DC Council Game 20: Wizards 102 at Bobcats 99: 'W' is for Wittman | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 20: Wizards 102 at Bobcats 99: ‘W’ is for Wittman

Updated: January 30, 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 20 contributors: Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie.]


Washington Wizards 102 at Charlotte Bobcats 99 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Threes & Dimes…

Sometimes the Wizards only need to hit a couple of their three-points attempts, perhaps share the ball more on several extra possessions, and they’re either close in a game at the end, or, *gasp* even winning their first road game of the season. Somewhat simple: when Washington makes three or less three-pointers in a game, they are 1-11 (3-5 otherwise), and when they have 18 or more team assists they are 4-5 (0-11 when tallying less than 18 assists). Sharing the ball is one thing, tough enough as it is, but having a stocked supply of shooters makes doing so easier and more productive. Washington Wizards: shooters wanted, obviously. Against Charlotte, the Wizards racked up 26 assists, second most on the year. After Wall’s 10, Jan Vesely had four and Jordan Crawford had seven off the bench.

Speaking of Crawford, his per 36 minutes averages through the first 12 games of this season: 16 points (0.353 shooting, 0.265 from three, 0.731 free-throws), 3.9 assists, 3.5 turnovers and 3.4 rebounds. Although he’s had a couple down moments, Crawford has been better in the eight games since (starting with when the Wizards loss to the Rockets in D.C. on MLK Day), his per 36 numbers: 21.9 points (0.440 FG%, 0.308 3P%, 0.774 FT%), 5.1 assists, 3.3 turnovers and 3.9 rebounds.

Scene of the Game

Wizards, Wittman, Win.

RANDY!, screen shot via Comcast SportsNet Washington.

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

KYLE WEIDIE: For much of the game, John Wall — 13 points, 5-12 FGs, 2-2 FTs, 10 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers — kept himself and his team in check. He had a little bit of everything in front of some hometown fans from Raleigh, in Charlotte. He hit his first three pointer of the season and had a vicious dunk where he put his knees on Tyrus Thomas’ back (as seen in the video above).
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Game changer is really passing well out of pick in roll situations, although he missed too many easy shots near the hoop. The Wall and Kemba battle featured two of young NBA stud guards and fans did not leave disappointed.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: He seems to have replaced his out of control ways with a more measured style of playing point guard and its helping the Wizards play better. But on this night, he was out-Wall-ed by Kemba Walker, who had a triple-double (20 points, 8-18 FGs, 11 assists, 10 rebounds). Wall was often seen giving Walker plenty of space to shoot.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

ADAM McGINNIS: When Nick had to sit after picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, the Wizards offense really sputtered. He struggled fighting through screens when defending Matt Carroll and luckily Carroll missed the game tying shot. Young’s mid-range jumper was wet and he can be pretty deadly at the catch and shoot aspect of the game. He drilled several clutch shots at the end of the game and felt the team should have gone to him more in the final period.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY:  He scored 21 points and kept the bad shots to a minimum, but what was more impressive to me was his play down the 4th quarter stretch.  He scored a tough shot in the lane to put the Wizards up by four with a 1:13 left, and then he prevented Kemba Walker from getting a clean look the last few seconds of the game. It isn’t very often that I can praise a non-shooting phase of Nick’s game.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Is this the type of game that’s come to be the standard for Young? 21 points on only 15 shots, got to the free-throw line twice, hit some nice shots off solid Trevor Booker screens, took a couple bad hero ball possessions late in the game, which leaves the greatest stain on Young’s decent scoring game, aside from his one rebound and zero assists in 27 minutes. Of course, don’t let this take away from the fact that Young hit some huge shots down the stretch… Catch-22 I guess.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

RASHAD MOBLEY: A report said the Lakers were considering adding Gilbert Arenas to their roster, and it was mentioned that he was a low-risk, high reward type of signing who could contribute to the Lakers’ backcourt.  After I got over the initial shock that Agent Zero is now a role-player, I realized that if expectations were lowered, and his role clearly defined, Arenas could actually succeed in Los Angeles. And it is through that type of prism that Rashard Lewis has to be viewed.  He’s no longer the player who can average 20-plus points and shoot 40-percent from three. He’s a role player. And against the Bobcats, he hit two three-pointers, he grabbed six rebounds, he even stole the ball from Kemba Walker. He wasn’t flashy, and it could be argued that he’d be better served coming off the bench, but with lowered expectations, he wasn’t so bad.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Sweet Lew connected on TWO three pointers, do I need to elaborate? There is zero justification for him to be playing 36 minutes in a NBA basketball game, but did I mention he made TWO threes? Awesome.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Averaging 27.3 minutes per game, Lewis achieved just his second game all season of making more than one three pointer (2-3 versus Charlotte, was the same against Atlanta in the second game of the season). According to his Game Score on Basketball-Reference.com, Lewis’ 10 points (3-7 FGs), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals , 1 block and 1 turnover was his fifth best game all season. What does it all mean?
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely

KYLE WEIDIE: Once again, great instinct from Vesely, his effort is contagious. However, it’s clear that he has to balance his penchant for being spastic, he needs to get used to the NBA-style game (with time, of course), and doesn’t have much to offer on offense… But Jan is doing everything he needs to be doing to be getting consistent time over the rest of this season. 2 points, 2 steals, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 26 minutes — he knows how to be present, the Wizards have long desperately needed more players like this.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Jan is coming down with case of Yi Jianlian’s disease with sloppy hands on offense by not being able to secure passes thrown to him and he still is picking up too many fouls. His aggressive on-ball defensive pressure is superb, and he is finding ways to impact the game positively without scoring.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: He’s the new Chris Singleton of the starting lineup. His numbers aren’t great, and sometimes he’ll go several possessions without touching the ball.  But he gets his hands in passing lanes, he gets hockey assists, and he’s gaining experience. That has to count for something.
1 Star

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: I watched Byron Mullens and JaVale McGee go back and forth during this game, and they both led their respective teams in scoring (Mullens had 23, McGee had 22). But on the defensive end it was a different story entirely. Mullens went without a rebound in the first half, and he only had three for the entire game. He had no blocks (he did have a goaltending call), no steals, and he was virtually non-existent on the defensive end of the floor. McGee on the other hand, blocked five shots, grabbed ten rebounds and got one steal. McGee even had a pretty touch pass to Vesely for a dunk, something I’ve rarely seen during his four year career. It is highly doubtful that McGee will duplicate this type of balanced game Monday night against the Joakim Noah and the Bulls, but we know now he has the potential to be more than just an athletic shotblocker.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: This game had all sorts of JaVale: sick dunks, wicked blocks, huge rebounds, SWEEPING hooks, terrible outlet passes, defensive lapses and tapping balls away from teammates on a crucial late game possession. Hard to complain when JaVale goes for 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, he made Mama McGee proud.
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: McGee had an up and down game that was much more up than down. He provided solid secondary help on pick and rolls. He dominated paint protection. He’s definitely a better rebounder than he used to be. Still some trouble, however, in letting Byron “BJ” Mullens go off — sometimes JaVale didn’t have it in him to run back on defense. Knowing how to throw good outlet passes wouldn’t be too much to ask. The key with him is staying active, and oh yea, free throws. With a chance to put the Wizards up five points with 5.2 seconds left, JaVale missed both, giving Matt Carroll a decent shot to tie the game at the buzzer.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 6.5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ADAM McGINNIS: Jordan Crawford displayed some of that exciting play-making ability fans buzzed about toward the end of last season. His outstanding first half was a large part of why the Wizards built a ten point lead after two quarters. While you still have to live with some questionable shots out of the West Detroit native, seven dimes in 20 minutes is quite impressive. Trevor Booker was in full on beast mode with 16 points on just six shots in 18 minutes. There appears to be nice chemistry developing between Wall and him on the two-man game. Shelvin Mack had a nice finish at the rim and ran the team nicely. Blatche did not play in the second half, which was reportedly due to an injured calf; he was so slow that he made the overweight Boris Diaw look nimble. The Wizards need to shut Blatche down and condition him for two weeks or so, it would be best for both him and the team. Andray huffing and puffing through games is not in anyone’s interest. There has been a troubling downward trend to Chris Singleton’s game as he does not seem to be responding well to the demotion to the bench. It was one of worst defensive games out of him, as he picked up cheap fouls by leaving his feet. This likely comes with the lulls of being a rookie, worth keeping an eye on.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
MOBLEY: Trevor Booker was perfect from the field, and played well, despite guarding and being guarded by a man who he easily gave up 30 pounds to in Boris Diaw. Jordan Crawford pulled off a hell of a magic trick by taking 12 shots in 21 minutes, while still managing to hand out seven assists.  I can’t give out three stars here, because Blatche didn’t do jack.
2.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
WEIDIE: Trevor Booker might get abused on defense by larger opponents like Elton Brand and Carlos Boozer, but boy can he destroy smaller players and less athletic big guys. A couple power dunks by Cook Book against Charlotte was the message of toughness Ted Leonsis has been touting. Jordan Crawford has started to calm down, a lot, per his digits discussed above in the stat of the game. Kevin Seraphin got abused a couple times by his fellow Frenchie Boris Diaw.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker

BENCH TOTAL: 7 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

RASHAD MOBLEY: Starting Jan Vesely over Andray Blatche was a hell of an imprint for Randy Wittman to make on the team. But on a night like Saturday when Vesely was not scoring or providing any semblance of a low-post threat, and when Blatche, who can do all of those things when he’s motivated, just sat on the bench, that is an even bigger statement. Granted, this experiment was made possible by the lowly Bobcats, but still this move worked, and it does not bode well for Blatche (even though the story is that Blatche was playing hurt). My only gripe with Wittman is that Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack each only played 12 minutes.  This would have been a great game for them to get even more experience, especially since this was the second of a back-to-back.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Witt-mania, can … you … FEEL IT? The new head coach again started Jan Vesely over Blatche, who was barely running up and down the court in his eight minutes of action in first half, and rolled with Trevor Booker’s hot hand down the stretch. Randy now has a winning record … 2-1 BABY!
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Wittman’s team got a little tight in the end. His players forgot to keep shooters in check and they showed their usual penchant for getting away from the offense. Washington easily could have lost this game, but held on against to worse opponent. The ‘W’ is all that counts though.
2 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 6.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • After Booker dunked on Byron Mullens, he turned around and briefly paused, as Mullens was blocking his way. Byron then shoved Booker. The ref signaled a tech, and Trevor immediately clapped and laughed because he thought it was on Mullens. However, the ref called a double tech on Booker and Mullens, which was highly dubious.
  • Charlotte’s DeSagana Diop shot the worst free throw air ball of all time,  it was probably at least two feet short.  Kevin Seraphin was amused.
  • John Wall’s mom, Frances Pulley, was at the game wearing her customary red T-shirt with number two on it. Wall was in his home state of North Carolina and secured over 100 tickets for friend and family.
  • Andray Blatche’s mother, Angela Oliver, was also in attendance, and she had a brief good-spirited appearance during the Comcast Television broadcast. Immediately after the victory, Oliver was spotted having Rashard Lewis sign a shoe for her in the team bench area. This was especially hilarious because an elated Coach Wittman slapped Lewis on the shoulder when he was finishing up his autograph for 7-Day Dray’s mom.
  • After three straight Wizards fast break attempts ended with turnovers, play-by-play TV announcer Steve Buckhantz remarked: “That slam you heard was Randy Wittman removing half of the press table.”
  • Advice for Comcast, showing team president Ernie Grunfeld on the screen multiple times is going to generate mostly negative reactions from fans watching, but if upsetting a loyal fanbase is the goal, then likely accomplished.
  • Booker executed a nifty up-and-under post move for a bucket then broke out a SHHHHHH on his way down the court. When you give the effort Cook Book does on a nightly basis, you get a longer rope than most players.
  • Wittman’s post game reactions were almost as enjoyable as the victory. During the final Bobcats attempt to tie the game, he had one of his hands directly on top of his head throughout the final seconds. When Matt Carroll’s last shot came up short, he looked dumbfounded,  but then went into double raised fists. Wittman kept his hands up and started slapping and yelling at everyone around him for high fives. When McGee was out of his reach, the winning coach shouted at him: “Give me some JaVale.”
  • It was a night for the fist pump. Both Young and Booker went to the hand gesture after JaVale’s shot was ironically goaltended, giving the Wizards a three point lead with 46 seconds left. This seems insignificant, but it’s always good to witness teammates cheering for each other.

Top Tweets

@EdgeofSports: This Wizards team is the most entertaining, campy, godawful, too-beautiful, tragicomic 2-56 team in league history.

@daCSmith: Jan Vesely has to be the nicest guy. i always see players on other teams smiling at him

@gheorghetheblog: Hold on…not only was Rashard Lewis signing autographs @ Wiz bench 15 secs after game, but that was Blatche’s mom asking for the autograph?

End Scene


“Nothing against Vesely, I thought Ves was good again tonight. He gives us a presence out there, but Book, with his ability to roll to the basket and catch and finish was huge.”
Randy Wittman on Trevor Booker’s game, via The Washington Post


[via @tjackson85]

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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.