Quick take: Spurs (11-3) vs. Wizards (0-11)
November 19, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Chris Singleton (31) battles with Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) for the ball in the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
The Spurs will win if: They remember to show up, basically.
The Spurs will lose if: For all of their obvious struggles, the Wizards defense has been strikingly proficient defensively. Currently in the top 10 in both opponents effective field goal percentage (.476, eighth) and turnover percentage (15.1, ninth), the Wizards have managed to prevent opponents from completely dismantling their last-ranked offense. Their wing core of Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton average 4.3 steals per game alone, making it all the more remarkable that they score nearly 10 points per 100 possessions less than the average NBA team.
X-Factor: Chris Singleton isn’t even cracking the top 10 in his own team in minutes per game. But if his current production holds, the Wizards may be pressed to give the second-year forward extra playing time.
Singleton, in a smidgen under 16 minutes per game, is in the top five in the team in the following statistical categories: true shooting percentage (fifth), rebounding percentage (third), steal percentage (fourth), turnover percentage (fourth), offensive rating (fourth) and defensive rating (fourth).
So what does this all mean? That Singleton, when compared to his teammates, is a generally well-rounded player. His efficiency isn’t great — average, even — but neither is that of the Wizards.
The last bit of damning evidence in his favor: Washington is seven points per 100 possessions better with Singleton and their defensive rebounding improves to what would be a league-high over the course of the season.
This may turn out to be statistical noise. Sample size, as always, should be put into context. But it wouldn’t hurt to tinker with the rotation to include Singleton and find out.