota or Sacramento might be wondering is he really gesturing at Moral Victories in a preseason game?! To which I respond: a) yes, and b) that’s what Wizards fans celebrate — a practice made necessary by so few actual wins over the past four decades.
Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses 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, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.
PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.
Player Production Average
Player Production Average (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). PPA is a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense and role. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.
POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.
PTS = points scored
ORTG = offensive rating, which is points produced per individual possessions x 100. League average last season was 112.3.
USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.
ORTG and USG are slightly modified versions of stats created by now-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.