DC Council Game 21: Wizards 88 vs Bulls 98: ‘Talking To Your Mom?’ | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 21: Wizards 88 vs Bulls 98: ‘Talking To Your Mom?’

Updated: January 31, 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 21 contributors: Markus Allen (@mayminded), John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 88 at Chicago Bulls 98 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

At the conclusion of the 3rd quarter, Derrick Rose had attempted as many free throws (11) as the Washington Wizards. Worse, Rose finished the game having made more free throws (14) than the Wizards attempted (13). Chicago made 24 of their 31 free throw attempts in a comfortable 98-88 victory, their seventh-consecutive win over Washington. Wanna know how that sits with Ted Leonsis? “We haven’t yet earned the respect of the league’s officials,” he writes on his blog, pointing out the very same discrepancy between the charity afforded to the league’s reigning M.V.P. and a team of losers.

Scene of the Game


Original Screenshot via @recordsANDradio.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, John Converse Townsend,
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Wall tried his best to show the inimitable Derrick Rose what was what from the opening tip, beginning with a discontinued dribble on the game’s first possession… And that’s kind of how the night went for Wall, who is talented in his own right, but doesn’t yet have the command over the game (or the ball) that Rose does. John Wall took a deep breath as he searched for answers in the Verizon Center rafters before disappearing into the locker room after the game; whatever answers he may have found left him shaking his head.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: It always intrigues me to see John Wall go against Derrick Rose. Two No. 1 picks, both with similar skill sets and a Caliparian pedigree, thrust into completely different situations. Wall had his hands full going against Rose, who was aiming to redeem himself after a loss Sunday to the Heat. Rose was efficient from the field and went 14-15 on free throws, shooting floaters and just showing his MVP form. Wall, on the other hand, was not too bad, just average; he had 20 points, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 4 turnovers. This was a good game for Wall to learn from Rose, and I hope he took some valuable information out of it.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Wall come out in full-on attack mode versus Rose. No, he wasn’t trying to match a league M.V.P. in a contest of who could piss the furthest, rather, he had to look for his offense in hopes of sparking something for Washington against a stingy Chicago defense. But the fact that Rose had 13 points (6-8 FGs) and 3 assists in the first quarter to Wall’s 8 points (3-7 FGs) and zero assists in the period pretty much sums up the story of the night. When asked after the game, and in light of Rose’s performance, about the difficulties of developing decision-making as a point guard (when to look for yourself, when to look for teammates), Wall said, “It’s not hard when you got guys like Kyle Korver that can make shots, and you can run off down screens and a guy like Carlos Boozer that can pick-and-pop, and Luol Deng and guys you can run plays for that make shots and create their own shots, it’s kind of easy.” Sure it is, John, sure it is.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

MARKUS ALLENI believe that Nick Young may have wanted to show the Bulls why they should have been more interested in him during free agency (Chicago chose Rip Hamilton, who did not play). Young had 17 points on 7-20 shooting. He took a lot of tough, contested jumpers and actually drained a 3-pointer that cut the Bulls lead to eight in the third; however… let me reiterate the amount of tough, contested jumpers he took. At the end of the 4th quarter the Wizards were down 88-96 with 35 seconds left to play; Nick Young came down the court and missed a bad three in transition that essentially put the game out of reach. Not to say that the Wizards would have won if he had made a better decision, but it was just one of those plays that summed up Nick Young as a whole.
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Before the game, Nick Young and Kevin Seraphin had a fancy little pregame routine, a not-so-secret handshake if you will. The two bumped fists, got their roll in vintage Daunte Culpepper fashion, before going in for a second helping of daps and pounds. I share this vignette because it was Young’s best performance of the night.
1.25 Stars
WEIDIE: Young forced a couple shots very early in the game, and went 0-4 on FGs in the first quarter. His second quarter was better with 5 points (2-5 FGs) and 4 rebounds (this included an offensive rebound tip-back… HUH? Exactly). In the third, Young took, and missed, just one shot in four minutes, but he did drop a nice dime to Jan Vesely for a dunk. In the fourth, Young turned on his offense (and defense), knocking down 5-10 from the field (2-4 from deep), but don’t think all of those shots were good… And don’t think that Randy Wittman didn’t have to stomp his feet on the floor multiple times to remind Young to play pressure defense and find the shooters after Young would take time to bask in rare offense from the Wizards (Washington scored 29 points in the fourth).
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Rashard Lewis was big on the boards vs. the Bulls, pulling down eight rebounds, one shy of the team-high, for just the third time since February of last year. Lewis’ best moment came with about four minutes left on the clock in the 2nd quarter: the vet blocked one of Rose’s shot attempts in transition, grabbed an offensive rebound, assisted a JaVale McGee layup, and then pulled down a defensive rebound after a missed layup by Ronnie Brewer. Lewis’ offense, however, was bottled up like spring water — flavorless, transparent and overpriced.
1 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Rashard was nonexistent on defense, and was also somewhat at fault when it came to Kyle Korver shooting 5-12 from three. He had five points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes of play. There were a couple wide open three-point attempts which would have bought the Wizards some momentum that Rashard failed to hit, but at this point there’s no reason to criticize someone who consistently plays poorly… He’s getting payed $21 million to shoot 25-percent from three. That’s $840,000 for every 1-percent. Ha… that’s all I can do, sorry.
0.25 Stars
WEIDIE: It’s a constant struggle to justify the presence of Rashard Lewis. It’s a study in sadness over having no one else, and an appreciation that he’s not Gilbert Arenas. The Good News: Lewis is a veteran and this is easy to tell amongst a team of youth… this counts for something. Also, his mere presence to make a shot acts as a helpful threat for the Wizards offense. Bad News: Lewis went 1-4 from the three-point line against Chicago and this actually improved his percentage from that distance on the season.
0.75 Stars

TOTAL: 2 out of 9 stars

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely

KYLE WEIDIE: During glimpses of him in training camp, Vesely looked lost. But when it came time for him to play, you get tell the kid was oozing with basketball instinct (with the exception of offense). Against the Bulls on Monday night, Vesely looked lost again, as if a mysterious cloud from a mysterious island surrounded him, in the process strapping his eyes open Clockwork Orange style, forcing him to watch highlights of Derrick Rose over and over while Carlos Boozer pounded him with a jousting stick from American Gladiators. It was probably pretty intense for the young fella… and thus his statline was: 15 minutes, 1-3 FGs, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 fouls, 1 turnover. Jan will be alright, and I’m not one for knee-jerk reactions, but perhaps starting Trevor Booker should be in Randy Wittman’s next recipe.
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Vesely looked terrified going against the Bulls and was in no position to deal with Carlos Boozer down low. At one point in the game Vesely had the ball in his hands, only to be outmuscled by Joakim Noah; it really showed his lack of physicality and I believe his spirit was crushed by being dominated. He only played 15 minutes, had 2 points and 3 rebounds.
0 Stars
TOWNSEND: So, uh, maybe it’s time to get Trevor Booker back into the starting lineup. There’s no ‘O’ in Jan Vesely.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

MARKUS ALLEN: JaVale McGee had a pretty solid game with 16 points on 7-12 shooting, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. JaVale showcased somewhat of a post game and briefly bullied Omer Asik. He snagged six offensive rebounds (which mostly came from poor Nick Young shots), and was effective with his put-back attempts. There was a nice alley-oop from Wall to McGee, and he just showed an intensity that allowed the Wizards to stay in the game. There was one bonehead play that could have seriously injured McGee; while Joakim Noah was coming down the lane, McGee set up for a charge… and stuck his knee out in a way that could have ended devastating. Besides that dumb decision, I applaud JaVale for showing up and competing pretty well against Noah and Asik. Not every day you see him try to take a charge, either.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: McGee didn’t seem to think much of his match-up, Joakim Noah. After his first score, a finger roll over Noah’s head, McGee held up his right hand in the air as he paraded backward across the timeline. I applaud McGee’s confidence, but I don’t think much of his pick-and-roll defense.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: JaVale McGee… good player, great athlete, continues to get lost on the court within his own actions to the detriment of the team. He’ll probably get better over time, or maybe not. In P&R defense, he often morphs from a living, breathing deer in the headlines into a chair, waiting to be run over by Derrick Rose’s magical sports car. But let’s not forget all the good McGee does, patrolling the paint and all… he’ll be much better at doing so in the future with work in the weight room.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

KYLE WEIDIE: Trevor Booker came out with a solid burst of fire and ready to bang with Carlos Boozer after witnessing teammate Jan Vesely get abused in the early going. In his first six minutes of action, Booker had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block — he finished the game with 14 points (7-9 FGs), 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 0 turnovers, and 2 blocks in 26 minutes. The rest of the bench didn’t provide much… Jordan Crawford chipped in 10 points on 16 shots (3 assists, 2 turnovers), and Kevin Seraphin had 4 points, including his third career jumper from beyond 16 feet, and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
ALLEN: The Bench was all about Trevor Booker. He had 14 points and 9 rebounds, coming in for Jan Vesely who was completely tapped out of the game. He had a great impact coming off the bench in 26 minutes of play. This performance, as well as the 16 point, 6-6 FGs performance against the Bobcats should thrust Booker into the starting spot of Andray Blatche. Meanwhile, Jordan Crawford went 5-16, took a lot of bad shots, and the rest of the bench didn’t produce. Kevin Seraphin looked completely lost on offense in the paint, getting a three-second call and also double-dribbling. Once again, I would like to state that Trevor Booker owned the bench and had a great night.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
TOWNSEND: Kevin Seraphin had a game to forget, and some other Wizards players spent some time in the spot light, but it was Trevor Booker who made the most noticeable impact, as I expected he would. Booker, demonstrating that he’s the most developed and game-ready combo-forward on the roster, made a strong case to be the Wizards starting power forward.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker

BENCH TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

MARKUS ALLEN: Randy Wittman must be respected for getting his team’s head actually into the game. Wittman made a bold call in choosing to full court press the Chicago Bulls; the Wizards were able to force turnovers and make the Bulls change up their offensive game-plan. Wittman stated that, “I was a little hesitant to do what we did in the fourth quarter because we hadn’t worked on it.” The confidence that the coach has instilled in his team has shown a bit already, as defensive effort just wasn’t quite the same under Saunders. Wittman is also good at balancing his rotation with getting plenty of in-game experience for his young players. We can expect Wittman to continue to try new techniques, which should allow them to further develop and improve.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Randy Wittman hasn’t yet convinced me he’s the answer at head coach in D.C., but does seem to be getting more out of the roster than Flip Saunders did, which is like saying he’s more capable of squeezing water from stone.
1.75 Stars
WEIDIE: Wittman gets 2.25 stars because of his willingness, hesitantly, to throw full-court pressure at one of the NBA’s best teams early in the fourth quarter, because he’s getting more out of his players, and because of his post-game press conference… Aside from suggesting that a reporter call his office if he had any tips as how the Wizards could’ve better defender Derrick Rose, Wittman, in his press conference, asked a cameraman, who was on his phone for one reason or another (seemed work-related), if he was talking to his mom… because it distracted Wittman in mid-thought. More than worth the funny scenery (and the video below).
2.25 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

After the game, Derrick Rose was spotted wearing a white Dolce & Gabanna James Dean hoodie, as seen here on the Saks Fifth Avenue website for the price of… “Sorry, this item is not available.” Dammit! How do celebs like Rose and Justin Beiber, also seen by fashion sites wearing D&G James Dean hoodies, ever expect us to be cool like them?!! Related: James Dean died in a car crash at age 24. If I were 23-year old Derrick Rose, I’d probably wait a bit before sporting a dead white guy on my gear. Wait, did you say it was made by Dolce & Gabanna? SPLEN-DIIIIIIIIID!!!

Top Tweets

@CraigStouffer: Anyone else think Omer Asik looks like Judge Reinhold? “You guys had shirts on when you came in here.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhJmkafAPd4

@BullsbytheHorns: @Truth_About_It Omer Asik is Linguine’s twin from Ratatouille… http://pic.twitter.com/XJtnHIly

@MrMichaelLee: I must say, Derrick Rose is doing a very solid John Lucas III impersonation vs #wizards

End Scene


“What’s that? Talking to your mom?”
Randy Wittman upon being distracted by a cameraman on the phone during his post-game presser… Let’s watch…

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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    So Nick Young gets rebounds and a few assists now, but now he sucks because he can’t score? Wow…

    The last 2 guard that the Bulls played shot only 4-16, he must be horrible too…

    I know this site loves hating on Young, McGee, and Blatche (some is deserved for each ot them), but have you all considered that the Bulls D was focused on making it difficult for Wall and Young? Young was very bad in the 1st half, but he played much better in the 4th on O and D. The last 2 shots he took were desperation shots to make the game closer! Who in the hell else would take those threes? Wall? Crawford? Lewis?

    I know this won’t do anything because no matter what he does, Young will be ripped on mercilessly on this site. I at least admitted be played poorly in the 1st half…

  • AjFromTheDMV

    It’s time to put Booker in the starting line up for Lewis. He’s shown what he can do since last year.

  • John Converse Townsend

    Ayo, I wouldn’t call TAI’s coverage of Nick Young “merciless.”

    Here’s why:

    Young is the Wizards points leader, scoring 16.4 points per game. He’s clearly the team’s best (but entirely one-dimensional) scorer.

    The issue isn’t that Young “now sucks because he can’t score,” but rather than when he isn’t putting the ball in the basket, Young isn’t doing much else.

    By the numbers…

    Nick Young is averaging 2.7 rebounds per 36 minutes, a total better than only Roger Mason and Maurice Evans (who hardly see the floor).

    In terms of assists, he’s averaging 1.6 per 36 minutes, ahead of only his front court teammates — JaVale McGee, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, Rashard Lewis, and Jan Vesely.

    (Also, Young has never had more than 5 assists in a game.)

    Steals? 0.8 per 36 minutes, at the bottom of the Wizards barrel with Mason and Evans.

    Blocks? 0.3 per 36 minutes.

    Stats don’t lie: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/WAS/2012.html

  • Nich

    So if I remember right, the Wizards won the combined 2nd-4th quarters. Not bad! While Chicago took their foot off the gas a little, the Wiz played respectable enough for the remaining 3 quarters after a dreadful start to the game.

    With 90 seconds left and down 8, I would have liked to see Whitman elect to make the Bulls win the game at the free throw line. I really can’t understand the message he was sending to the team by allowing the Bulls to stand there and run the clock out- Hey guys, congrats on not rolling over after coming out flat, now let’s roll over? It’s not that I have any illusions that they would have won the game through a combination of suddenly poor Chicago free-throw shooting and excellent offense from Washington but it really left a bad taste in my mouth that the Wiz didn’t try and force the issue and play hard that last 90 seconds. 2 missed FTs and a made 3 and all of a sudden Chicago has to sweat it out. Ok, maybe I do have some illusions.

    Terrible ending to what could have been a fairly respectable 3 quarters of basketball.

    Glad to see Booker out there more, he’s playing some great efficient ball lately. I’d really like to see Mack getting closer to 15-18 minutes a game somehow.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    John Converse Townsend:

    I’m not trying to rip on your site. I know that it is very hard to manage and analyze, but look at this.


    Young is holding his defender to a lower PER by a noticeable margin. And this was true last year as well. In addition, in looking at box scores, he typically has one of the higher +/- scores of the team each game (not just one game). This means that he plays average D at WORST (it’s actually better than average).

    I’m not calling him a star or a #1 option, which he has to play on this poor team, but I believe he can be an average starter or excellent 6th man on a good team. If he got more rebounds and assists, then he would be comparable to Joe Johnson statwise, who IS a star. Not all players can be like that…

  • Michael

    Great points made by Ayo Obayomi regarding Young.

    Nick Young is not some terrible defender, as much as some on here would have you believe.

    Nick Young can definitely start in this league, and for a playoff contender. But he isn’t a #1 option, which is often the role the Wizards place upon him because the rest of the team is so offensively inept. When the Wizards dump him this summer, I’m confident he will have a better career anywhere else but here in Washington.

  • Nich

    imo, Nick’s game is tailor made for a 6th man role. His one on one defense does seem more noticable this year, it’s nice to see that he worked on that facet of his game.

    I got real snippy about Nick the other day and then wondered what his stats were actually like and if I was overreacting [I was].

    Checked out Hoopdata’s shot breakdown. Nick takes the 14th most long (16-23ft) 2 pointers in the league, so I’ll use those 14 [Kobe, Marshon Brooks, Lebron,Aldridge, Gerald Henderson, Melo, J-Smoove, Ben Gordon, D-Wade, Monta, Rip Hamilton, Bargnani, Amare]
    as a relatively arbitrary ‘set’.

    He makes 46% of long 2 pointers. Higher percentage of them than any of the 13 guys ahead of him (remember- arbitrary set! not saying Nick Young has been the best long 2pt jump-shooter in the nba this year)

    That doesn’t make the long 2 the greatest shot for the *team*, but it’s apparently the best for Nick. Only 28% of those makes are Assisted (3rd lowest of the 14 guys with 5.4+ long 2 attempts per game after Lebron, Marshon Brooks and Melo) which makes me think that if the Wizards were more inclined towards this crazy concept of ‘ball movement’ that he’d get looks that were more open and his numbers could get even better.
    Of those 14 guys, Young has by far the biggest dropoff when it comes to shots from 10-15 feet as his percentage dips all the way to 25%.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is- Nick Young, I’m sorry for thinking you were only hitting like 30-35% of those long 2s. I wish you had a better short-medium range game and passed and/or rebounded so that people would appreciate your bombs more.

  • AYO: I hear you… personally, I want to be conscious of being overly harsh on Young, but I expected more improvement and better team play in a contract season, even around an inefficient team… (although, we are only through just under a third of the season)…

    In terms of 82games.com numbers… yes, Young has vastly improved at defense over his career, and the numbers show — defensively ON/OFF the Wizards allow 8.7 less points per 48 when he’s on the court this season.

    Offensively, however, is Young helping? The Wizards score 0.2 less points per 48 when he’s on the floor… shouldn’t be the case if he’s the team’s best scorer. Also, Wizards assisted FGs go down 5% when Nick plays. He MUST learn how to create for others if he expects to play on a winning team in the future… why not start now?

    NICH: The 16-23 foot shooting range can be so statistically deceiving… I wish shot distances were broken down further… I mean, the free-throw line is 15 feet away from the backboard. What I’m trying to say is that not all those long 2s in that wide-ranging category are bad, i.e., the shots Nick takes from those ranges within the offense are most ideal and can be his bread & butter like Rip Hamilton (while he can also extend the floor more than Rip with threes as well as being a better athlete than Rip)… Problem is, again, very bad court vision.