DC Council Game 12: Wizards 90 vs. Sixers 103: Turnover Township | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 12: Wizards 90 vs. Sixers 103: Turnover Township

Updated: January 16, 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 12 contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie with first-hand coverage and John Converse Townsend from watching on T.V.]


Washington Wizards 90 vs. Philadelphia 76ers 103 [box score]


Washington only allowed 27 Philadelphia points off of 18 team turnovers. The night before, the Sixers scored 36 points off 19 Washington turnovers. So, minimal improvement versus a tough Philly team that really shares the ball well and makes opponents pay for giving the ball away, but still, a glaring and perhaps the largest barrier to Washington’s success.

Scene of the Game

The process continues…

Flip Saunders still coaching Nick Young after the final buzzer sounds.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, John Converse Townsend
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

ADAM McGINNIS: Near the tunnel toward the Wizards locker room, autograph seekers line up in the stands waiting for players to finish their pre-game shoot around and hopefully land a prized signature or picture. The ironic twist is the two players who always stop are the most disliked (Andray Blatche) and liked (John Wall) by the Washington fan base. When Wall was penning every memento placed in front of him before Saturday night’s game, he did so in an emotionless, robotic-like state. There were no smiles or funny banter, but he also did not turn down any request. This is symbolic to how Wall is currently performing on the basketball court. His 19 points, perfect 7-7 from free throw line, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists was completely marred by 8 turnovers. Wall played much better in this second game in two nights versus the 76ers, yet, when game hung in balance, careless passes crushed the team’s chances and his own spirit.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Wall was on a quadruple-double watch versus Philadelphia, but finished with the game with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 8 turnovers (7 in the first half). He had an up-and-down game; though Wall pulled it together in the second half, there were a number of times where the PG lost focus, lost the ball, and also lost his edge, even hanging his head after 76ers scores.
1.75 Stars
WEIDIE: To Wall’s credit, after a dismal first half where he at times went too fast, committing careless turnovers, he came out much more focused in the second half, tallying 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover and 5 free-throw attempts in 21 minutes after intermission.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: While Nick Young is among the league leaders in free throw percentage (Young has made all but one of his 34 attempts this season), he gets to the line less than three times per game. If he’s ever going to develop into a multidimensional scoring threat, Young has to be assertive on offense and attack the rim — elite shooting guards like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis earn at least six free throw attempts per game. Young showed his ability to get to the tin in the third quarter, splitting two 76ers defenders with a spin move before finishing with contact from Spencer Hawes, but he needs to do that more often. His offense is typically comprised of one-dribble pull-up jumpers, made increasingly difficult with the double-teams that opposing defenses have begun to send his way. Despite several questionable possessions that will always be a part of Young’s game, he had a productive night, making half of his shots (11-22, 2-7 from deep) for a game-high 27 points. He failed to record an assist for the fourth time this season.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: In the fourth, Young willingly dribbled into the corner, head faked twice, spun around and drilled a fade away jump shot. He ran back nodding his head in excitement as his bucket had cut the lead to 18.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Is this the best Nick Young is ever going to get?
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Singleton was an early target for seasoned veteran and semi-star Andre Igoudala. Iggy scored nine first quarter points in a variety of ways, once blowing by Singleton to earn a trip to the foul line. Singleton seemed to be playing Philly’s offensive action, instead of focusing on Igoudala as an offensive threat and closing out properly. Singleton had a chance to end a bad first half on a positive note by hitting a wing jumper off a nice find by Shelvin Mack. Clang. Singleton played just 8.5 second half minutes and nabbed one rebound during that time, which was also the only board he grabbed in 21 total minutes, adding zero points and two assists on the night. The Wizards will need him to be more of a presence if they expect to compete.
0.25 Star (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: He probably played one of the worst games of his pro career, finishing with a goose egg in points.
0.5 Star
TOWNSEND: The box score says Chris Singleton played 21 minutes, but I can hardly remember seeing him in action.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

ADAM McGINNIS: I briefly chatted with Cook Book before the game. He acknowledged that his role in the offense will eventually have to expand by being counted on to score more. This did not occur versus the 76ers, however, as Trevor had two ugly air balls and his usual explosive bounce appeared to fall victim to back-to-back games. On defensive end, there were numerous occasions were Booker was caught in limbo. At first glance, it is hard to tell if he was cleaning up for teammates mistakes or making his own. It appears to be a combination of both.
1 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Trevor Booker isn’t a worldbeater when it comes to scoring points, but he’s currently second among forwards in field goal percentage (58%), ahead of Miami’s LeBron James, Sacramento’s Jason Thompson, and Denver’s Al Harrington. Booker’s not a great shooter beyond 10 feet — a limitation he made obvious on pick-and-pop situations Saturday night — but scoring opportunities will always be there for him in this offense.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Booker has a long way to go before he hones a holistic offensive instinct. His jumper needs a lot of work, we know this (3-10 on FGs vs. Sixers), but he also struggles sometimes with concepts like transition offensive spacing. Late in the fourth, Booker caught the ball on a cut, but then tried to make the extra pass to JaVale McGee (perhaps when he should have attacked the basket)… the result was a turnover.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: McGee, statistically the Wizards best player last year, continues to show growth, particularly in his mental development which allows him to take better advantage of his athletic abilities. McGee was arguably the best player on the court last night, scoring a season-high 23 points and collecting 18 rebounds (7 offensive), tying a career-high. McGee must have a greater understanding of the Xs and Os, since his movement on both offense and defense is noticeably better than it has been in the past. He isn’t leaving his feet as readily, making his closeouts defensively much more effective, and has begun to box out opposing bigs after missed shots more consistently — has McGee been picking up pro tips from Trevor Booker? Offensively, McGee is playing with much more confidence. Against Philadelphia, McGee went 11-13 from the field (his two misses came on tough tip-in chance) by showcasing a much softer touch on his running hook shot. When his back is to the basket, McGee does a good job creating opportunities with is right hand, but sometimes gets into trouble when the defense rolls a second defender into the paint from the top side. The next step in his development will be to have a scoring answer along the baseline, away from the double-team.
2.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Pierre should threaten to quit twitter more often as McGee was a fantasy stud on Saturday night.
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: It’s amazing how when McGee stays disciplined on offense, everything else seems to fall into place.
2.5 Stars

TOTAL: 7.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: It was another ho-hum outing for the bench mob. The bench sank just 7 of their 27 shots (Rashard Lewis missed four opportunities at the rim on his way to a 1-10 shooting performance). It was clear that the Wizards again missed Role Player Andray Blatche’s offense off the bench. Get well soon, ‘Dray? Jordan Crawford — bless his heart — does try to score points within Saunders’ offense, given that more than 40 percent of his shots are taken with more than 14 seconds left on the shot clock: Crawford will come off a screen, like he’s designed to do, but still lacks the sense to understand that it’s okay to pull the ball down and create another scoring chance.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
McGINNIS: They were outscored by Philly 46-15. Sweet Lew is facing the bitter reality that his solid NBA career might be painfully on empty. Although J-Craw’s stats were not too impressive, he played a decent all around game considering the low bar he has set with his clunkers. Shelvin Mack needs to incorporate a floater as his shot was blocked numerous times. Kevin Seraphin missed a few easy dunks and struggles with anticipating the action.
0.5 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
WEIDIE: With Rashard Lewis, Jordan Crawford and Roger Mason coming off the bench, you’d expect some shooting to help spread the floor for the young Wizards, because as John Wall said after the game, offensive spacing is an issue. Those three combined to go 1-5 from deep in 54 total minutes. The trio is a combined 19-73 beyond the arc this season. The lack of shooting, especially from team veterans, has hurt the Wizards more than people realize.
0.5 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford (by default)

BENCH TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

KYLE WEIDIE: Flip was incorporating the movie ‘Space Jam’ into quotes after the game, alluding that Nerdlucks from outer space sometimes take the talent of his players. If only aliens were the real explanation. Sometimes you don’t know if Saunders’ squad is taking baby steps in losing, or if as a team they’re just running in different directions like a chicken with its head cut off.
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Flip was unable to work miracles with an undermanned squad facing one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
1 Star
TOWNSEND: Flip Saunders’ offense is still a work in progress; frankly, the players are still scrambling to get into the right positions. And even when they are in the right spots, they can’t execute. That quick curl for the elbow jumper hardly ever gets the job done. The Wizards defense has improved, but it’s time for a change in the team’s offensive philosophy. Also, Washington had a 26-25 lead going into the second quarter, when Flip Saunders went with a small three-guard lineup of Shelvin Mack, Jordan Crawford, Roger Mason, Rashard Lewis and Kevin Seraphin. The Sixers immediately made a 9-2 run (making four of their five shots to start the quarter, while the Wizards missed six of their seven opportunities) to build a lead they’d never surrender. The Wizards were also outscored in fast break points, which makes me wonder what became of the fast-paced team John Wall was drafted to lead.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • Before the game, assistant coach Sam Cassell kept talking smack about his Florida State Seminoles blasting North Carolina 90-5, and he made sure Tarheels fan Chris Miller of Comcast Sports was on receiving end of some good-natured ribbing.
  • In the locker room, Cassell was also reviewing 76ers videos with Wall on a laptop. Yes, Thomas Boswell, there is actual coaching going on.
  • The halftime entertainment was three different dogs running around the court jumping for Frisbees. We have reached that point in the season already.
  • After Trevor Booker air balled a short shot in the paint, the music from Psycho immediately started playing, thus making it appear Trevor was getting clowned in his own home arena.
  • During a taped Jumbotron segment, Wiz players were asked to ‘Name That Song’ when the theme from Star Wars was playing. Booker thought it was the tune from Home Alone 2 (huh?) while McGee gave correct answer, but revealed that he has never even seen the epic flick. By the way, JaVale’s Twitter handle name for a long time was Big Daddy Wookie.
  • Andre Iguodala went 0-2 a trip to free throw line, which means whole crowd got free Chick-fil-A. Sadly, that was loudest noise from the audience all evening.

Top Tweets

@Rafy122: you know what pisses me off the most? Body language. Wall misses a shot and he sulks and lowers his head.

@JFrankHanrahan : When losing is accepted, there is no rebuild. #twocents

Slept-On Moment

  • McGINNIS: Wizards were outscored 29-14 in the second quarter, and that basically decided the contest. The team shot 6-22 (27-percent) with six turnovers and only three assists in the period. In 12 games this season, only once (92-100 loss at Boston) have the Wizards scored at least 20 points in every quarter. These futile outputs have defined a struggling offense.
  • TOWNSEND: With six minutes left in the first quarter, John Wall dished the ball to a cutting Trevor Booker in transition. Booker, however, got trapped in the paint and tried to kick the ball out to Chris Singleton on the wing, but his pass was intercepted by Andre Iguodala. John Wall, seeing this scene play out in front of him, took two hard steps toward Iguodala, before pulling up into a jog — no steal attempt was made, no defensive pressure visible as Wall barely made it back to the Wizards three-point line. Singleton, passed the indifferent John Wall on the 76ers’ break, and almost had a chance to make a play on the ball, with JaVale McGee interrupting Philadelphia’s two-on-one advantage under the basket. Wall was pulled from the game shortly thereafter after with seven first half turnovers. The Game Changer soon found himself in a heated discussion with assistant coach Sam Cassell, who ended the conversation with, “Whatever; you’re not going to listen to me*.” Over the past few games, John Wall has shown signs of quit, but still called his teammates out for being selfish. Where’s the self-awareness? [*Assuming my lip-reading abilities remain reliable.] 
  • WEIDIE: Nick Young hit a quick jumper with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. John Wall then played tough defense on Lou Williams who drove and gave the ball to Thaddeus Young for an open baseline jumper, but he missed. Wall got the defensive board, jetted the other way, got his layup attempt blocked by Elton Brand, but immediately got the ball back and scored as he fell to the floor — Sixers lead cut to 98-88. Back down the court, the Sixers used plenty of clock, but Thaddeus Young missed another jumper. Once again Wall flew in the other direction, after getting the outlet pass from JaVale McGee. But this time, instead of seeing teammate Jordan Crawford open on the wing at the three-point line, Wall went barreling into a defense… offensive charge. Sure, not that much of a moment, where the Wizards could have cut their deficit to eight or seven with 60 seconds left in a likely loss. But still, a turnover by Wall that was just as detrimental as any of the turnovers he got earlier in the game.

End Scene


“I feel like I lost the game. They were up 12 and I had six turnovers in the first half, basically they scored all fast break points off that.”

—John Wall


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.