The Atlanta Hawks have said goodbye to four of the five starters from their 60-win team two seasons ago, but are still back in the playoffs for the 10th straight season and still have a chance of advancing to the conference semifinals for the sixth time in that stretch.
The Washington Wizards are back in the postseason after a one-year absence, with their most wins since they made back-to-back trips to The Finals in the late 70s. It's matchup between a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense, as well as a rematch of the 2015 conference semifinals series won by the Hawks in six games. This time, the Wizards will have home-court advantage and, more importantly, a healthy John Wall.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 4-5 series in the East, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
Washington Wizards (49-33)
Pace: 99.7 (11)
OffRtg: 108.5 (9)
DefRtg: 106.9 (20)
NetRtg: +1.6 (9)
- Scored 5.5 more points per 100 possessions than they did last season. Only Denver (7.3) and Houston (6.3) had bigger increases in OffRtg.
- One of four teams (Cleveland, Golden State and the Clippers were the others) that ranked in the top 10 in field goal percentage in the paint (10th), from mid-range (third), and from 3-point range (eighth).
- Were the league's best team in the first six minutes of the first quarter, outscoring their opponents by 14.4 points per 100 possessions. Among playoff teams, the Hawks were the worst in the first six minutes of the first quarter, getting outscored by 4.2 points per 100 possessions. (Seven non-playoff teams were worse.)
- Allowed only 1.02 points per possession in transition, the best mark in the league.
- Starting lineup played 467 more minutes (1,347) than any other lineup in the league. None of the their starters missed more than 6 games, but they were also second in minutes per game (19.5) among lineups that played at least 25 games together.
- Outscored their opponents by 6.1 points per 100 possessions in 2,362 minutes with both John Wall and Bradley Beal on the floor, and by 1.5 points per 100 possessions in 322 minutes with Beal on the floor without Wall. But they were outscored by 7.1 points per 100 possessions in 474 minutes with Wall on the floor without Beal and by 6.7 points per 100 possessions in 810 minutes with neither on the floor.
- Before the break, they had the league's third worst aggregate bench NetRtg at minus-5.8. After the break (and trading for Bojan Bogdanovic), they had the league's 10th best NetRtg at plus-0.4.
- Ranked 27th defensively after the All-Star break, allowing 110.7 points per 100 possessions, which was 5.7 more than they allowed before the break. Only Memphis (+6.0) saw a bigger increase in DefRtg after the break.
- Wall led the league with 299 total deflections. He also led the league with 44 clutch-time assists, 13 more than any other player.
- Marcin Gortat led the league with 6.2 screen assists per game.
- Beal had an effective field goal percentage of 64.8 percent in the first quarter, the best mark among 96 players who took at least 200 first-quarter shots. He also had the fourth best fourth-quarter effective field goal percentage (minimum 200 FGA).
- Jason Smith (122-for-240) was the only player in the league who shot 50 percent or better on at least 200 shots from outside the paint.
- One of three teams (all in the East) that finished with a winning record and a negative point differential. Only Orlando had a bigger differential between their actual win total and their "expected" wins (based on point differential). The Hawks had a point differential of a 38-44 team.
- Were 4.9 points per 100 possessions worse than they were last season (plus-4.1 NetRtg). Only Oklahoma City (7.0) suffered a bigger NetRtg drop-off.
- Were only 1.8 points per 100 possessions better at home (plus-0.1) than they were on the road (minus-1.7). That was the smallest home-road NetRtg differential in the league.
- Took 30.9 percent of their shots from 3-point range, down from 33.6 percent last season. Only Phoenix (-4.6 percent) and Detroit (-4.0 percent) saw bigger drops in 3PA/FGA than the Hawks (-2.7 percent).
- Allowed their opponents to get only 28.5 percent of their shots from the restricted area, the second lowest rate in the league and down from 32.8 percent last season. That was the biggest reduction in the league.
- Dennis Schroder, Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard played with 14 different pairs of guards/wings. Among those that played at least 100 minutes with the three full-time starters, the best pair, by far, was Tim Hardaway Jr. and Thabo Sefolosha. That five-man unit outscored its opponents by 27.3 points per 100 possessions.
- Schroder ranked second in the league with 12.3 drives per game.
- According to Synergy play-type tracking, Howard scored 1.18 points per possession as a roll man (1.3 possessions per game) and 0.84 points per possession on post-ups (3.7 possessions per game). He was one of four players to shoot better than 70 percent on at least 300 shots in the restricted area.
- Millsap allowed 0.59 points per possession when defending post-ups, the best mark among 28 players who defended at least 100.
- Ersan Ilyasova led the league with 36 drawn charges.
Season series:Wizards won 3-1 (2-0 in Washington)
Oct. 27 @ ATL - Hawks 114, Wizards 99
Nov. 4 @ WAS - Wizards 95, Hawks 92
Jan. 27 @ ATL - Wizards 112, Hawks 86
Mar. 22 @ WAS - Wizards 104, Hawks 100
- Bojan Bogdanovic and Brandon Jennings were with the Wizards for only the final meeting. The Hawks had Ersan Ilyasova for only the final meeting, which Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore both missed.
- 105.4 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes was the third fastest pace for season series between Eastern Conference teams. The only matchups that were faster were Brooklyn-Cleveland (107.3) and Atlanta-Brooklyn (106.0).
- Combined OffRtg of 95.1 was the seventh lowest of all 450 season series and the lowest among playoff teams in the same conference. The Hawks were the only Eastern Conference team that held the Wizards under a point per possession this season.
- The Wizards committed 19 or more turnovers 11 times this season. Three of those 11 games were against the Hawks.
- Wall's 35 assists were the most for any player against the Hawks this season.
- According to SportVU, Schroder shot 4-for-16 (0-for-8 from 3-point range) with Wall defending him and 17-for-39 (3-for-7) otherwise.
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