DC Council Game 18: Wizards 92 vs. Bobcats 75: Put Down That Cigarette Young Man! | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 18: Wizards 92 vs. Bobcats 75: Put Down That Cigarette Young Man!

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Updated: January 26, 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 18 contributors: Adam McGinnis, Arish Narayen and Kyle Weidie.]

Score

Washington Wizards 92 vs. Charlotte Bobcats 75 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Last night was the 11th time this season that the Wizards have made three 3-point field-goals or less, but the first time they won in doing so; they went 3-10 from deep against the Bobcats. Averaging 13.9 three-point attempts per game this season, only Detroit, New Orleans, Utah and Memphis attempt less; and only the Lakers, Jazz, Grizzlies and Hornets make less per game than Washington (4.0). Washington’s 28.7-percent from deep stands at 26th best in the NBA. Some shooters to go with the quickness of John Wall would make a ton of difference. Just ask Ricky Rubio.

Scene of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

A Laugher.

Did Trevor Booker laugh at Andray Blatche getting rejected at the rim by Tyrus Thomas, and then attempt to hold a straight face as he walked by Blatche heading into the timeout? He sure did.

Thomas rejected a career-high nine shots last night, five of them were attempts by Blatche. After the game, Bobcats coach Paul Silas thought Thomas was Herman Cain.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Arish Narayen and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

ARISH NARAYEN: Despite having four assists to go along with seven turnovers, Wall played within himself. He initiated multiple one-man-fast-breaks, went 4-7 at the rim, and only attempted one long two (which he made). Until he improves as a shooter — Wall has yet to make a three-point shot this season — Wizards’ fans should hope Wall’s offensive repertoire remains this way. John also did work on the defensive end, harassing Kemba Walker with his length, and holding last year’s NCAA tournament MVP to 4-19 shooting.
2 Stars (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: Backing up Wittman’s request to increase tempo, you could notice Wall initiating the offense more quickly. Wall connected on a nice floater in the lane, which could be a deadly shot in his arsenal.
1.5 Stars
   
WEIDIE: I wasn’t entirely thrilled with Wall’s game, especially when Wittman subbed him back in late with a cushy lead for Washington. Wall proceeded to commit three turnovers, two steals by Charlotte’s DeSagana Diop of all people, and one due to Tyrus Thomas baiting him into an offensive foul. Seems like Wittman is here to hold Wall more accountable, and it seems like the so-called “Game Changer” needs it more than we realize.
1.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

   

Nick Young

Nick Young

ADAM McGINNIS: Nick Young started hot with 11 points in the opening quarter and finished with a team high 20, although on 18 shots. Nick struggled coming off screens on defense in first half vs Matt Carroll, which sparked this tweet from Bobcats Beat writer Rick Bonnell. Young played 29 minutes without a turnover or an assist. The combination is a difficult feat to accomplish.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
   
NARAYEN: Surprise: Nick Young had zero assists. I suppose gunning was made easier by the fact that Nick was being defended by Matt Carroll for most of the game. Swaggy P even made three at-the-rim field goals which were assisted by teammates.
2 Stars
   
WEIDIE: Eleven players played for the Wizards last night, and the team tallied 23 assist, second most on the season. Three players didn’t register a dime, however: Trevor Booker (9 minutes), Jan Vesely (19 minutes), and Nick Young (29) minutes. I guess if Nick isn’t going to pass, Wittman is going to get him in shape. With 5:37 left in the game and the Wizards holding a 24-point lead, the new coach subbed his starting 2-guard back in the game. “We gotta get in shape to run,” said Wittman after the game, alluding that both Nick and Wall (who re-entered at the 5-minute mark) needed more conditioning. Oh, did I mention that Young’s defense got burned by Matt Carroll, killing him with pump fakes and back cuts? Exactly.
1.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

   

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

KYLE WEIDIE: Bitter-Sweet Lew played 24 minutes, scored 6 points (3-8 FGs) with 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Going from lockout to no lockout, from thinking he was going to be amnestied, and from age 31 to 32 this past summer, this sure is a negligible season for Lewis. He’s shooting just 22-percent from three-point land and barely contributes, aside from being knowledge through experience (which can be quite useful). The Washington Wizards: Where veteran careers come to die.
0.75 Star (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: Sweet Lew continues to gut out the tail end of his career like a professional, although the decision to start him again really has no justification.
1 Star
   
NARAYEN: I like Rashard, but he is a placeholder on the court right now. It doesn’t help that he’s shooting 22-percent from behind the arc.
1 Star
   
 

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

   

Andray Blatche

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: Oh, Andray… what are we ever going to do with you? Blatche actually had a decent game — 17 points on 7-15 FGs, 10 rebounds (4 offensive) with 4 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes — but still received plenty of boos from the fans. On one hand, treating Blatche in such a manner on Wednesday night was not justified. Can you really boo his lack of athleticism? To Blatche’s credit, he attempted what fans have wanted all along against Charlotte; he attempted a season-high nine shots at the rim (which probably isn’t hard to do against the Bobcats), making five. Via HoopData.com, his previous season high was six attempts in each the second and third games of the season. Blatche also only took three shots outside of the paint (one was a desperation three when the ball found his hands at the shot clock buzzer). Unfortunately, flubbing a ton of close range attempts, getting blocked by Tyrus Thomas five times in the process, still brought scorn from fans. Blatche can’t jump worth a damn, and maybe that’s why he’s scared of the post, but for a guy who played with the crafty close-range offense of Antawn Jamison for so many years, you’d think he’d know how to finish better. Guess not.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: Dray’s stayed down low with a solid stat line and limited his patent fadeaway, but his inability to finish numerous one handed dunks in traffic brought out the boo birds.
2 Stars
   
NARAYEN: Deflecting a pass out of bounds? Cutting to the basket for an uncontested dunk? Last night, it was almost like ‘Dray didn’t spend the entire lockout consuming Moet and Choco Tacos. Only a player as uniquely talented as Blatche can put up 17 points and 10 rebounds and still get booed at home.
2 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

   

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

ADAM McGINNIS: Before the game, Coach Wittman stated he wanted JaVale to focus on leading the NBA in blocks and have that as his main focus. McGee responded with four blocks and for the first time in forever, no goaltends were called on him. I was encouraged that he racked up 10 rebounds and kept his shots close to the hoop. Mama McGee was in her usual spot, wearing a Fedora.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
   
NARAYEN: See the above cliche re: ‘playing within yourself.’ ‘Vale made Byron Mullens look bad on multiple occasions, kept his shots close to the basket, and snagged ten rebounds.
2 Stars
   
WEIDIE: Randy Wittman told JaVale that he wanted him to concentrate on leading the league in blocked shots, i.e., focus on what you do best and don’t try to score, i.e., if you’re mom falsely didn’t think Flip Saunders ran plays for you, don’t think things are going to change now. McGee played relatively within himself against Charlotte — attempted one more FG (5) than shots blocked (4), and snagged 10 boards (4 offensive) — but he still has much to do in terms of getting his head in the game on defensive positioning.
1.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

   

The Bench

The Bench

ARISH NARAYEN: Though the bench chipped in 31 points, this was The Jan Vesely Show: 6 points (3-3 FG), 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. It’s refreshing to see a Wizards player capable of affecting the game with his defense, and that is exactly what Vesely brings. As one of Charlotte’s better scorers off the bench, DJ White could get absolutely nothing going because of Vesely’s smothering D. Jan had five rebounds and two blocks in the first half and is the kind of guy who will set illegal screens and foul the crap out of you. He also had a nice interception on an easy Bobcats transition opportunity as the third quarter was about to end. Until he can move into the starting lineup, one can only hope that Vesely will continue to be one of the first guys off the bench.
2 Stars (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
   
McGINNIS: It is long overdue to give Jordan Crawford some credit. His horrid play at beginning of season cemented a justified perspective of him that has been hard to shake. I called him the worst player in the NBA after a Philly home loss, so I am guilty of the behavior too. He is attacking the bucket, getting out in transition, limiting bad shots, passing the ball well, and becoming a reliable play-maker off the bench. Cut J-Craw a little slack for any mistakes because he has actually earned it over the past few weeks. Seraphin might have had one of his better games as a pro with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Both Shelvin Mack and Chris Singleton locked down with impressive defense. Vesely did Jan type of things: dunking, tipping balls out, rebounding and picking up quick fouls.
2 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
   
WEIDIE: Aside from Trevor Booker, everyone on the bench squad played fairly decent. The kids are certainly getting developmental run.
2 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
   
 

BENCH TOTAL: 6 out of 9 stars

   

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

ARISH NARAYEN: By Paul Silas’ own admission, Charlotte may be the least talented team in the League. Accordingly, in a game in which the Wizards were favored by 7.5 points, new head coach Randy Wittman seemingly made all the right moves. The starting lineup of Wall-Young-Lewis-Blatche-McGee was reinstated, and Washington was up 31-17 after the first quarter. With the exception of Trevor Booker, ten players played 15+ minutes. Perhaps it was the luxury of the Wiz being in control of the game from the outset, but I thought Wittman’s sub patterns were an interesting change. Jan Vesely was the first man off the bench — he came in for McGee halfway through the first. Shelvin Mack and Seraphin were the next two guys off the pine, coming in for Wall and Blatche respectively. Mainly, I liked how Vesely was given increased burn, and the fact that Shelvin Mack was actually used as the backup point guard.
2 Stars (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: The Wittman Wizards Head Coaching era could not have began with a better opponent as the lowly Bobcats started one of the weakest starting lineups in the NBA. Wittman walks the sidelines with a noticeable limp, akin to Phil Jackson and displays emotion on the sidelines. He rocked his fist back and forth when Jan Vesely’s made a shot while being fouled at conclusion of opening quarter. Wittman scaled back the plays and sets. Putting Wall into the game late of a 20 point blowout was a unnecessary decision.
2 Stars
   
WEIDIE: When asked how his day went, Wittman said, “It’s been tough… this is tough… this is tough. The last time it happened [being an interim coach], I said I wasn’t going to do it again.” The coach then paused, slightly shook his head once, then pointed his thumb toward the Wizards locker room, “You know I’m happy for them, but it’s tough… to go through….” [long pause] “…. the things we’ve gone through, it’s tough.” I think we get that it’s not easy, and appreciate that Wittman is a straight shooter, but playing the Bobcats in your first game as interim coach? Well, can’t be that tough. But his day, certainly. Hang in there coach.
2 Stars
   
 

COACH TOTAL: 6 out of 9 stars

   

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • In his pre-game interview session, Bobcats head coach Paul Silas called John Wall the fastest player that he had ever seen and said that Bobcats rookie Bismak Biyombo would be very good in three years. Silas also hilariously talked to the media without his shoes because they were getting shined at the time.
  • Tyrus Thomas exited Charlotte locker room for the pre-game shoot around and  literally skipped down the long hallway towards the court. Thomas should do that more often as he recorded a career-high nine blocks.
  • Both William C. Rhoden and Jake Appleman of the New York Times were on hand to take in the blowout…. Watch out Ernie Grunfeld, the Big Apple is watching you again.
  • At one point in first half Roger Mason and Jan Vesely were engaged in a long conversation on the bench with Roger pointing out to the court. No idea of the topic, but it certainly appeared basketball related. Good to see the vet instructing the rook. 
  • Ryan Saunders, who usually sat a row behind the Wizards bench with Gene Banks during games, is now with the team on main bench.
  • After the game introductions, the Wizards circled in a team huddle with a player getting in the middle for a dance. Kevin Seraphin broke down some moves and ended it with ‘Dougie’ head swipe.
  • The Wizards do an in game contest where a fan has to guess answers to three questions posed to a Wizards player; they win a prize if they guess all three answers correctly. Is Kevin Seraphin an iPhone or Blackberry guy? All in innocent fun (iPhone BTW), but the next one proposed to Seraphin was Burger King or McDonalds. Asking a player his favorite fast food on the Jumbotron does not seem like the correct message you want to have out there for a team whose new head coach says needs to get in shape. Oh, Kevin chose BK.
  • Jersey sightings: A Bobcats fan wearing a Emeka Okafor jersey was only trumped by a middle-aged woman in an Etan Thomas Wizards number 36 jersey. Fans never forget you, Poet.
  • After Dray missed another dunk early in the 2nd half, fan in the 3rd row behind the hoop screamed, “Hey Blatche, trade me seats!” It’s still a tough ride for Dray in D.C. these days.

Top Tweets

@WorldWiEdWard: I’m about to say something really strange..Kevin Seraphin is ballin out there tonight #Wizards

@CarbonPrimo: McGee made a pass in the paint! #Newtraditions?

@AverageBro: The Bobcats have a player on the roster whose Dad just so happens to be the GM. Seriously, where they do THAT at?!? #NBA #Higgins #MJ

End Scene

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

“It’s like any bad habit we have; if you’re a smoker, you ain’t going to drop those cigarettes on the first day … When I see them pull out a cigarette, I got to take it out of their mouths.”
-Randy Wittman, comparing his team to nicotine addicts, which was certainly incorporated into my piece for ESPN’s Daily Dime.

Also, this clip of Wittman was fun…


3 Comments

  1. Incandescent Rex

    January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I’m uncomfortable with the non-stop Blatche booing as it doesn’t help him play better in my opinion. But I understand the reason the fans do it and don’t mind it if Blatche does something especially dumb or selfish on the court. I just don’t think it should happen whenever he shoots the ball. I want him to play better, so that he has some trade value and the Wiz can actually trade him the heck out of here for something more than peanuts. I totally think its legit to be frustrated and boo his lack of athleticism when it seems to be in some part self-imposed by Dray not taking care of his body.

  2. Oliver

    January 27, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Am I the only person who has interpreted the Blatche-booing as being at least partially directed at the Wizards organization for not getting rid of him, and coaches Saunders and Wittman for putting him on the court? I’m much more frustrated with them than I am with Blatche himself: he’s just being the same indifferent, lazy, soft, long-two-pointer-chucking player he’s always been; they’re the ones continuing to treat him like a core player.

  3. Incandescent Rex

    January 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I agree with you that the fans are partially directing the boos at managment for not dumping him already. This is why I think Ernie needs to go too. The only reason I can fathom for why Ernie didn’t dumped Dray months ago is that it would be a public admission that he shouldn’t have extended Dray and treated him like a core player. I imagine he’s looking to actually get value back for Dray to save face and the rest of the league is not biting.

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