DC Council Game 15: Wizards 104 vs. Nuggets 108: Toast, A Denver Omelette & @JCraw55's Shades On The Side | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 15: Wizards 104 vs. Nuggets 108: Toast, A Denver Omelette & @JCraw55’s Shades On The Side

Updated: January 22, 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 15 contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis with first-hand coverage, and Kyle Weidie watching from afar.]


Washington Wizards 104 vs. Denver Nuggets 108 [box score]

[From my very own old man Wizards logo toasting toaster.]

Stat of The Game

Al Harrington was the stat of the game — 30 minutes off the bench, 29 points, 10-16 FGs, 5-8 from the three-point land, seven rebounds and two assists.

In Harrington’s last four games in D.C., these last two with the Nuggets and the previous two with the New York Knicks, Harrington has played a total of 125 minutes off the bench, scoring 105 points and going 19-31 from deep. His teams won three of those four games — the Knicks lost to the Wizards 96-89 on January 16, 2009 thanks 28 points from Antawn Jamison and 19 points from Mike James.

According to the Basketball-Reference.com database, since 1986-87, 24 NBA forwards have come off the bench to score 25 or more points in 30 minutes or less of action while sinking at least five threes. Before last night, the last guy to do it was Al Harrington, against Sacramento in March 2003; Harrington is responsible for three of the 24 instances. And even though the data set only goes back to 1986 per BBR’s numbers, it’s clear to see, with the first such instance happening in November 1994 via Donyell Marshall of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the initial presence of the three-point shooting forward in the modern NBA. Other names on the list include Reggie Williams, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Croshere, Toni Kukoc, Tracy Murray, Steven Jackson, Terry Mills, Chuck Person, Dennis Scott, and Hedo Turkoglu. Speaking of Hedo, on January 28, 2005, he scored 31 points of 5-7 on threes in 28 minutes off the bench for the Orlando Magic versus the Washington Wizards. Orlando won that game too. -Kyle W.

Scene of the Game

Nick Young’s 17 1st Quarter Points.

Nick takes so many poor isolation shots and rarely passes the ball that it sometimes makes it hard to truly appreciate his offensive game. So let’s do that with a display of his 17 first quarter points…


[via YouTube user clemback]

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

ADAM McGINNIS: Although Wall’s shot was not falling, he filled up the stat line by nearly recording a triple-double. Ty Lawson took it to him defensively and their battle was fascinating to watch. Critics have singled out Wall for the team’s struggles, his play not being up to par over the first few weeks of the season. He’s  almost a different player now. He is more in control and better using his lateral quickness to slice to the hoop. His assist totals are seeing a bump because teammates are finally knocking down shots off his creation. John picked the wrong time, down five with 40 seconds remaining, to attempt to make his first three pointer of the season. Still, fan can find some solace in the fact that the franchise building block starting to live up to expectations.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Wall didn’t have the greatest shooting night (4-for-17), but his rebounding (9), and his assists (10) more than made up for that, which is what you want out of your starting point guard.  It just seemed like Ty Lawson was able to match whatever Wall did, and then some (Lawson shot 7-for-17 and had a game high plus/minus of plus-16, while Wall had a game low minus-16).
1.75 Stars
WEIDIE: What can you say? John Wall disappeared scoring-wise in the late going (4-17 from the field), but he found ways to contribute in the stat book, adding three blocks to 10 assists and nine boards (four turnovers). He also had a team-worst minus-16 in the plus-minus area. Popping up that three on the break with 40 seconds left and down five? Seriously? Wall also really screwed up on that late attempt to foul Denver. Bouncing back against Boson will be crucial.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

ADAM McGINNIS: Swaggy P came out the gates torching the nets with 17 points on 7-11, 3-5 from downtown in the first quarter.  Bizarrely, he never attempted a shot in eight minutes of action in the 2nd quarter and later wondered why more plays were not called for him in his post game comments. Young finished the game with 25 point on 22 shots. He surprising tallied 4 assists along with 4 steals. Nick’s shooting and scoring resurrection is a big reason why the Wizards have finally snapped out of their offensive woes over the past week.2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: After one quarter Nick had 17 points, and was shooting 66% from the field and 60% from the three-point line. The remainder of the game he shot just 27% from the field and 20% from three-point land and finished with 25 points. So much for being on pace for 68.  In isolation, that doesn’t sound like a bad night, and you could argue that Young did his job by helping his team start quickly (the Wizards were up by 10 after one quarter).  But unlike Young, Denver’s Al Harrington used his scoring powers for good and won the game for his team.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Nick had a nice start, but again, he needs to figure out how to be there in the end. 17 first quarter points is great, the Wizards need more than 4 points on 1-7 shooting in the fourth. But hey, Nick did have four assists; his per game average is up to a career-high 1.5. Points also deducted for this quote from Nick: “I don’t know. I was sitting for a while, but I don’t want to make no excuses. I should have gotten back in, and they should have run more plays for me, but there’s no excuses.”
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Just because you’re a very good defensive player doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to learn, rookie. Singleton’s stats look decent — 12 points on 5-8 shooting, 2-4 from deep, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 16 minutes — and people again might wonder why he didn’t play more. But with rookies, they got to learn in small doses, and watch a lot. Over a 91 second span midway through the first quarter, Singleton got burned by Danillo Gallinari for 7 points. Singleton once got duped when Danillo turned down a ball screen, and then twice gave the shooter too much space. This isn’t the ACC, son.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: “Tombstone,” the nickname people have glossed Singleton with for defensive reasons, scored 12 points in limited action of 16 minutes. He nailed two smooth threes and struggled defending Danilo Gallinari’s quick release early in the contest.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: Singleton always has the he’s-still-a-rookie factor in his favor, so he always gets graded on a curve.  But the fact that he continues to hustle on both ends of the floor, and display a surprisingly accurate shooting touch to boot, is all the more encouraging. No complaints here.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Andray Blatche

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: About an hour before tipoff, Wizards assistant coach Gene Banks was running post drills with Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Andray Blatche.  When Booker was guarding Seraphin or vice versa, there was intensity (as much intensity as their can be when its a) going against a teammate and b) an hour before a real game is to be played), and it appeared that both players were genuinely intent on receiving guidance from Banks and improving their post moves.  When Blatche was involved in the same drill he did not have the same level of concentration. If he made a good play on offense, he’d celebrate, and then give up a basket to Seraphin and Booker on defense.  If he was beaten by Booker or Seraphin, he moped and complained to Banks. Banks repeatedly told Blatche to focus or to get in position, and Blatche seemed less than thrilled. But that’s just pregame right? Blatche’s first shot of the game was an airball from 9 feet away — a feat which was not lost on the relentless boo birds at the Verizon Center. He had two more misses, and then Flip got him out of the game and inserted Trevor Booker.  Booker didn’t exactly play like the second coming of Wes Unseld during the game, but he did manage to do something that Blatche did not, and that’s hit a shot from the field.  Blatche finished with two free throws, six rebounds, five fouls and more boos than I can shake a stick at.  So this is what a player who is willing to die for his team looks like?
0 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Dray’s +4 plus/minus means that good things happened when he was on court, which Saunders alluded to in the post game press conference, though it is hard argue that Blatche personally had anything to do with it. The coaching staff’s reluctance to make him accept a super sub role is still a mystifying decision and definitely not helping with the home crowd’s boos.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Feel bad for the guy, really. Flip’s right, boos from the crowd don’t help. But fans are smart, give them credit. They know hustle when they see it and will happily celebrate it.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: Amidst the story lines surrounding the night, three specific people interested me: Mike Wise, Pam McGee and JaVale McGee. Wise was nowhere to be found, despite writing a column that certainly warranted him showing his face. Pam was in her traditional spot behind the basket closest to the Wizards bench, and as fellow TAI colleague Adam McGinnis noticed, she seemed to be jotting down JaVale-related notes. And of course, the son of the hour, JaVale McGee was in attendance as the starting center. The absence of Denver’s Nene meant that, in theory, a dominant performance was possible. But after it all, McGee did not come through with a noteworthy performance. Three blocks were there, the hook shot made an appearance, as did a spectacular Sportscenter dunk. But there were also goaltending calls, his susceptibility to the head fakes of the Nuggets, and his quickness to give up on a play and engage in hero ball.  As for Pam McGee’s assertion that Flip Saunders takes JaVale in and out of the game, not allowing him to get a flow, he played the entire first quarter — a quarter that saw the Wizards score 37 points — and he scored just four points. McGee certainly was not a knucklehead Friday night, but he wasn’t the player he should have been against the Nene-less Nuggets
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: It always is a plus when Pierre is not on that Jack-em-Joe by launching jumpers. His hook shot is steadily improving and his hustle is always there, but he needs to figure out a way to limit the goaltends because they have a been problem in the past few games.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: JaVale plays like it sounds like his mother raised him, no biggie. He’ll be alright, eventually.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

KYLE WEIDIE: Shelvin Mack is a solid choice, and becoming the team’s version of comfort food. Have you ever been excited at the prospects of a career backup point guard? I have now. Otherwise, Rashard Lewis, bless his heart, played well, and Jordan Crawford, give him credit, is out there trying. Someone has to have the moxie to try to score on this team of hero offense. Crawford and Nick Young have showed signs of trying to pass more lately, but it’s still not out their system. Feed a cold? Starve a fever? They, and the team, need to keep striving for that middle.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack
McGINNIS: Collectively, one of the better outings of the young season. J-Craw is making better decisions with the ball, and Sweet Lew was not a liability for a change. Shelvin Mack showed he can be a play maker with five dimes, and he got buckets too, finishing with nine points. Birdman completely dominated Jan Vesely, forcing him into three quick fouls in three minutes; the rookie was a non-factor. The 17th pick in the 2010 NBA draft Kevin Serpahin continues to rack up DNP-CDs, hard to justify why he is not in the D-League developing. Guess the Wizards need bodies.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack
MOBLEY: There were no monster, Al Harrington-like performances off of the Wizards bench, but there are reasons to be encouraged.  Shelvin Mack continues to show that he’s worthy of more minutes and Flip’s trust with nine points and five assists in five minutes.  Jordan Crawford has suddenly become a bit more judicious with his shots, and Rashard Lewis is looking for more resourceful ways to score than just standing behind the three point arc. But given how the Nuggets style of play seemed custom-made for Booker and Vesely, their play was a bit disappointing.
1.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack

BENCH TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

RASHAD MOBLEY: I thought Booker and Vesely needed to get more playing time early in the game, given that the Nuggets are a running team, and both players are bigs who can run. I’m also surprised Saunders didn’t just bench Blatche after halftime, because it was clear that a) he had no juice, and b) the crowd was in his head.  But my nitpicking aside, Flip and his staff has this team playing better the last few games, and that has to be commended.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The coach’s performance was above a Five Dollar foot long, but not at level of a chic Dupont Circle eatery.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Flip’s grasp of his rotation is developing, as he continues to be open tore-tooling. He probably wishes he had his team more prepared on that last fouling play (seems like I’m making a big deal out of his one play, out of many, but late in games is when focus needs to be at its highest… so less slack).
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • I clowned the crowd early because Verizon Center was near vacant at the tip, but the lower bowl eventually filled up and the fans were actively into the game.
  • Even though Seinfeld reruns have been in syndication for decades, Roger Mason has never seen one episode of the show. This information was provided during a Jumbotron segment where players had to guess a song, which was Seinfeld theme music. Mo Evans thought it was George Clinton. P-Funk? Really Mo?
  • Crawford must have been inspired by Nick Young’s eye-ware after Rockets game because the favorite player of the WizzNutzz was sporting some trendy glasses in post game media scrum.
  • Now the most infamous mom in NBA, (congrats Gloria James), Pam McGee, was in her usual seat three rows behind the basket near Wizards bench. After a bad play by JaVale, one fan behind me yelled, “Maybe your mother was wrong, you are a knucklehead.”
  • Mike Wise was a no show and did not personally face any of the fallout from his provocative Pam McGee column that allowed the national media another bite at the bash JaVale/Wizards apple.
  • I bet it made great radio for his show though on 106.7, and he got his Deadspin link. Mike Wise = Winning! Nice gig if you can get it.
  • Reigning MLS MVP and DC United soccer star Dwayne De Rosario was at his second Wizards game in a week. I chatted with him briefly at halftime and came away highly impressed by his basketball knowledge. De Rosario is headed to Florida for two week team training camp and said he is currently in contract negotiations with United. De-Ro assured me that he would likely be back with the Black and Red this season. Side note, the Dwayne De Rosario Futbol Program appears to be a solid endeavor.
  • Before the game, SBN’s Mike Prada and I approached Denver Guard Ty Lawson as he ate chicken tenders at his locker. We inquired if he could ask him some questions. His response, “No man, can’t you see that I am eating?” This initially took Prada and I back because some NBA players can be picky at these requests. Lawson then busted out a big smile, “I am just playing, sure, fire away.” Lawson was engaging, well-spoken and provided highly intelligent answers. An amusing moment was when a teammate stole one of his tenders during our conversation and Lawson interrupted us to yell at him “Why you got to take the biggest one?”
  • Lawson said he enjoyed his experience playing overseas and that it was a cool cultural experience.
  • His favorite place to visit was Moscow and “Borat’s country.”

Top Tweets

@rashad20: You could throw a box of tampax into an nba crowd, and they’d trample everyone in the seats around them to catch it

@MikePradaSBN: Andray Blatche just took the exact shot the Nuggets wanted him to take, and in a blur, there’s a layup on the other end

@BenStandig: And the ultimate insult hurled at Andray Blatche from a fan in the stands. “Hey Andray, you’re worse than Kwame Brown!” Ouch #Wizards

End Scene


“They’re a good team, they’re just young, and my personal opinion is they are just a couple of veterans away to really kind of help guide them guys and close games out.”
—Al Harrington on the Wizards

“This one hurt, because we felt we were better than this team, and to give it up like that, we shot ourselves in the foot.”
-Jordan Crawford 

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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.