DC Council Game 10: Wizards 64 at Bulls 78: How Low Can You Go? The Wizards Limbo In Chicago | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 10: Wizards 64 at Bulls 78: How Low Can You Go? The Wizards Limbo In Chicago

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Updated: January 12, 2012

[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 10 contributors over television screen: Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend, and Kyle Weidie. Oh, and you can now find our stuff on Google+. Go ahead and circle Truth About It.]

Score

Washington Wizards 64 vs. Chicago Bulls 78 [box score]

STAT OF THE GAME:

The Wizards had their worst shooting night of the season (31-percent); appropriately, given the state of affairs in Washington, the Wizards also scored an all-time franchise low 64 points against a Chicago Bulls team without M.V.P. Derrick Rose (turf toe), while the Wizards endured without sometimes team captain Andray Blatche (a shoulder).

Scene of the Game

4th Quarter Shot Chart.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie

<***> Rating the Starting 5, Bench & Coach out of 3 stars.

John Wall

John Wall

RASHAD MOBLEY: One of the biggest complaints Wizards fans and writers have had with JaVale McGee during his tenure in D.C. is that he’s high on style and low on substance. He’ll block a key shot, execute the perfect hook shot, or catch an alley-oop on one end of the floor, and then he’ll give it right back with a goaltend, quick fouls or a defensive lapse.  If McGee were a rookie, these things could be overlooked, but in year four, it’s a problem. Unfortunately, John Wall is easing into this category as well. He gives a baseline to baseline layups, impressive dunks, and the occasional pass that’s perfectly delivered. But of late, his full court drives are ending with missed layups, he’s missing open jumpers, and in Chicago, he was badly outplayed by John Lucas III, who coming into last night’s game, had played 69 career NBA games (no starts) in a seven year pro career.  Whether it’s bad summer league habits like Flip Saunders hinted at recently, or just an old-fashioned slump, the 2011-2012 healthy version of John Wall is nowhere near as good as the banged up rookie we saw last season.
1 Star (out of 3)
   
TOWNSEND: John Wall’s is shooting 21.4 percent between 3-9 feet (down 9.1-percent from 2010-11), just 20 percent from 10-15 feet (8-percent lower than his rookie average), 22 percent from 16-23 feet (again, down 8-percent), and he has yet to make a three-pointer. His percentage at the rim has dipped more than 9-percent, too, now at 50.8-percent. What happened?
1 Star
   
WEIDIE: You know, Wall racked up some assists in stretches — eight for the game, but zero after the 11:47 mark of the fourth quarter — and had a nice dunk over John Lucas, but otherwise, the guy Wall dunked on got the headlines. Wall was nonexistent for more minutes than he wasn’t, but did get four rebounds and worked hard on defense, I think.
1 Star
   
 

TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

   

Nick Young

Nick Young

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Nick Young played terribly—again. Young had more turnovers (3) than made shots (2), and he clearly lacks both the handles and the passing ability to manage double-teams. But that didn’t stop Young from trying to make up for lost possessions by forcing (and missing) fadeaways from all over the court. Ronnie Brewer bothered Young early, Kyle Korver tore him apart late, and his defensive failures continued to hurt the Wizards when matched up against Bulls guard John Lucas III, who has played in four professional basketball leagues in three different countries and for eight teams in just 12 years. Young isn’t special, but Washington would be in far more dire straits had another team (like Chicago) signed Nick Young to a big-money deal. *shudder*
0.25 Star (out of 3)
   
MOBLEY: We know that Nick Young is a laid back guy who likes to smile.  But if I were going up against a team that had ample opportunity to sign me to an offer sheet this summer, but chose to sign a player who is seven years older than I am in Richard Hamilton, I would come out trying to break Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record. Nick decided not to show up at all.
0.5 Stars
   
WEIDIE: I feel more and more of Nick’s recent success should be credited to Flip Saunders. He can score in a number of ways, but he’s absolutely at his best when his points come within the system. Hence, Young is a system player and no where close to worth the $9 million per season that he wanted this past summer.
0.25 Star
   
 

TOTAL: 1 out of 9 stars

   

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Chris Singleton gets it. He has a great basketball IQ. To save a possession, Singleton will throw the ball off your leg before falling out of bounds, and he’ll crash the glass when he sees an opponent rising for a shot. Singleton does a great job finding space in transition, making good cuts and creating easy scoring opportunities at the basket.  Early in last night’s contest, Singleton was pulling down rebounds over Joakim Noah, which was an unexpected surprise. He really disrupted Luol Deng’s game, too; Deng looked like he was forcing the action every time he went at Singleton on offense. While Deng finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds—put a body on him, rookie!—he did miss 17 of his shots. Give credit where credit is due.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
   
MOBLEY: Singleton appears to be a stud on the defensive end of the floor, and any offensive production he brings to the table is a plus. Against Chicago, Singleton was the only Wizards player to shoot over 50-percent (4-7 from the field), but he curiously only played 26 minutes.
1.5 Stars
   
WEIDIE: Chris Singleton was solid enough to keep on starting.
1.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

   

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: I love Trevor Booker because he appears to be everything Andray Blatche is not.  He plays hard defense, he makes quick, decisive moves on offense, he’s in shape, and he plays with a mean streak. Up until Wednesday night, the more time Booker received, the better he played, and I was looking forward to seeing him go toe to toe with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson–two hustle guys in their own right.  Booker put up decent numbers (8 points and 10 rebounds), and I didn’t even mind that Taj Gibson seemed to outplay him at times.  But I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t miss the injured Blatche and the 20-25 points he could have put up against this Bulls front line.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
   
TOWNSEND: Undersized and, at times, overmatched, but left it all on the floor as usual. Booker was one of only four players to record double-digit rebounds in Chicago last night.
2 Stars
   
WEIDIE: Booker definitely took some lumps, such as communication on screens and getting bodied by Carlos Boozer a couple times. His jumper was a bit off, 4-10 FGs, but he was otherwise solid, gnarly on the boards in stretches (10 total, three offensive), and the sight of him taking a jumper, even in missing, is much better than watching Blatche do the same.
1.75 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

   

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

KYLE WEIDIE: McGee still needs to work on his intelligent design when it comes to offense past natural athleticism. He went 5-13 from the field, but two of those were hook shots and two of those were jumpers. Don’t get me wrong, I love McGee’s hook shot and his step-in dribble jumpers didn’t look bad, but otherwise, he really needs to be finishing more around the rim. But more encouraging than McGee’s 14 rebounds, five offensive, and five blocked shots against the Bulls is the fact that he’s making less and less unintelligent mistakes. He’s focusing more. His conditioning is slowly getting better. People have long waited for more consistent signs of McGee coming around, they’ve been getting more than just a peep show recently.
2 Stars (out of 3)
   
MOBLEY: McGee did what a center not named Dwight Howard is supposed to do.  He protected the basket (5 blocks), he did his best to control the boards (14 rebounds), and he scored when he had an advantage (10 points).  The goal-tending didn’t even bother me tonight.
2 Stars
   
TOWNSEND: JaVale McGee was a dominating figure in the paint last night, grabbing 14 rebounds and scoring double-digit points on offense with an erratic combination of post moves, hook shots and even one-dribble pull-up jumpers. JaVale McGee’s five blocks pushed him beyond 400 for his career.
2.75 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 6.75 out of 9 stars

   

The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: When the starters are facing the second game of a back-to-back, it is the bench’s job to show the coach that they can play long, productive minutes. This allows the starters to conserve energy until the decisive fourth quarter. Given that on this night the Wizards bench was facing a Bulls bench playing their third game in three nights, the advantage should have been clear cut. Instead, the Wizards bench was outscored 31-22 and out-rebounded 26-15.  Vesely was a non-factor, Shelvin Mack couldn’t lift a struggling John Wall, and Rashard Lewis settled right back into his mediocre self.  Jordan Crawford scored 14 points, but I don’t feel good about complimenting a player who guns the ball, does not make good basketball plays, and didn’t give the ball up to Trevor Booker on a fastbreak.
1 Star (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
   
TOWNSEND: The Wizards bench made seven of 30 shots. Shelvin Mack, Jordan Crawford, Rashard Lewis, Jan Vesely, and Kevin Seraphin had a combined plus/minus of minus-68. Nothing to see here; move along!
0.5 Star
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
   
WEIDIE: Not one of them played very well. Jordan Crawford did go 3-4 from deep, but his shot selection still kills his team. Jan Vesely can move well, but can’t muscle well. He got welcomed to the league on several occaisions by Taj Gibson’s aggression.
0.75 Star
  Sub Man of the Game: Andray Blatche’s DNP, shoulder
   
 

BENCH TOTAL: 2.25 out of 9 stars

   

The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

KYLE WEIDIE: Flip stuck with his starting lineup of Wall, Young, Singleton, Booker and McGee, so he gets credit for that. Otherwise, I’m at a loss of what to say about the coach. His team is simply not good. They played well for most of the night, but predictably fell apart in the game’s last five minutes or so. Last year Mike Wise of the Washington Post profiled Saunders, and in the piece the coach compared teaching his players to pounding rocks. “It’s like that story about the rock, you know [...] the one where you keep pounding and pounding and pounding that rock. After 200 times, nothing happens. And you think that’s it. And then you hit it the 201st time and you start to see a crack. And hopefully, the older they get, the stinker games become less and less.” If I had to guess, Flip and his staff are only on pound 100, which means look forward to rooting for the Wizards in two more NBA Draft Lotteries, in the least.
1 Star (out of 3)
   
MOBLEY: He gets kudos for sticking with the same starting lineup that delivered him his first victory of the season. But Saunders also underused Singleton, and he continues to fall short in attempts to motivate John Wall.  That’s starting to become a huge problem.
1 Star
   
TOWNSEND: This was a game that Flip Saunders would love to forget. Saunders’ most notable moment was ripping the refs for “missing” a foul on Rashard Lewis. The head coach was hit with a technical foul, and Kyle Korver capitalized on the opportunity by making the free throw at the other end. W-w-wizardry!
0.75 Star
   
 

COACH TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

   

Seen on the Screen

w/ Kyle Weidie

John Lucas III said he didn’t know he’d be starting for M.V.P. Derrick Rose until he was driving to the arena, said the last time he put up 28 shots in a game was the summer league. Bet he didn’t imagine he’d make a 2010 No. 1 NBA Draft pick jealous either.

John Lucas III.

Top Tweets

@CDuB415: I wonder if one day Nick Young will threaten to swallow our sun? #blackhole #Wizards

@wzzntzz: Flip in timeout huddle diagrammin’ fullt ct press defense against JCrawford

@DCProBall: If John Lucas III is flirting with a triple double what would Rose be doing ?

Slept-On Moment

  • MOBLEY: Derrick Rose did not play on Wednesday night because of a turf toe injury.  He hurt his toe the previous night against Minnesota and Ricky Rubio, but he played through it, made a statement against the rookie guard and led his team to victory–something John Wall could not do against Rubio and the T-Wolves.  Rose’s replacement was John Lucas III, and in his first start ever, he scored a career-high 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out eight assists with only two turnovers.  Wall couldn’t outplay him either.  So if you’re scoring at home, Wall didn’t get to play against Rose, and was outplayed by a rookie and an NBA journeyman.  But he had this dunk though, so I suppose it’s OK (but not really).
  • TOWNSEND: Derrick Rose was out with a toe injury—or was it a flexion sprain?—but it hardly mattered against the one-win Wizards. Get John Lucas on the court and he’s trouble: last night, he messed around and almost had a triple-double. The journeyman guard played virtually the entire game, putting up 25 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
  • WEIDIE: Not sure how you can sleep on moments like this, but this game log sequence in the fourth quarter was the stretch that effectively ended the game… Five Chicago misses and five Chicago offensive rebounds while holding a nine point lead:
    • 3:25   64-73 Kyle Korver misses 6-foot jumper
    • 3:23   64-73 Kyle Korver offensive rebound
    • 3:02   64-73 Luol Deng misses jumper
    • 3:01   64-73 Omer Asik offensive rebound
    • 2:40   64-73 John Lucas misses 20-foot jumper
    • 2:38   64-73 Luol Deng offensive rebound
    • 2:20   64-73 Kyle Korver misses 24-foot three point jumper
    • 2:18   64-73 Omer Asik misses tip shot
    • 2:18   64-73 Omer Asik offensive rebound
    • 2:16   64-73 Kyle Korver offensive rebound

End Scene

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

“If he’s not careful he’s going to work himself into an official starting spot.”

—Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz on Chris Singleton

Sittin’.

 [screen shot via Comcast]



  • Ayo Obayomi

    You know, the team played terribly (like always), but I have always noticed a strong hatred of Nick Young on this site. He hasn’t been shooting well, but it’s funny how he almost always has a positive +/- at the end of the game. Can you at least admit that he plays solid D? I like Wall, but it is HIM who is usually getting destroyed by other PGs and failing on O.

    Singleton, Booker, and McGee were bright spots as usual, but there needs to be another consistent shot creator in the starting lineup. As it stands, the only person who can score well is your favorite whipping boy, but he can’t handle double teams, so someone else needs to take the load. Hopefully, it will be Wall.

  • http://www.truthaboutit.net/ Kyle Weidie

    I will totally admit that Young has improved greatly at one-on-one defense — getting through screens, contesting shots — but his team and help defense still leaves a lot of be desired.

    But his passing, or lack thereof, it’s killing his potential. Hopefully Young improves as this funky start to a season continues, but so far, he’s not showing much that he didn’t show last season.

  • Michael

    Jordan Crawford had the lowest +/- of anyone on the team last night. I know it feels like I’m beating a dead horse with my Crawford hate every day, but the guy is awful and I completely disagree that he was the “sub of the game” even if the standard wasn’t very high.

    Also, John Wall sucks. Let’s just call it what it is. If he can’t outplay John Lucas, who wasn’t even that great for the Shanghai Sharks last season, then why are we giving him so many minutes? Reebok needs to give him a call and make it clear that they aren’t paying him $25 million to go out and suck it up every night. You don’t sell shoes going 4 for 13 with 4 turnovers against a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team. I really can’t even root for this guy anymore. I find more pleasure in him taking 1-on-3 throwing up a missed layup off the backboard than I do watching him make the shot. Something needs to change with this guy. You can’t build a franchise around a guy playing like this.

    On the bright side, I did enjoy the Booker-Singleton starting line-up. Although, as much as I like Booker, you can’t start him if you want to be a title contender. I don’t think we can be successful with a 6’7 PF which seems to be counter what most successful teams have at their power forward position as of late. So I view the PF position still as a position of need.

  • Derwin

    Can you give Flip another point for injuring Blatche’s shoulder during pre-game warmups earlier this week?

    I’d have to say even with the mental lapses during our games, we seem to have an above average defense and that is encouraging.

    One of our main issues on offense is lack of a true 3 point specialist. Young is our only shooter who is shooting at a decent % and he gets doubled. Defenses can simply crowd the driving lanes to limit the effectiveness of Wall and laugh as we miss outside shots and fail to rebound. We don’t have big assist numbers right now but I suspect a lot of this is a result of us having the lowest shooting % in the NBA.

    When those lanes are crowded, Wall gets a lot of offensive fouls trying to force the issue. We shoot outside shots, which is what you’re supposed to do in those situations. But we suck at shooting. It also makes it a lot harder to get offensive rebounds because those guys are already in the paint. Can Singleton be that guy who stretches opposing defenses?

  • http://www.truthaboutit.net/ Kyle Weidie

    Michael: Let’s not give up on John Wall just yet, although he’s been very disappointing and has seemingly taken a step back.

    With Crawford… What can you do? At least Flip stopping trying to convert him into a hybrid point guard… #Optimism

    And yes, Booker is not a career starter… he’s a really solid role player. But it’s better that he start now, over Blatche… and yes, I’ve been screaming that the Wizards need a PF (AND SHOOTERS!) for a while now.

    Singleton, on the other hand, with the right team around him, could be a career starter. His offensive confidence this season, although a work in progress, has been a pleasant surprise.

  • nich obert

    I think that Booker can be a good starting PF in this league. Yes, he’s undersized but if Javale McGee is the 5 Booker seems like a good compliment- a guy who can’t easily be pushed around yet also often seems like the smartest player on the floor for DC. If anybody on the Wizards was interested in this crazy newfangled concept called ‘ball movement’ I think we’d be seeing Booker get a lot more points in the flow of the game.

    And laaaawd it’s frustrating watching guys like Crawford, Young and Wall neglect the Bookers, Singletons and (vs Toronto at least) Veselys on the break.

  • Chris

    That’s a joke about Nick Young playing solid defense, right? Seriously, don’t even kid around about that. He’s a horrible, horrible defender.

    Right from the start of the game, the game’s first basket: Nick Young blatantly gives up on chasing his man through screens along the baseline and gives up a wide open 18-foot jumper. He steps up his energy when he’s guarding the ball-handler one-on-one, but in virtually all other situations, he’s a lazy, sloppy defender with no tenacity or pride whatsoever.

    And the decisive sequence from this game was the 2 minute period of the fourth when Jordan Crawford more or less decided to kill the Wizards with disastrous play. Gives up chasing Kyle Korver through screens on the left wing, Korver buries a rhythm jumper. Crawford heists an ill-advised, contested 20-footer. Seconds later, he fails to pass the ball in transition and forces a brutal attempt at the basket.

    John Wall is very obviously not the problem. The team simply has a low basketball IQ and relies on a couple of boneheads for scoring at the two. But Wall pushes the tempo, defends hard, and passes well. Once he learns to take the 12-15 foot jumpers he can get off the dribble at any time, his scoring will pick up. He’ll be just fine.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    Chris: Do you watch basketball? If Young is such a horrible defender, why does the team always lose ground when he comes out for Crawford? Why does he usually have a positive +/- when the Wizards get clowned? He’s not as good on D as Singleton or Booker obviously, but he is still a better defender than most of the people on the team. And now you’re saying Wall isn’t the problem? Wall is one of the biggest problems. If you actually watched games, you would see that Wall has a few spots of good D and mostly below average D. He needs to slow down more often and not just charge into the lane and hope for a call. The D keys on Young because he’s the only one who can do anything, so since he sucks at getting out of double teams, he forces bad shots or takes time getting rid of the ball. If Wall plays much better, then everyone else will play better because there will be another threat on the floor.

    The starting lineup can be very good on D, but they can’t score unless Wall finally starts playing well. That will make McGee play even better and Young get free shots. Singleton will get even more open threes as well.

  • Robert

    agree with Ayo. Truly Embarrassing for Wall.