Washington Wizards – Twenty Games Done, What’s Changed?

  • Ralph Thompson Jr
Photo Credit: washingtonpost.com

Photo Credit: washingtonpost.com

Going out to Basketball-Reference.com, here are some interesting numbers. First set is the 20-game total, second is from the 10-game result.
• Points per Game: 98.1 (18 of 30) /100.4 (13th of 30)
• Opposition Points per Game: 98.9 (10 of 30) / 104.1 (26th of 30)
• Simple Rating System (accounting for average point differential & strength of schedule:-2.41 (22 of 30) / ( -3.75 (22nd of 30)
• Pace Factor (estimated number of possessions per 48 minutes): 93.3 (20 of 30) / 95.7 (12th of 30)
• Team Offensive Rating (per 100 possessions): 102.4 (22 of 30) / 101.7 (22nd of 30)
• Team Defensive Rating (per 100 possessions): 103.3 (10 of 30) / 105.5 (19th of 30)
Expected W-L: 9-11 (19 of 30) / 4-6 (20th of 30)

From a team perspective (see spreadsheet), the team’s pace has slowed a bit. They’re still getting outrebounded by a couple of boards per game. Most numbers are similar than the levels at the 10-game mark. When the margins are that close, execution can make the difference nearly every night (see Monday’s loss to Denver). It’s not just late-game situations – even in the first quarter, sloppy stretches of ball-handling and shot selection can put Washington behind the power curve as game proceed.

Here are some individual numbers that caught my eye:

Washington has six players with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) above the league-standardized average of 15.0:
Wall 20.9 (up from 17.3); Ariza 17.6 (up from 15.3); Nene 17.4 (down from 18.4); Gortat 17.0 (up from 15.7); Webster 15.9 (down from 16.2); and Booker (15.0).

Webster leads the team with a true shooting average of 61.3% (up from 60.1%). Ariza is second on the team with 59.3%.

Among the regulars, Webster leads the team with 58.6% effective shooting average (up from 55.4%). Ariza is second with 57.3%. Keep making those threes, guys.

For assist percentage, Wall leads the team with 42.6% (virtually the same as the previous 42.8%). Among the regular rotation guys, something

Photo Credit: spokeo.com

Photo Credit: spokeo.com

jumped out at me. Maynor is second with 29.4%, and Beal was at 15.5%. Nene’s rate was 15.3% (up from 14.2%). With these numbers, it appears others are following Wall’s lead in looking for open teammates. That bodes well for the rest of the season. The two point guards combined for a 72% assist rate (assuming they’re not on the floor at the same time). Admittedly, there are potential gaps in this assessment. But, for me, it looks like guys are sharing the ball more efficiently.

Marcin Gortat leads the team with 4.1% blocked shot percentage (virtually the same as the previous 4.2% block percentage). Again, from the regulars, Nene is second in this area (2.7%). Vesely is third on the team with a 2.6%. Vesely has lately shown a willingness to block shots as a weakside help defender. If he’s on the floor with Gortat, Vesely’s athleticism is a secret weapon on the defensive end.

Among the regulars, Garrett Temple’s 29.7 turnover rate is quite high. Given that he didn’t play a lot in the first ten games, I’d expect that number to come down has he gets into a more consistent rhythm. Maynor (19.7%) and Wall 15.3% (up from 14.4%) have room to improve that rate also. With the number of injuries and the dynamic nature of the rotation, when all the regulars are finally healthy/playing together, these numbers should decrease.

For offensive rating, Webster leads the team with 125 points per 100 possessions (similar to the previous 126 points per 100 possessions). Gortat is at 110 points/100 possessions, while Ariza is at 109/100 possessions. Again, increased offensive efficiency can get the team that extra basket or two that make the difference between a close loss and a close victory.

Among the regulars, Ariza leads the team in defensive rating with 101 points per 100 possessions (compared to 104/100 possessions earlier), with Wall right behind at 102 points/100 possessions. To me, that says, a) the team is getting a bit better in collective defensive efficiency, b) they have played some teams that are limited offensively, and c) the team could improve another point or two when Nene and Al Harrington come back.

So, going forward, here are some things I see with nearly a quarter of the season done:

1. Ariza is helping the team on both ends of the floor. He’s solid in the counting stats, and he’s a steadying influence on both ends. Wall is getting a lot of attention (and rightfully so), but Ariza is playing well.

2. The team needs Nene back, but Vesely and Trevor Booker have had productive moments when they’re on the floor. Vesely, especially, is playing with more confidence. His court vision and anticipation are improving as well.

3. Otto Porter and Glen Rice, Jr. have shown nice potential in limited minutes. When Bradley Beal and Martell Webster get back to full strength, Porter and Rice may struggle in their respective rookie year development. As long as the rookies stay focused in shoot-around, film study, etc., they will have time and opportunity to grow.

As I stated 10 games ago, “these are all just glimpses at the numbers. I welcome dissenting views on this stuff. If any of you readers see it differently, feel free to engage. I may have misapplied this data. However, I look forward to different perspectives on the numbers, and how interpreting the numbers could help Washington win more games”. Here is a breakdown of the Wizards statistics through 10 games compared to through 20:


Games 10 20
Points per game  100.4 98.1
Opposition per game 104.1 98.9
SRS -3.75 -2.41
Pace Factor 95.7 93.3
Team Off Rating 101.7 102.4
Team Def Rating 105.5 103.3
Expected Record 4-6 9-11
Actual Record 3-7 9-11
Washington Per Game
FG Made/Game 37.8 36.85
FG Att/Game 87 83.5
3PT Made/Game 9.8 8.75
3PT Att/Game 24.8 22.8
2PT Made/Game 28 28
2PT Att/Game 62 60.9
FT Made/Att 15/21 15.7/21.3
Off Reb Allowed 11.2 10.5
Defensive Reb 30.6 31
Assists/Game 24.3 23.4
Steals/Game 9.6 9.3
BlocksGame 4.2 4.8
Turnovers/Game 15.7 15.7
Personal Fouls/Game 20.2 18.9
Opposition per game
FG Made/Game 39.8 38
FG Att/Game 83.2 82.3
3PT Made/Game 8 8
3PT Att/Game 23.3 22.5
2PT Made/Game 31.6 29.9
2PT Att/Game 59.9 59.8
FT Made/Att 16/22 14.8/20
Off Reb Allowed 10 10.8
Defensive Reb 35.6 33.5
Assists/Game 24.5 23.5
Steals/Game 7.9 7.5
BlocksGame 4.6 4
Turnovers/Game 18 17.5
Personal Fouls/Game 19.4 19.8

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