The Wizards’ 2020-21 season ended bluntly with a 17-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, who were playing without their best player, Joel Embiid. Despite the absence of an MVP-level artist, the Sixers beat the Wizards to close the series 4-1.
The Wizards have had their own injuries, of course. Starting center Thomas Bryant was absent with a torn knee ligament, as he has been all season, and Davis Bertans was sidelined with a strained calf. Washington came out in the middle with Daniel Gafford and Robin Lopez. Their only real options with Bertans out of action: three-guard lines. At least if they wanted to have lineups with NBA caliber players on the pitch.
For the Wizards, no one played very well in Game 5. Rui Hachimura and Bradley Beal were the only players with significant minutes who produced at league average or better – and they barely pulled it off.
Hachimura scored effectively (21 points out of 13 FGA – an offensive rating (individual points produced per individual possessions used x 100) of 144 – but his use rate was only 15% and he managed only 6 rebounds. , 2 assists and zero stealing or blocking in 43 minutes of playing time. This stat line included no rebounds, assists, steals or blocks in addition to 22 minutes of second-half action.
It’s fair to note that Beal and Russell Westbrook dominated the ball – they had a combined usage rate of 71%, and Ish Smith at 17% was the only other guy in the rotation to crack 15% usage. . Considering Hachimura’s scoring efficiency and effectiveness in attacking fencing over the series, it seemed logical to perform more drive and kick sets with him on the weak wing. These occasions were rare, however.
Beal’s overall performance is rated around the league average, which is significantly below his normal performance. His scoring efficiency was below par – 10-23 off the ground with 5 turnovers – but he also contributed 7 rebounds and 5 assists and did a good job reaching the free throw line (10-10 for the night ).
He’s gotten used to coming back from the offseason over the last few seasons with new skills. On his offseason list, I had placed the quick overtaking of doubles teams near the top. (I would also pencil in, “Don’t drive the baseline against Ben Simmons when Dwight Howard is in aid.”)
Philly’s doubles didn’t stop him from scoring, but they managed to reduce his offensive effectiveness – and that of the team – as Beal’s first instinct is to try to split him and score. This sometimes works against more normal defenders, but the 76ers employ multiple elite defenders (even with Embiid out). Against this kind of defense, the good game is to move the ball and trust your teammates to play.
In fairness to Beal, the roster was poorly constructed, lacking in talent, and hasn’t shown itself over the season to be particularly trustworthy in the whole thing of ‘making plays’. They’ve come as far as they’ve come this season largely because he took charge of scoring and succeeded. That said, he should work on moving the ball quickly against doubles teams and urge the front office to upgrade the roster.
Of course, the team’s most pressing business is the fate of Scott Brooks. Assuming they will replace it, an announcement could come in Thursday morning. The more time that passes before the news breaks, the more he won’t come back, the more I think he’s likely to get a two-year extension to keep his tenure in sync with Westbrook’s contract.
Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball – shot (efg), rebound (offensive rebounds), ball handling (flips), foul (free throws made).
I simplified them a bit. Although the factors are usually presented as percentages, this is most useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers for each category are easier to understand.
PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.
Game 5: Wizards to 76ers
Player Production Average (PPA) is my overall production metric, which assigns players the things they do to help a team win (scoring, bouncing, playing, defending) and ringing them out for the things that hurt (missed shots , turnovers, bad defense, fouls). The PPA is a per possession statistic that includes defense and role consideration. In PPP, 100 is medium and higher is better.
The table below is sorted by each player total contributions for the game.
POSS is the number of possessions each player had on the ground in this game.
PTS = points scored
ORTG = Offensive Rating, which is RBIs per individual possession x 100. The league average this season was 112.3.
USG = offensive usage rate. The average is 20%.
ORTG and USG are slightly edited versions of stats created by Assistant Wizard trainer Dean Oliver and slightly edited by me. ORTG is a measure of efficiency that takes into account the value of shots, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. The USG includes shots on the ground and free throws, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.
Game 5: Wizards in numbers
Game 5: 76ers in numbers