Arturo avatar

The Wizards: The Old College Try

The Numbers

  • Average Seed
    8
  • 📉 Pessimist
    26.8 wins
  • Realist
    37.7 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    48.6 wins
First Seed
 
1.2%
Division
 
3.6%
Top 4
 
17.0%
👍 Over (42.0)
👎 Under (42.0)
🎀 Playoffs

"Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right."

— Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling

The Brief

This offseason, the Wizards confirmed that they are now what we call in soccer parlance a buying team. John Wall got paid. They brought in another high draft pick. They lost a big man to injury and they went out and replaced him even before the season started.

My old friend, Ted Leonsis wants to win now. Rightly or wrongly, they believe they finally have the pieces to climb out of the NBA slums and move up to lofty spheres of the NBA middle class on the road. I actually thought last year was going to be when they made this move before being derailed by injury.

Will they succeed? They're going to need a bit of luck and maybe a bit of magic but they're sure as heck going to try.

The Story

I have history with the Wizards. Before the 2010-11 season I got into a bit of an internet tussle with their owner. I speculated they might be the worst team in NBA history and that John Wall was not a good pick if he wanted to contend right away. He took offense. I will admit I was wrong, the Wizards were terrible but not the worst in NBA History (that honor belongs arguably to that year's Bobcats).

I was also right in that John Wall was too young to contribute meaningfully under his rookie contract. Wall's Wins Produced per 48 minutes have been right in the middle of his rookie projection. He looks like a guy who will be a good player at his peak but getting his rookie contract was not a great value. Actually, the comp I used for him was Russell Westbrook. That still applies, right down to the knee injuries for both and how they both are good but overvalued.

However things did pick up for the Wizards last year.

 

Last Year

  • Actual Wins: 29
  • Expected Wins: 34.9
  • Lucky Wins: -5.8
Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Martell Webster 2200 27 .155 7.1
Emeka Okafor 2052 31 .133 5.7
Bradley Beal 1745 20 .089 3.2
Kevin Seraphin 1721 24 -.142 -5.1
Nene Hilario 1659 31 .102 3.5
John Wall 1602 23 .137 4.6
Trevor Ariza 1471 28 .187 5.7
A.J. Price 1278 26 .079 2.1
Garrett Temple 1156 27 .108 2.6
Jordan Crawford 1127 25 .040 1.4
Chris Singleton 924 24 -.019 -.4
Trevor Booker 887 26 .173 3.2
Cartier Martin 694 28 .046 .7
Jan Vesely 601 23 .036 .4
Shaun Livingston 320 28 .141 4.3
Shelvin Mack 141 23 .050 .4
Earl Barron 122 31 -.052 -.1
Jannero Pargo 102 34 -.082 -.9
Jason Collins 54 34 -.100 -.1

Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 34.49 total Wins Produced
  • 7 players leaving
    (3784 minutes, 7.9 wins)

As mentioned, I liked this roster before the season started to contend in the East for 5-8 seed. Then the injuries set in. Wall and Nene who were both critical to their expected success missed a bunch of time. Poor Bradley Beal was put in the position of leading this team before he was truly ready. It is important to note that this team had the worst luck of any team last season; losing a full six games more than their point diefferential indicated. That of course may have been intentional.

Had they been healthy, I think 40-45 would have been just about right for that roster.

This Year

 

  • Projected Wins: 37.7
  • Conference Rank: 9
  • % Playoffs: 46.3
Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
John Wall 1.0 2957 23 .120 7.4
Bradley Beal 2.1 2438 20 .114 5.8
Otto Porter 3.0 2230 20 .087 4.0
Nene Hilario 4.5 2284 31 .138 6.6
Kevin Seraphin 4.9 1812 24 -.039 -1.5
Trevor Ariza 2.9 1564 28 .117 3.8
Emeka Okafor 5.0 1370 31 .134 3.8
Martell Webster 2.6 1195 27 .127 3.2
Trevor Booker 4.1 977 26 .169 3.4
Jan Vesely 4.0 792 23 .097 1.6
Eric Maynor 1.3 669 26 .023 .3
Garrett Temple 1.8 522 27 .068 .7
Al Harrington 4.5 393 33 -.077 -.6
Chris Singleton 3.4 191 24 .050 .2
Glen Rice 3.0 279 30 .055 .3

Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 34.6 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 -.2 WP (roster changes)
  • 5.2 WP (age/experience)

I was set to call this team a borderline playoff team. That's what the chart above shows Then Okafor went down. I was all set to bemoan the fact that this team was doomed to be below .500 for lack of a center because of the Okafor injury and they went out an got basically an equivalent center in Gortat for him. And thus, we got to have fun with yet another projection for the Wizards. Has Gortat helped out?

This Year Take 2 after Gortat

  • Projected Wins: 40.7
  • Conference Rank: 7
  • % Playoffs: 55%
Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
John Wall 1.0 2881 23 .120 7.2
Martin Gortat   5.0 2552 29 .147 7.8
Bradley Beal 2.1 2376 20 .114 5.7
Nene Hilario 4.5 2226 31 .138 7.1
Otto Porter 3.0 .087 20 .087 3.4
Kevin Seraphin 4.9 772 24 -.039 -.6
Trevor Ariza 2.9 1524 28 .117 3.7
Martell Webster 2.6 1335 27 .127 3.5
Kendall Marshall 1.3 952 22 .043 .9
Trevor Booker 4.1 1164 26 .169 4.1
Jan Vesely 4.0 652 23 .097 1.3
Shannon Brown 2.3 509 28 .028 .3
Eric Maynor 1.3 384 26 .023 .2
Garrett Temple 1.8 271 27 .068 .4
Malcolm Lee 1.0 100 30 .071 .4

Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 37.2 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 -9.6 WP (roster changes)
  •   7.1 WP (age/experience)

I'm having to make some educted guesses as to the final shape of the roster but the Gortat trade is enough to solidly puth this Wizards team in the 5-8 seed conversation barring any other injuries. They also have a lot of potential given that they have some very young players in their core group (Wall, Beal and Porter). If one of these young bucks makes the jump this team is a serious threat to go 45 wins or over.

The Wrap

Wizards Take 3
Player Team Age Pos Pos Rot MPG Min Simple WP48 Simple Wins
John Wall WAS 23 1.0 1 1 36.9 3027 0.120 7.6
Bradley Beal WAS 20 2.1 2 2 30.4 2497 0.114 5.9
Marcin Gortat WAS 29 5.0 5 3 32.7 2682 0.147 8.2
Nene Hilario WAS 31 4.5 5 4 28.5 2339 0.154 7.5
Otto Porter WAS 20 3.0 3 5 24.3 1992 0.087 3.6
Trevor Ariza WAS 28 2.9 3 6 19.5 1601 0.117 3.9
Martell Webster WAS 27 2.6 3 7 17.1 1403 0.127 3.7
Trevor Booker WAS 26 4.1 4 8 14.9 1223 0.169 4.3
Kevin Seraphin WAS 24 4.9 5 10 9.9 811 -0.039 -0.7
Jan Vesely WAS 23 4.0 4 11 8.4 685 0.097 1.4
Eric Maynor WAS 26 1.3 1 12 6.5 534 0.023 0.3
Garrett Temple WAS 27 1.8 2 13 4.9 403 0.068 0.6
Al Harrington WAS 33 4.5 4 14 3.5 285 -0.077 -0.5
Glen Rice WAS 23 3.0 3 15 2.4 196 0.055 0.2
Simple Wins 46.1
Full Model Wins 43.7
Under Prob Over Prob Div odds #1 Seed Top #4 Seed Playoffs
43.8% 56.2% 10.7% 7.6% 32.7% 66.7%
                   

Get bullish in DC.

Why so bullish about Seraphin? I mean, I can see the idea that last year was a horrible fluke AND that he'll never see 15 shots per 36 in his career again, but given that last year's sample is about 50% larger than the year prior, and that his rookie year looked like last year, I'd be worried.

My god, I was wondering how he was so bad last year, and yikes.
Per 36, he's taking more than 15 shots on 46% shooting, pulling just 7 rebounds, and dropping 2.7 TOs and 4.4 fouls. I know they had injury problems, but how was he taking all those minutes from Vesely and Booker?
I'd be a little more bullish on Gortat - http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/compare?utf8=%E2%9C%93&player_ids%5B%5D=266&career=1 who had a single down year. Last year, he was never used as the dive man in the PnR because Dragic can't really run it (more pick and pop guy) and if he sees some good looks, he'll shoot more at a more efficient rate.

He also saw his rebounding rate drop, as the Suns D was woeful and he was consistently out of position covering the likes of Scola (ouch) and Beasley (double ouch).

I think Tat will see a return to at least his worst career numbers of around .172.
I don't think Otto Porter is going to get more minutes than the established veterans Ariza and Webster given their "playoff mentality". They probably should gain some wins on that tradeoff too.

Sign in to write a comment.