DC Council Game 4: Wizards 86 vs Celtics 94: Measuring Progress By Mere Fractions of a Game | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 4: Wizards 86 vs Celtics 94: Measuring Progress By Mere Fractions of a Game

Updated: January 2, 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 4 contributors: Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend who covered the game at the Verizon Center, and Sam Permutt, who watched the game all the way from Israel.]


Washington Wizards 86 vs Boston Celtics 94 [box score]

Quick STAT: Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 18 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds and was a true floor general, of course, made much easier with those around him. Put Rondo’s lack of true scoring prowess next to the likes of Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Jordan Crawford, and he certainly doesn’t shine as much. Still, John Wall could learn a lot from his vision and patience. Hopefully these things will come in time.

Scene of the Game


{The Wizards can’t win without Andray Blatche,
but perhaps they can’t win with him either.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Sam Permutt
and John Converse Townsend

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

John Wall

John Wall

SAM PERMUTT: John played his best game of the season, doing the bulk of his damage in the open floor. Part of the reason he had so many good transition opportunities in this game was his presence on the defensive glass (seven D-boards on the night). Those rebounds allowed him to start his own fast-break with no delay. When he plays in transition, he plays without thinking, and his athleticism and instincts usually create points. He still seems to be struggling a bit with his outside shot and his confidence, but he played hard and occasionally had a smile on his face (which is what Flip Saunders wanted).
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The game changer finally made an appearance in the NBA season, and it was the number one positive to take away from the loss. Wall finished around the hoop more effectively and was able to use his speed as an advantage by playing less out of control. Wall could have easily achieved double digit assists (he had eight to just one turnover) had his teammates knocked down open shots.
2.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Flip Saunders said he would pull John Wall from the game if Wall didn’t play hard and have a smile on his face. Smiles were few and far between for Wall, but he did show flashes of brilliance, leading the team in points (19) and assists (8) while also pulling in seven rebounds.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

SAM PERMUTT: Dude can score, in case you haven’t been around. SwagyP got going in the third with a couple easy layups courtesy of a pair of nice assists from JaVale (point-center?) and John Wall, then continued his scoring run with a tough fade-away and a silky reverse lay-up off the dribble drive. He did a great job chasing Ray Allen around screens during the same period. Still, the Wizards desperately need Nick to play effectively even when his scoring is not there.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Nick Young struggled in first half and heated up during the 3rd quarter with 10 points in the period. Nick, however, has to drill some threes (0-3) in order for the Wizards to beat a high-caliber team like the Celtics.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Nick Young looks like the player he has always been: a one-dimensional scorer. After an ugly start to the game, Young came alive in the second half, scoring 16 points in 17 minutes. Still, his performance left me wanting more.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Rashard Lewis was most effective in the post where his size allowed him to make shots over Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels. Lewis may need more touches inside to be productive, since he’s struggling to find his three-point shot this season (27.2%). His play remains unremarkable, but he is constantly communicating with his teammates. Let’s hope his veteran wisdom helps the team grow faster.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Sweet Lew was able to score a few nice baskets near the post early in the contest by using his size. His four misses from three were killer though as the team shot a putrid 2-16 from long distance. After a Garnett And One that pretty much iced the game, Lewis was visibly upset and had an animated conversation with Wizards assistant Randy Wittman about defensive rotation on the play.
1.5 Stars
PERMUTT: He needs to start hitting his threes. It wasn’t too long ago that the sight of his release convinced me of a bucket (Orland Magic playoff run). Can’t we bring some of the magic back?
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche

ADAM McGINNIS: Public enemy number one of Wizards fans provided much fuel for his numerous critics with another dreadful performance. Blatche tallied only three rebounds in 34 minutes of play and relied way too much on fade-aways. Dray needs to take his own advice and attack the hoop more, because six free throw attempts in four games is atrocious for a starting power forward in the NBA. Color me irrational as many do for defending Blatche, but his season totals in four games, 8.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 31% Field Goal, 4-6 FTs are making it a very difficult chore.
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: With JaVale fronting KG in the post and Mr. 24/7 positioned on the weak-side low block, ‘Dray allowed his nemisis to catch the ball on a lob, gather himself, and throw down an uncontested dunk. Soft as tissue paper.
0.5 Star
TOWNSEND: Andray Blatche had more turnovers (4) than rebounds (3). Pathetic.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: JaVale McGee’s awesome athleticism continues to pose problems for opponents, even hiding questionable technique on offense. Statistically speaking, McGee continues to be the Wizards’ best player, as evidenced by his game-high 14 rebounds (6 offensive) and 5 blocks, and is becoming a stronger, smarter defender. However, he can disappoint at times, particularly when caught ball-watching—Rajon Rondo took advantage of his roundball fixation, continually finding cutters for easy points in the paint.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: McGee crashed the boards effectively, especially offensively and showcased a few nifty post moves, but Kevin Garnett abused JaVale on defense in critical moments of the game. His reluctance to pass to open teammates or read defenses when getting the ball is still most frustrating aspect of watching him play.
2 Stars
PERMUTT: Watching JaVale make a post move is like trying to corner a squirrel; just when you think you know where he’s going, he randomly zig-zags in a different direction.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Ronny Turiaf brought great energy off the bench, but left the game in the third quarter after injuring his left hand. Crawford had a miserable shooting night, sinking his season field-goal percentage below 38, but made half of the team’s three-pointers versus Boston. Roger Mason sank the Wizards’ second three-pointer of the night in the fourth quarter—his first of the season. Trevor Booker was the biggest spark with 7 points, 2 steals and 2 rebounds in less than 14 minutes. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Free Booker.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
Sub of the Game: Trevor Booker
McGINNIS: The Celtics out-scored the Wizards’ bench 22-14, and Trevor Booker was the lone outstanding performer, highlighted by a breakaway dunk after a steal. Jordan Crawford continues to roll a miserable combination of questionable shot selection and cold shooting. Roger Mason struggled fighting through screens and is a liability on defense.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
PERMUTT: Not much love for C-Singleton, even after he came in and got physical with Paul Pierce.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker — Good to see one of the hardest-working Wizards create a couple easy buckets for himself.

BENCH TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

ADAM McGINNIS: Flip Saunders loves to name drop Kevin Garnett and compare players to him, so this game gave him the opportunity to praise the actual KG. Flip claimed Garnett was the top team defender in the NBA, and Saunders justifiably lauded him as dominating the game. For the most part, Wizards sub patterns were solid, although Nick Young sat for way too long to begin the 4th quarter after having a hot hand in the third. This could be due to Young still trying to get his conditioning after a late training camp arrival. The team played hard and there is no question about the effort, but there is definitely something off with the offense. The share of the responsibility rests with Saunders, and the coach better figure something out quickly because this losing streak has potential to spiral out of control.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: Not as bad at the last three games, at least.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: With Ronny Turiaf out of the lineup, Flip Saunders will have to give Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin more minutes, a development that will help the Wizards.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

The Wizards had stellar attendance for the New Year’s Day game, which was most likely due to the droves of Celtics fans in the building. Red Sox and Patriots gear were also spotted throughout the Verizon Center. However, my favorite sighting was a Stephon Marbury Celtics jersey-shirt. During the Celtics introductions, the sound of bagpipes could be heard. Yes, Boston fans are insufferable, but credit them for supporting their squads on the road with passion.

Mike Knuble of the Washington Capitals was shown on the Jumbotron, and to the chagrin of Washington Nationals fans, the right winger sported a Baltimore Orioles hat. Redskins RB Tim Hightower also got some face time on the Kiss Cam. NBA agent David Falk was on hand and seen conversing with one of his players, Celtics forward Jeff Green, before the tip. Green is out for the season with a heart condition. Turiaf and Green had a brief exchange with Turiaf making a motion towards his chest, which appeared to be him talking to Green about his own heart surgery once upon a time.

Fan Tweets

@malitzd: John Wall’s body language still resembles Louis CK in the opening credits of “Louie”

@daCSmith: the wizards are pathetic. and so is everything else in my life.

Slept-On Moment

  • McGINNIS: In first half Jordan Crawford shot an airball, the Wizards corralled the miss and passed it back to Crawford, who immediately jacked an errant shot several feet past the three point line. On a first half possession, Blatche settled for a futile contested pull-up jumper early in the shot clock. On a move in third quarter, McGee spun to the hoop, acquiring a double team. Blatche was wide open for an easy wrap around dump pass, but JaVale decided to take on two Celtics instead and was unsuccessful. During the final period, Blatche handed ball off to Young, who turned the corner to attack basket and then bizarrely just gave it back to Blatche who had to fire an errant shot while shot clock was winding down. These are a few isolated snap shots, when accumulated, attempt to provide answers for the Wizards ineffective offensive output.
  • PERMUTT: On two separate plays in the first half, John Wall caught passes wide-open at the three-point line. Both times, he immediately drove aggressively, right back into the defense. Although it’s good that he knows his limits and isn’t jacking up threes, it will be even better if he can catch at a spot where he is comfortable shooting, which will force the defense to close-out and create secondary driving opportunities.
  • TOWNSEND: With three minutes left in the game, Rajon Rondo recorded his first triple-double of the season by ripping a rebound away from Andray Blatche. Rondo, a point guard, finished the game with more offensive rebounds (4) than Blatche had total rebounds (3). The Wizards, now the only winless team in the N.B.A., aren’t nearly talented enough to let precious possessions slip through their fingers.

End Scene


“We are staying positive, but it’s not something that is just going to happen. We have to make it happen.”

[-Roger Mason Jr.]

{A sort-of smile from John Wall, we think.}


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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.