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Looking at the Wizards after 20 games, both the good and the bad, by the numbers

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Looking at the Wizards after 20 games, both the good and the bad, by the numbers

With 82 games in the NBA regular season, there is no natural quarter-mark, but 20 games seems like a good time to step back and draw some early season conclusions.

The Wizards are just above .500 at 11-9 and have played four of those games without star point guard John Wall.

Here are some numbers to consider in what we have seen from the Wizards and their players so far...


Though the Wizards currently have the 12th-best record in the NBA and the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference, there is one metric that suggests they have been much better.

It's called the simple rating system and it's involves point differential and strength of schedule.

The Wizards have been 2.93 points above average, which is good for seventh in the NBA. This is partly the result of the Wizards folding late in some winnable games. They know their record could be better than what it is and the stats back that up.


Here's the Wall effect, an indication of his absence and also how he hasn't been the same player in many games this season, most likely due to injuries.

The Wizards are 15th in the NBA with 10.4 fastbreak points per game. That is average, but very low compared to where they are used to being.

Last season they were fifth in the NBA in fastbreak points at 15.9 per game.



No one in the NBA this year has been better at contesting three-point shots than Bradley Beal. He's got 102 on the season, 13 more than the next guy, Victor Oladipo. And his 5.1 contested threes per game average is also best in the game.

When head coach Scott Brooks complains about guys closing out on threes on defense, he isn't talking about Beal.


The Wizards are an average team when it comes to drawing charges, but backup point guard Tim Frazier ranks up near the top of the NBA as an individual.

With six charges drawn so far through 20 games, he's tied for eighth in the NBA. He's the smallest guy on the Wizards, so it's nothing to sneeze at. The guy is tough.

2.45 and 2.48

Not surprisingly, Beal and Otto Porter do more running per game than anyone else on the Wizards. When the Wizards are in their halfcourt set, it's Beal and Porter who move most without the ball. They also guard active players on defense and are expected to keep up with John Wall on the fastbreak.

Beal runs 2.45 miles per game and Porter 2.48. Porter is 14th in the NBA in the category and Beal is 21st.


The NBA's tracking technology for average speed always produces interesting results because it is not simply about who is the fastest player.

It is largely determined by that player's role on both ends of the floor. For instance, Wall has the slowest average speed on the Wizards at 3.72 miles per hour.

Tomas Satoransky, believe it or not, is the fastest at 4.62. And Jason Smith is second at 4.53. If it seems like Smith is always moving on the court, your eyes are not lying to you.



For a variety of reasons, Beal has seen a sharp decrease in catch-and-shoot opportunities this season. Last year he was seventh among NBA players in catch-and-shoot points (7.0/g) and 11th in catch-and-shoot attempts (5.6/g). He shot 44.2 percent on those shots.

This season he's shooting just 37.1 percent on those chances, ranks 59th in the NBA at 4.8 catch-and-shoot points per game and 46th with 4.5 attempts per game.

This is likely a product of teams defending him differently, the absence of Wall for four games and his continue development at attacking the rim.


Here is evidence of Beal's progression as a ball-handler.

He is now averaging 10.4 drives per game. Last year he was at 6.4 drives per game. He's attempting 5.4 shots on drives this season, good for 13th in the NBA. Last year he was taking 3.3 such shots per game, 37th among NBA players.

After scoring 4.5 points on drives per game last year, he's getting 7.1 this season. Two years ago, in the 2015-16 season, Beal was getting 3.9 points on drives per game.

He has almost doubled that output.


By now many people know that Marcin Gortat is very good at setting screens and is among the best at getting screen assists because of it.

He leads the NBA with 5.6 screen assists per game. The Wizards as a team are also very good. With 10.7 screen assists per game, they are third in the NBA.


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NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division


NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Atlantic Division...

Toronto Raptors, B+

2017-18 finish: 59-23, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Kawhi Leonard, G Danny Green, C Greg Monroe
Out: G DeMar DeRozan, C Jakub Poeltl, C Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors had one of the more consequential offseasons of any NBA team this year. First, they fired Dwane Casey, the 2017-18 NBA Coach of the Year, following a season in which they won 59 games. Then, they pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a deal that featured two perennial All-NBA players. They let go of DeRozan and brought in Leonard in return. If they hadn't parted with DeRozan and Casey, they may have gotten an A. But it's hard to tell how much better they will be following the deal and Leonard does bring with him some concerns based on his quadriceps injury and the fact he has only one year left on his contract. The Raptors do, however, also get points for re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet.

Boston Celtics, C

2017-18 finish: 55-27, conference finals
In: C Robert Williams, G Brad Wanamaker
Out: C Greg Monroe

One year ago, the Celtics flipped nearly their entire roster and brought in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they mostly stood pat and didn't add much of anything in free agency or trades. Their biggest acquisition was Williams, who they took 27th overall in the first round of the draft. The Celtics will hope they improve from within. They re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes, and should get Irving and Hayward back from injuries. They should have plenty of talent to compete for an NBA Finals berth, but as far as this offseason goes, they didn't do much.

Philadelphia 76ers, D+

2017-18 finish: 52-30, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Wilson Chandler, C Mike Muscala, G Zhaire Smith, G Landry Shamet
Out: G Marco Belinelli, F Ersan Ilyasova

Where do we begin? This summer was about as dramatic and bad as it could get for the Sixers. First, they had to fire their general manager because of a burner Twitter account scandal. Then, they struck out miserably in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George, and in trade talks for Leonard. After that, Smith - their first round pick - hurt his foot. And along the way, Ben Simmons has been dating a Kardashian, flirting with the curse that has claimed many pro athletes before him. Philly did re-sign J.J. Redick and Johnson, and the Chandler trade was nice, but all in all it was an offseason that fell way short of the Sixers' expectations. That said, they can still get way better next season based solely on their young players taking another step.

New York Knicks, B

2017-18 finish: 29-53, missed playoffs
In: F Mario Hezonja, F Kevin Knox, F Noah Vonleh, C Mitchell Robinson
Out: F Michael Beasley, G Jarrett Jack, F Kyle O'Quinn

It's been a while since the Knicks had an offseason to write home about and this one is no exception. There was nothing they did that would flirt with an A-grade. However, the early returns on their draft are excellent. Knox and Robinson were both standouts in the Summer League and offer fans a little bit more hope about the team's future. As long as Kristaps Porzingis can return this season safe and sound from his ACL tear, the Knicks could take a step forward in 2018-19.

Brooklyn Nets, C+

2017-18 finish: 28-54, missed playoffs
In: F Ed Davis, F Kenneth Faried, F Jared Dudley
Out: F Dante Cunningham, G Nik Stauskas, C Jahlil Okafor

The best news about the Nets' offseason is that their trade with the Celtics, the one that stripped them of years of first round picks, is finally over. Next year, the Nets will have a first round pick. This summer, they once again didn't add any major pieces in the draft, but seemed to make some smart moves in free agency. The Davis deal is solid and Faried may benefit from a change of scenery. More baby steps for Brooklyn.

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NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division


NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Southeast Division...

Washington Wizards, B+

2017-18 finish: 43-39, 1st round of playoffs
In: C Dwight Howard, G Austin Rivers, G Troy Brown, Jr., F Jeff Green, C Thomas Bryant
Out: C Marcin Gortat, F Mike Scott, G Ty Lawson, G Tim Frazier, G Ramon Sessions, F Chris McCullough

Given the circumstances of their salary cap situation, the Wizards did quite well for themselves this summer. They shook things up by trading Gortat and actually got something solid back for him in Rivers. They then filled Gortat's spot with an eight-time All-Star in Howard and did so at a bargain price, the taxpayer mid-level exception. They also added Green at a nice price and Brown, who acquitted himself nicely in the Summer League. Whether the Wizards made a major leap forward is debatable, but the potential is there for them to re-install themselves as contenders in the East. The possibility things go wrong is also there, but all in all, a strong summer for the Wizards.

Atlanta Hawks, B

2017-18 finish: 24-58, missed playoffs
In: G Jeremy Lin, C Alex Len, G Trae Young, G Vince Carter, G Kevin Huerter, F Justin Anderson, F Omari Spellman
Out: G Dennis Schroeder, C Mike Muscala, C Dewayne Dedmon, G Malcolm Delaney, G Isaiah Tayor

The Hawks did a nice job with the draft by picking up an extra first round pick just to move back two spots (from third to fifth) in their trade with the Mavericks. They added Young with the fifth pick and then got Huerter later on at No. 18. The Len signing at two years and $8.5 million looks like a bargain and they added a nice mix of veteran free agents and young players to develop. It will probably be a few years before the Hawks are back in the playoffs, but they seemed to take a step forward this summer.

Miami Heat, D

2017-18 finish: 44-38, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Duncan Robinson
Out: G Dwyane Wade, G Wayne Ellington, F Luke Babbitt

The Heat had one of the least impactful summers of any team in the NBA. The biggest addition they have so far, and this is true, is Robinson. They didn't make any draft picks and struck out in free agency. What they did do is let go of Wade, Ellington and others. The only way the Heat improve year-over-year is if their young guys like Bam Adebayo or Justise Winslow take a big step forward. 

Charlotte Hornets, C+

2017-18 finish: 36-46, missed playoffs
In: C Bismack Biyombo, F Miles Bridges, G Devonte' Graham
Out: C Dwight Howard, G Michael Carter-Williams, G Treveon Graham

New Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak quickly turned the franchise into a different direction this offseason by trading Howard to the Nets. They then added Biyombo in a deal with the Magic and acquired Bridges through the draft. There isn't a lot to love or hate about the Hornets' offseason, so they fall in the middle of the grading scale. The real question now is what they do with Kemba Walker, who has just one year left on his contract.

Orlando Magic, B+

2017-18 finish: 25-57, missed playoffs
In: C Mohamed Bamba, C Timofey Mozgov, F Justin Jackson, F Jarell Martin, G Jerian Grant
Out: G Mario Hezonja, C Marreese Speights, G Arron Aflalo

The Magic had a strong summer. The re-signed forward Aaron Gordon, a rising young player, and drafted Bamba, who has the tools to become an All-Star and a dominant defensive force. They had some questionable moves, like trading for Mozgov, but the future looks a lot brighter for the Magic than it did just a few months ago.

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