DC Council Game 17: Wizards 83 at Sixers 103: Flip's Last Game | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 17: Wizards 83 at Sixers 103: Flip’s Last Game

Updated: January 24, 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 17 contributors: Markus Allen, Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie.]

[NOTE: Per news, Flip Saunders has been fired, and Randy Wittman will replace him. The content below doesn’t not reflect knowledge of that, and only pertains to last night’s game. The TAI crew will be ready with thoughts on this coaching move by the Wizards at some point soon. Also note: Markus Allen is from Severn, Maryland, has been a Wizards fan since the early 2000s, and is currently attenting Mississippi State University. This is his first contribution to Truth About It.net.]


Washington Wizards 83 vs. Philadelphia 76ers 103 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

The Wizards gave Philadelphia 12 first quarter points off five turnovers. So when you consider lost opportunities and easy buckets, the 33-14 Sixers lead could have easily been avoided had the Wizards decided to focus and take care of the ball. But on the first play of the game, Blatche bobbled a baseline drive (he has zero confidence now), but managed to get the ball out to a teammate… Rashard Lewis, scrambling on the initial play himself, suddenly saw Nick Young open at the top of the key. But as Lewis went to pass, Nick found himself moving away from the spot, further from the three-point line, so Lewis’ pass went to where Nick had been, not where he was headed. Thus, Young bobbled the pass himself, tried to dribble, got the ball easily poked away, and Philly went the other way for points. Most of the Wizards, especially Young (and aside from Blatche, go figure) decided to give up on transition defense. Heads hung from there and the game was effectively over… on one play, if you can believe it.

Good new is, the Wizards didn’t give up any more points off turnovers after those 12 in the first quarter, although it clearly didn’t matter. So, including the first two games against Philly, and the first quarter of last night, Washington has given up 75 points off 32 turnovers. Yikes.

Scene of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

A Tease.

The Wizards are a huge tease… So let’s take a look at the tantilizing.

1) Jordan Crawford misses a long three, no bigs; 2) In transition, Shelvin Mack tries to communicate to Roger Mason that he should pick up Jrue Holiday, but Mason doesn’t seem to be paying much attention, so Holiday ends up getting an open lane to the basket; 3) Check JaVale McGee stalking the play… he actually changes gears at one point to go block Holiday’s attempt at the rim; 4) The Wizards recover the possesion, Crawford streaks down the court, going behind the back in the process, and finishes the fast-break bucket.

It all seemed very nice for a moment.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

MARKUS ALLEN: John Wall came into the game on an impressive run, averaging 25.8 points, 8.3 assists and 8.0 rebounds over his last four starts. He was on pace for a similar performance on Monday in Philly, but was limited to 26 minutes in a game that was over with from the start. Wall was 5-11 for 13 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 turnovers. He showed his speed in getting to the basket, blazed a contested jumper early in the game, and could have had more assists if other players had made their shots. The only thing that I can complain about is that he was part of the horrible defense in the first quarter. John Wall has found his rhythm, and the team will progress as much as the other pieces work together.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The first disappointing outing from John in a few weeks. Unlike many of his teammates, he tries, but this offensive system continues to under-utilize his strengths, and the 76ers defense appears to be in his head.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Yea, Wall checked out of this game unneccessarily early. Also, he got absolutely cooked by Jrue Holiday. Starting with five minutes left in the second quarter, Philly already with a comfortable 24 point lead, Holiday made Wall look ineffectual by scoring 9 of his 17 points before the end of the period.
0.75 Stars

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars


Nick Young

Nick Young

KYLE WEIDIE: After the game Young Tweeted, “What would u do ?” from his account, @NickSwagyPYoung. He’s got a point. He’s Washington’s best overall offensive player, and somebody’s got to score in this piss-poor system. But there’s a way to play (in this environment) and there’s a right way to play (in any environment), and Young — 4-10 FGs, 3 rebounds, 1 assist 2 turnovers in 29 minutes — is not playing the right way. What should his nickname be? Moneyball? Actually, Billy Beane sounds better. Oh yea, Nick came off the bench in the third quarter; Flip opted for Roger Mason instead.
0.25 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Young was his usual self. He took poor shots and did as expected, scoring 10 points on 10 shot attempts.
1 Star
McGINNIS: The decision to not give Nick his extension is understandable, but the Wiz brass had to know bringing him back for the qualifying offer, not throwing him a few extra bones either, meant Young would naturally have his own freelance agenda, especially if the losses piled up. Tonight was one of those nights.
0 Stars

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars


Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

ADAM McGINNIS: The 34-year old Sweet Lew bizarrely got the nod to start on a team with the worst record in the NBA with an owner who pushes a transparent message of rebuilding with youth. Washington went to Lewis in the post early, and he suffered a couple of turnovers. On the bright side, Lewis actually hit a jump shot and crashed the boards a few times. At least his large contract helps the team reach the salary cap floor, so there is that.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Rashard had a decent game on the offensive side of the court going 5-7 and scoring 11 points. It’s a shame that the Wizards were so awful on defense, because you don’t get games like this out of him often. The last time Rashard shot over 60-percent, it was with the same amount of minutes (27), and the Wizards won.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: I had a feeling that Lewis would be starting over Singleton sooner or later, and here we are. I don’t mind the move so much, Singleton’s struggles on defense kind of prompted it. But also, Flip Saunders can more trust Lewis to move the ball on offense and get it into the right positions better than a rookie, despite all Lewis’ flaws. His stat line wasn’t terrible — 11 points, 5-7 FGs, 6 rebounds — but then you think about all that money.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars


Andray Blatche

Trevor Booker

MARKUS ALLEN: I can’t say that Captain ‘Dray was wise and full of guidance, but he had an average game on offense (depending on your definition of average at this point). Blatche had 13 points on 4-11 attempts, and shot 5-6 from the line, along with four rebounds and two steals. The problem is that he was a major part of a defense that allowed rookie second round pick Lavoy Allen to shine while the 76ers scorched to a 33-14 lead. He was just dismal on defensive rotations, and showed a lack of effort once the game started to get out of hand.
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Why should I defend ‘Dray anymore? If you want your NBA starting power forward to launch long jumpers, air-ball fadeaways and refuse to draw contact on his fakes in order to get to the line, then he is your guy. I am done. However, I still think he is a nice guy, funny, good to the fans, and I will continue to pull for him. I just can no longer roll with his whack way of playing hoops.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Not to say Ernie Grunfeld is desperate to trade Blatche, but he would gladly take on more salary to do so, I imagine. Look, you can see the guy trying to try, but his level of trying is at a much lower standard than what should be included in a franchise rebuild.
0.5 Stars

TOTAL: 2 out of 9 stars


JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

ADAM McGINNIS: Mama must have taught him other sports because JaVale thinks rebounding is a volleyball game of spikes instead of grabbing the ball. In last two games, facing Jermaine O’Neal and Tony Battie, a combined 30 years of NBA mileage, McGee has five total rebounds in 52 minutes. Let that sink in.
0 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Javale was non existent, and it’s hard to remember what he actually did besides getting two blocks. Yeah, exactly; He had two points and two rebounds in 21 minutes of play, or whatever you want to call what he was doing.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Sometimes Kid Cudi is just out there zonin’ … looking for the next dunk to dunk, ball to block. Is it summer already? Because somebody is chillin’.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 9 stars


The Bench

The Bench

MARKUS ALLEN: The bench had a good outing for what can be made of the insignificant second half. Jordan Crawford was average off the bench, and brought energy that was not seen from the starters in the first half. Crawford had 17 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 0 turnovers sharing the offense with Shelvin Mack, which allowed the bench to win the last two quarters of play. Mack went 3-3 for 6 points by penetrating the lane, and also avoided turnovers. Kevin Seraphin was efficient, showed effort on defense and came up with 6 points and 6 rebounds; He also had an explosive dunk which deserves a little credit (just a little). Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker combined for 7 rebounds with 12 minutes a piece, while Chris Singleton was nonexistent with just six minutes of playing time.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
McGINNIS: Shelvin Mack is currently my favorite player to watch on this team, since neither Booker nor Singleton are given consistent heavy burn, and my only cheer of game was Mack’s dunk. The three of them deserve better. J. Craw got some good run in and Seraphin did not look terrible for a second straight game. Those are positive signs. I hope Roger Mason runs for political office someday in DC — I will vote for him. Mo Evans worked hard on the CBA in the offseason so it was nice for Wizards to reciprocate his efforts with a roster gift. I would vote for Mo, too.
1.5 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
WEIDIE: Solid showings from Kevin Seraphin (I do believe he’s lost some weight… did you see him run the court and get a dunk off a pass from Wall?) and Shelvin Mack (who is unbelievably solid, also didn’t know he could get up to dunk like that). Jordan Crawford wasn’t bad… think he’s just out there in his own head trying to ball — good to prevent poison from the rest of the crew, not always good for the team, but in Philly he got the job done. Roger Mason tried on a couple possession (found Vesely for a nice dunk). Otherwise, not much from Jan, Booker or Singleton.
1.5 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack

BENCH TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars


The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

KYLE WEIDIE: I really don’t know what to say about Flip… it’s tough to keep trying to evaluate him. All I can really say is that I didn’t sign up for his shit either. Just think about his situation: to give his team the best chance to compete, Andray Blatche needs to be playing… he needs to be a scoring threat, a passing big man and solid defensively. Also, for Saunders to give his team the best chance to complete, Andray Blatche needs to be sitting on the bench. Exactly. Thing about that. At this point, I think Ted Leonsis owes it to Flip to fire him and pay him not to coach this crappy team.
1 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Only thing I can give Saunders credit on is letting the bench players get solid minutes in the second half. The $5 footlong of the month is a Chipotle burrito, Flip.
0.5 Star
McGINNIS: Once in high school, I was on a team that lost by 50 and the coach made us practice at midnight when we got back from the road trip. Saunders could do that or likely not. Would it really matter? More practice will not help this team when his offense consistently creates the worst offensive shot in the NBA, the long two. Hawk Offense for LIFE! or 8-58.
0 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars


Seen on the Screen

w/ Kyle Weidie

Bring on the “At least Andray Blatche can block out something” jokes as Flip Saunders shoos away a camera encroaching on a Wizards timeout. Blatche quickly moves to a spot in front of the camera as other troops, Shelvin Mack and head trainer Eric Waters, also rally. Better protect those secrets to success, boys.

Top Tweets

@WizOfAwesKevin: “It’s the second game in two days and on the road. This is expected” – What Ted Leonsis is thinking.

@BoneyStarks: With the Wizards down 18, Andray Blatche removes his headband. Its about, to go, down.

@recordsANDradio: I hope they’re paying Buckhantz well, the #Wizards are down by 25, the team is about to be 2-15, and he’s advertising all you can eat seats.

@ballerstedt: I was going to tweet thoughts on the Wizards game.. but its just too embarrassing.

End Scene


“I think it’s the way they play. They just always force us to just play bad basketball, really. They just attack us from all ends, offense and defense. They don’t give up any easy shots, which frustrates us, and then we go back to playing one-on-one.”
-Jordan Crawford (via Washington Times)

Crawford has a point. Don’t discount the fact that Philadelphia is a solid, solid team. And the Wizards, well, are as Flip Saunders has said: fragile… Just didn’t know they were like handling eggs while on a semi-frozen pond slicked with oil while wearing ice skates for the first time in life.

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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.