The Washington Post

Trevor Ariza is the MVP of Wizards’ playoff series

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards now have a 3-1 series lead on the Chicago Bulls.

How about Trevor Ariza?

According to, Ariza’s Game 4 performance gave him the highest total Win Probability Added — an offensive metric that expresses how much a player’s production influences a team’s chances at winning– for the game (plus-22.7 percent). In addition, Ariza had the highest total Game 4 Clutch Win Probability Added (plus-1.5 percent) as well.


His four of his six three-pointers came from the above the break with two more coming on the wings.

Ariza is also a close second on the team to John Wall in terms of total “Kitchen Sink” win probability added, which includes rebounds, assists blocks and steals.

Most importantly, Ariza’s performance makes Washington the favorite to win the series, but not necessarily Game 5. According to WhoWins, the higher seed (Chicago in this case) has a 16-1 record in Game 5 when trailing 3-1 in a first-round series, however, the lower seed with a 3-1 lead has won the first-round series 88.2 percent of the time (15-2 series record).

“Each game is harder and harder,” said Wizards Coach Randy Wittman. The hardest game we’ve yet to play. Closing out a series is hard. It’s hard.”

Ariza did make it a little bit easier.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.



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Neil Greenberg · April 28, 2014