DC Council Game 19: Wizards 76 at Rockets 103: Remember Us? We Didn't Get Fired. | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 19: Wizards 76 at Rockets 103: Remember Us? We Didn’t Get Fired.

Updated: January 28, 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 19 contributors: Sam Permutt, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie.]


Washington Wizards 76 at Houston Rockets 103 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

The Wizards committed 24 turnovers that turned into 41 Rockets points. That’s an astounding number. Randy Wittman wanted his team to play fast — increase the tempo — wonder if he knew they were going to become so effortless after giving the ball away (because turnovers are bound to happen but you have to forget about them). In two games under Wittman, the Wizards have committed 47 total turnovers. And I guess that’s the difference between the Rockets and a bad team like Charlotte. The Bobcats only scored 17 points off 23 Washington turnovers last Wednesday. Hey, guess what! The Wiz play the Cats again tonight!

Scene of the Game

What next, Wizards?

Losing their heads, screen shot via Comcast SportsNet Washington.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Sam Permutt, John Converse Townsend
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

KYLE WEIDIE: Wall started the game with passion and jet fuel. He had a couple of unbelievable darts to the basket over the full distance of the court. In a span of 11 seconds in the first quarter, Wall nailed a layup, teammate Chris Singleton blocked a shot on the other end, Wall grabbed the defensive rebound and disappeared. Before you knew it, he was flying to the rim with a dunk and all poor Kyle Lowry could do is bask in its glow. Wall was hungry early, that’s for sure. In the first 9.5 minutes of the first, before Shelvin Mack subbed in for a winded, hustling Wall, the second year player had 8 points (4-7 shooting) 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Unfortunately, with that hunger came a plate of food that was defecated upon by some of his teammates… and Wall had to begrudgingly eat what they gave him. Over the rest of the contest, 23.5 minutes played, Wall scored 9 points (2-6 shooting) with 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and committed all 5 of his turnovers. Otherwise, Wall still has the tendency to go too fast. Measured pace must come slowly as part of his NBA point guard education.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: His first quarter was pretty great. Defensively, Wall seems to bother a lot of smaller, penetrating-oriented point guards (Lowry, Lawson). The point guard is the floor general, though, and the Wizards looked like a confused battalion.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: John Wall looked every bit of the can’t-miss NBA prospect early vs. Houston, dishing, dunking and leading the Wizards to a 20-17 lead after the first quarter. But Wall’s shoulders weren’t quite wide enough to carry the Wizards, despite being on another triple-double watch.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

KYLE WEIDIE: 15 points on 17 shots with 3 turnovers, 0 rebounds and 1 assist. For a player who can score so well, Nick’s offensive game is severely limited in two ways: his dribbling is sub-par, especially in the open court, and he has a lot of trouble creating good shots for himself when he has to freelance… but in the offense, he can hit nicely. Houston’s Chase Budinger, who beat Washington in a number of ways, dunks, hustle, and threes — 21 points, 8-14 FGs, 4-6 3PT, 8 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench — is everything that Nick Young is not. Too bad for Washington.
1 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: Nick has been strangely consistent of late. Double-digit points, double-digit shot attempts, at least two “Come on, ref!” per game. Not sure it’s the consistency Wizards fans want to see, but it’s something.
1.25 Stars
TOWNSEND: Sometimes I wonder whether Nick Young takes the floor loaded with sedatives; he can be incredibly slow to react to loose balls. Young did well in stepping toward the point guard when Houston attacked in transition, effectively stopping the ball and preventing easy scores — a pleasant surprise in a game where the final result was decided in the first half.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

SAM PERMUTT: Rashard is having some difficulty shooting his wide-open corner threes anywhere near the basket. Shooters who can’t hit the rim are not players that you want in your starting lineup. Rashard looks like he’s lacking confidence, or focus, or both. It’s not just on the offensive end; defensively, he jumped for several Chandler Parsons pump fakes (really?!?), combining his slow veteran feet with silly rookie mistakes. Watching him work in the low-post is okay, though, since he’s definitely the best low-post player on the Wizards team. For real.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Rashard Lewis looked great… when matched up against Kyle Lowry, who is about a foot shorter than Lewis. Otherwise, Lewis was doing little else besides robbing Chris Singleton (and other Wizards) of minutes.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Rashard Lewis has twice gone through the sticker shock of being a Washington Wizard — once when he was traded for Gilbert Arenas, and a second time when he thought he was going to be amnestied this summer — and this is the best reason I can think of for why his jump shot has regressed so much. Sure, it could be his legs… the platelet-rich plasma injections he’s gotten for his problematic knees… missing two games with sore knees, i.e., a reported dust-up with assistant coach Sam Cassell… but I’m not sure I’m buying it. He had a wide-open three from the corner in his hometown of Houston… it missed off the backboard.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Jan Vesely is hypertalented in some areas (like slipping screens, cutting to the basket off the ball, running the open floor, and defending the pick-and-roll), but is rather useless in others (setting screens, creating his own shot and banging with bigs on the low block — most noticeable in the third quarter when Luis Scola gave Vesely the business on three straight possessions). Despite his limitations, Vesely’s instincts, unselfish nature, versatility, and intensity make him one of the better and more consistent Wizards on the court.
2 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: Played hard, made some good hustle plays, gave his body up for screens, pick and roll defense.  Refreshing to see someone working hard and playing with intelligence, but still has a ways to go as far as developing his skills.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Vesely, surprisingly getting the start for Andray Blatche, had some trouble guarding Luis Scola — the 31-year old Argentinian simply had more power than the 21-year old Czech. That’s okay, he’ll get there… at least Vesely sets very solid screens (when he’s not getting called for moving — the refs pick on the foreign rookie instead of a, say, Kevin Garnett). Also, he’s already the best Wizards big man at defending the pick-and-roll, and is constantly all over the court. Jan only has the polar opposite of the hustle and gumption of Blatche and JaVale McGee… you know, no biggie.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

SAM PERMUTT: After watching the game, I couldn’t help but think that one of his teammates slept with Momma McGee. My money’s on Jordan Crawford. (Kidding!) If the Wizards were under scrutiny, analysts would be questioning JaVale’s psyche, his underlying motivational issues, why he seems to be wilting from the pressure. But instead, there is no pressure. JaVale is simply a bad player on a bad team. He got close to his averages (9 pts, 11 boards, 4 blocks), but watching his body language and effort told a different story. To say he played half-heartedly would be an exaggeration. No help defense, no running back in transition, no helping his teammates — no heart.
0 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Well, it didn’t take long for JaVale McGee to get back to his old ways after Flip Saunders’ departure. The good: a 50-foot bounce pass that hit John Wall in stride and ultimately led to an alley-oop to Nick Young. The bad: a coast-to-coast sprint that ended with a knee to Chase Budinger’s sternum (and a blocking call… he got bailed out). The ugly: just about everything else.
0.25 Stars
WEIDIE: He has turned the blocked shot into a selfish act (okay, not always… but you catch my drift), and his highlight plays that gain recognition are more of a result of athleticism than any sort of honed skill. Must’ve had a good AAU coach. On the court McGee’s effort is wildly inconsistent. One minute he’s running up and down the court to get dunks, blocks and boards, the next minute or several he’s standing straight up in half-court defense, arms at his side and ball watching.
0.5 Stars

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

SAM PERMUTT: The bench got thoroughly outplayed by the Rockets bench, led by Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. The Wizards were led by Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker, with Crawford taking relatively good shots (and making them) and Booker wowing the 473 Rockets fans in attendance with his athleticism and physicality. The Wizards bench had 9 turnovers (4 by Crawford, who struggled to run the offense) and completely folded at the beginning of the fourth quarter.  Chris Singleton seems to have lost his edge; he is no longer playing with the air of toughness and confidence that had everyone raving about him early on.
0.75 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
TOWNSEND: Sam Cassell might just be the Wizards best weapon off the bench — it’s a shame he can’t take the floor. On the brighter side, the Rest of the Rotation was able to do something the starters could not: make a three-pointer. How u, Roger Mason?
0.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
WEIDIE: There was a Mo Evans sighting and he got his shot blocked by Hasheem Thabeet. That’s about all you need to know about this game. The bench play was uninspiring. I don’t feel great about giving the sub of the game to Trevor Booker with a team-worst minus-28.
0.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker

BENCH TOTAL: 2 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Wittman’s starting lineup impressed at the tip. The five-man unit of John Wall, Nick Young, Rashard Lewis, Jan Vesely (!), and JaVale McGee looked confident and played Houston tough, holding them to just 8 points midway through the first quarter. Things got ugly in the second quarter with Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker taking the floor; Houston went on a 16-4 run. A Nick Young-for-Jordan Crawford swap stopped the bleeding, but all basketball sense had already been lost in the panic. Firing Flip Saunders might have helped the win-loss column, but that move was by no means a panacea.
1 Star (out of 3)
PERMUTT: Rotations looked decent. Props for starting Jan. Nicotine addictions are tough, though.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Whomever is coaching this team is teetering upon becoming a moot point with certain players on this roster. And has anyone determined if that method of locking a kid you caught smoking in a closet with a couple of cartons of Marlboro Reds and telling him that he can’t come out until he smokes them all works? And if it does work, how would it apply to the Wizards? Starting Jan Vesely over Blatche gets Wittman at least half of the three stars.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ John Converse Townsend

The Wizards took the floor like a pack of crazed dogs, that succumbed to a fatal case of rabies faster than anyone could have expected. There were blocked shots and tip slams and alley-oops … all of which countered and outweighed by three-point shots that ricocheted off the side of the backboard, a glaring inability to box out (Chase Budinger finished the game with eight rebounds, five offensive; he is averaging just over three total rebounds per game this season), and more turnovers than Ina Garten would know what to do with. Oh, and Jordan Hill recording his third double-double of the season in less than 20 minutes of game time….

Top Tweets

@Abstract_cool: This Wizards team is making me so damn anxious for the Redskins offseason. Take me away from this bullshit.

@mattkremnitzer: In 32 minutes, Nick Young had 3 more turnovers than rebounds. He committed 3 turnovers.

@wzzntzz: How many cigs the Wiz gonna smoke after this one? We look like Doug benson on cover of “super High Me”

End Scene


“I don’t even know how to explain it. Lost concentration, I guess..”
Jordan Crawford, via Michael Lee of the Washington Post

With just under two minutes left in the third quarter…

Jordan Crawford dribbles and drives baseline to the hoop. He wants to pass, can create for others… but, well not necessarily this way. Not the way of a jumping no look pass attempt to Jan Vesely with Rockets defenders encroaching. “It wasn’t a good pass to being with, it hit Vesely in his shins,” said Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz. Indeed. The best part, however, is Vesely hip checking Kyle Lowry to keep the Rockets from getting more easy points in transition.

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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.