Washington Wizards 2014-2015 Season Review: By the Numbers


Washington Wizards 2014-2015 Season Review

After 82 grueling games that saw most of us lose our patience more than a few times, the 2014-15 regular season is complete and the NBA playoffs are less than 48 hours away from commencement.

While the Washington Wizards failed to meet certain benchmarks set out back in October, Washington did clinch its 2nd consecutive playoff berth and its most wins since 1978-79.

The Wizards will be matched up with the Toronto Raptors in the 4-5 showdown, bringing on a team that has had its equal share of late season struggles but has been victorious in 6 of its last 7 meetings vs. the good guys over the last two years (AKA the most recent period of relevance for either franchise).

At this point, we are well aware of the storylines facing the Washington Wizards; from the baffling offensive philosophy to the poorly constructed roster, Washington has its share of flaws.

There are also several positives, namely a star-laden backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal, and key veterans like Paul Pierce and Marcin Gortat filling roles as locker room leaders and on-court producers.

Readers will be inundated with preview material from here to the CN Tower between now and Saturday, both on this site as well as the several other excellent Wizards blogs. So before we look ahead at an upcoming hard-fought series, let’s take a moment to look back on the season that was.

Below are some key numbers and statistics to explain where we’ve been and how we got here. There’s a little bit of good, a little bit of bad, and at the very least a little bit of conversation fodder heading into the weekend.


As A Team

46: As in, the number of wins the Washington Wizards managed to eke out by season’s end.

As mentioned, this was their highest total in 36 years, which is either cause for praise for this current roster or a clear sign to immediately switch allegiances to another team. The former won’t be very likely though, seeing as there were several points in the season when winning under 50 games seemed implausible.

After rattling off 31 wins in their first 46 games, Washington finished the year a lowly 15-18, amidst a tougher schedule and declining play. (ESPN.com)

93.7: The number of possessions per 48 minutes that the Washington Wizards average, good for 18th place in the league.

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The irony is that any analysis of Washington’s gameplan usually starts with the idea of a ‘fast paced attack behind John Wall and Bradley Beal’.

While this may certainly be true in spurts, especially when the Wizards can run off of a defensive rebound, more often than not the goal is to pound the rock for 15 seconds, dump it into the post to an incapable big man and watch yet another fade away 12-footer go awry. (Basketball-Reference.com)

103.0: Washington’s Defensive Rating, calculated by the estimated number of points given up per 100 possessions.

This is the Washington Wizards’ 3rd consecutive year in the top-10 defensively, which is extremely impressive considering the departures of two All-NBA level defenders the last two off-seasons (Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza).

For all of the flak that Wittman takes, him and Don Newman have constructed a great defensive scheme, starting with Wall’s ball pressure and ending with Gortat’s sturdy rim protection. (Basketball-Reference.com)

0.192: The number of free throws Washington earned per field goal attempt it hoisted up.

The Washington Wizards finished 23rd in the league in this category and the combination of a reluctance to shoot 3s with a lack of aggression in attacking the basket to generate trips to the charity stripe really hurt the team when it embarked on one of those patented 5 minute dry spells that turned a 3 point lead into a 12 point deficit. (Basketball-Reference.com)

29: The Wizards were victorious 29 times at the Phone Booth this season!

After winning just 22 games in Chinatown last year and holding the dubious distinction of going winless in the playoffs, the Wizards were determined to regain home-court advantage.

Fans didn’t exactly pack the Verizon Center to the brim (13th in overall attendance, 18th in percent capacity), but Washington played much better at home and knocked off several of the top teams in the NBA.

Protecting this floor will be critical vs. Toronto. Drake and his minions provide a raucous atmosphere at Air Canada Centre and are known to be riled up by expletive-laden pep rallies by the GM. (ESPN)

As Individual Players

40.3%: This one is depressing.

That number represents the percentage of Bradley Beal’s field goals that were attempted between 10 feet and the 3 point line.

He shot a putrid 34.4% on those attempts, resulting in frustration that even his fantastic Eastern Motors commercial can’t abate.

Let’s just move on. (Basketball-Reference.com)

12.07: John Wall’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) was good enough for 10th place in the league this season.

Wall’s game is not as beloved by the advanced stats gurus as someone like Steph Curry or Chris Paul so I made it my mission to look far and wide for one that captured his value to this team.

He’s never going to be the offensive savant that a few others at his position are, but with his passing vision and defensive prowess, Wall has graded out as a top-5 point guard all season. (ESPN.com)

4.4: Otto Porter’s average speed this season in miles per hour, tied with Beal for fastest on the team.

Porter was drafted to be the perfect complement to the ball-dominant backcourt because he could cut towards the basket and run in transition.

So far, he’s spent the first two years of his career mostly running to stay out of Randy Wittman’s doghouse but he can clearly be a contributor in the open floor with his length and finishing ability (hitting 75% of shots within 3 feet). (NBA.com)

47.6%: Kevin Seraphin has staked his claim as the Washington Wizards’ best rim protector, whether you like it or not.

KS Life leads the team in opponent’s FG% at the rim, which is why he sees floor time despite having two moves in his repertoire; 1) hook shot and 2) fake pass followed by a hook shot.

Seraphin is an unrestricted free agent this summer and could see mid-level money coming his way by some unsuspecting team.

Let’s hope they make space in the locker room for Snakey. (NBA.com)

33.5%: For all those who are convinced Nene gives minimal effort on the glass, this stat is for you.

We know he only averages 5.1 rebounds per game, but the big Brazilian also graded out last amongst the Washington Wizards bigs in contested rebound percentage.

Yes, the case that can be stated that he boxes out to let other players collect the boards but too often he stands there while his opponent squeezes in front of him.

This is yet another piece of evidence to confirm a largely disappointing season for Nene. (NBA.com)


1: Regular seasons left till the #KD2DC movement becomes a true national phenomenon!

After punting on contention for 2 seasons, the front office is just 15 months away from the most monumental free agency in franchise history.

Time to set aside what you’re doing, build the best PowerPoint/PhotoShop/iMovie project you can come up with to help the cause of bringing Durant home. (Every Wizards Twitter Account Imaginible)

Next: Why Containing Lou Williams Will Be Key For Washington