DC Council Game 5: Wizards 92 at Celtics 100: Signs of Life in a Loss | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 5: Wizards 92 at Celtics 100: Signs of Life in a Loss

Updated: January 3, 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 5 contributors: Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Sam Permutt.]


Washington Wizards 92 at Boston Celtics 100 [box score]

Quick STAT: Three-point shooting, the difference in the game. Boston went 10-20 from the line, the makes divided amongst Paul Pierce (4-9) and Ray Allen (6-7). Meanwhile, Washington went 3-11, Nick Young missing all four of his attempts with the three-point makes coming from Rashard Lewis (1-3), Roger Mason (1-2), and Chris Singleton (1-1). Washington’s long and overly laborious search for a consistent long distance threat continues.

Scene of the Game

Blatche holds Flip back.

[screen shot via Comcast]

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Sam Permutt

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

John Wall

John Wall

ADAM McGINNIS: After Rajon Rondo picked apart the Wizards D in Boston’s Friday night victory, Wall played Celtics star to about a draw. John pushed the ball up the court effectively by finding open Wizard shooters and creating high percentage offensive opportunities. He committed two crucial late game turnovers, seven total for the game, which is way too high, but he did bounce back to make few pivotal plays that instigated a late rally before Paul Pierce drilled the final dagger three. Wall moved his feet much better on defense and was taking proper angles to cut off drives. His shaky confidence at the three point shot still hurts Washington’s half court offense when the ball is swung to him for free looks. He did smile a few times and got T’d up for a brief stare down after a facial dunk on Celtics center Greg Stiemsma. Wall has yet to live up to expectations created by his phenomenal summer league circuit performances and solid rookie campaign. However, these last two games show signs that he could soon be there.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: A night after playing the best game of the season, Wall regressed a bit in the return game in Boston. He looked more like a rookie, not a second-year player on the brink of a breakout. He had seven turnovers, the last one costing the Wizards a chance to pull within one basket. He does deserve credit for playing better defense on Rondo, who also had seven turnovers.
1.5 Stars
PERMUTT: Crunch-time lessons abound from Wall’s fellow Kentucky alumnus, Rajon Rondo, especially on a crucial reach-around steal late in the fourth.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

RASHAD MOBLEY: A mediocre shooting night by Young would have earned the Wizards their first victory of the season. Instead, Young shot a putrid 3-14, and he consistently had problems chasing Ray Allen (27 points) through screens. When the Celtics needed a big basket, Pierce and Allen seemed to hit all the big shots like you’d expect big-time veteran scorers to do. On a night when Blatche and McGee played well, it would have been nice to see Young do the same.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Young struggled from the field and relied too much on his pull up jumper, avoiding driving to the hole after he was jobbed by a early no call when he was definitely fouled. Still, he can’t let that get to him.
1 Star
PERMUTT: Noticeably frustrated with the officiating and his own offense struggles, noticeably lacking on the defensive end.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1.75 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

ADAM McGINNIS: Sweet Lew began cold, warmed up a touch, and tipped in a few missed shots by his teammates. Overall, I am torn about the role of Lewis on this team. He is a good guy, players respect him, but he must knock down looks from downtown more consistently. Lewis is only 4-14 from three-point land on season; that’s just not going to cut it. Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton need to see more of his playing time, because at this point in his career, Lewis should not be logging 40 minutes a game like he did on Monday night.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Ray Allen is the best three-point shooter of all time, and he showed it by going 6-7 from behind the arc. Rashard Lewis is the fourth best three-point shooter among active players, and he went 1-3. Plus, he was unable to exploit his five-inch height advantage over Paul Pierce. I won’t say he’s a liability, but damn…
0.5 Star
PERMUTT: While his presence on the floor is far from exciting, Rashard seems to be playing the kind of steady, consistent, veteran game that will benefit the young Wizards in the long run.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 3.75 out of 9 stars

Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche

SAM PERMUTT: Though he could use some pick-and-roll defense pointers from Trevor Booker, ‘Dray finally established himself on offense in a big way. There were stretches where he reminded Wizards fans why some have put up with his off-court antics and general slovenliness — he attacked the glass hard, made tough mid-range jump-shots in the flow of the offense, and moved effectively without the ball throughout the fourth quarter.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Dray had his best game of the young season by far. He was aggressive early, had the mid-range jumper going, and most importantly, got to the free throw line. His 8-10 outing from the charity stripe was four more FT attempts than he totaled in the first four games. Blatche’s help defense was a vast improvement over Friday’s contest.
2.5 Stars
MOBLEY: It is easy to focus on Blatche’s 28 points (most of which came from the outside, not the post where he allegedly needs the ball), but I’m going to focus on his defense. He had two blocks, two steals, and played hard on both ends. The fact that he played peacemaker in a squabble between his coach and the referee was just icing on the cake.
3 Stars

TOTAL: 7.75 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

SAM PERMUTT: His post-game lacked conventionality, as always, but on Monday night in Boston, it did not lack effectiveness. ‘Vale scored on dunks, lay-ups, and several of his newly discovered sweeping hooks. Defensively, he blocked three shots and made his presence felt on numerous others, such as on a Ray Allen drive and reverse lay-up attempt that missed the rim entirely, a miss caused by JaVale’s mere proximity and the enthusiasm of his previous contests. Very encouraging to see ‘Vale clap, smile, and shake off frustrating plays instead of resorting to the sour, exasperated face we’ve seen all too much of.
2.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Epic Vale was outstanding in all facets of the game by securing 11 defensive rebounds, keeping several offensive possessions alive with tip outs, hedging screens effectively, rotating well on defense, patiently executing successful hook shots, and protecting the rim. This was the most impressive overall game that I have witnessed from McGee in his professional career. He seems to finally be getting it.
3 Stars
MOBLEY: 17 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks for a Washington Wizards center, the night after he goes for 16, 14 an 3? Gold Jerry…Gold.
3 Stars

TOTAL: 8.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: Trevor Booker hustled on defense, but he missed some open shots. Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton and Roger Mason weren’t great, but they weren’t bad. Shelvin Mack, who is supposed to be the backup point guard, did not play a minute in this game. But tonight’s low rating for the bench is attributed to the bad play of Jordan Crawford. The Wizards were down one point with 8:38 left in the fourth. From there, Crawford turned the ball over, then missed a forced shot, and then the Celtics went on a 10-4 run to basically put the game out of reach. He didn’t look like a player trying to help his team win, he looked like a player trying to say I-told-you-so to the coaches for removing him from the starting lineup — and given how hard his team played, that is a no-no.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
McGINNIS: Jordan Crawford’s iffy shot selection does not bother me if his role is going to be a scorer on the second unit. However, as the backup point guard he has to be more of a facilitator. Crawford had an awful sequence early in the final period of bad shot, turnover, and foul that sparked a Celtics run, which could be pointed to as one of the significant momentum changes that affected the outcome. Kevin Seraphin had moments where he looked completely lost on both ends. Booker contributed positively, while Mason and Singleton both made clutch threes. The bench unit played OK, although limited by lack of burn. Rookie Shelvin Mack inexplicably earned his first DNP when the Wizards were playing the second of a back-to-back.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
PERMUTT: On one play, Trevor Booker denied KG in the post, hedged hard and aggressively on a ball screen, recovered to KG, and then recognized a help situation and came up with a big block on Avery Bradley. 24 second violation. Good minutes from Kevin Seraphin, too, but not much else.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker

BENCH TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Flip Saunders/Randy Wittman

The Coach: Flip Saunders

RASHAD MOBLEY: I’ve seen coaches get thrown out of games as a motivating tactic for their team, and sometimes it actually works. Flip Saunders had every right to be upset because Greg Stiemsma (a D-leaguer) appeared to absolutely mug Rashard Lewis (a 21 million dollar man), and I don’t think he planned on getting tossed. But not only did it motivate his team, it motivated Andray Blatche, the guy who seemed to be struggling the most. The only downside was that Flip’s departure left Randy Wittman in charge, and Wittman failed to utilize the bench, particularly Shelvin Mack. Jordan Crawford was way out-of-sync and John Wall struggled early, so at the very least Mack should have gotten a chance, not a DNP.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Flip got tossed within the first two minutes of the game, and it did not seem to faze the Wiz Kids. Wittman might have relied on the starters too much.
1.5 Stars
PERMUTT: Think he’s frustrated, maybe? Hope he watched the game on TV, because his team wasn’t half-bad.
Stars: N/A

COACH TOTAL: 3.5 out of 6 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Adam McGinnis

The Celtics were awarded five free throws in the first period due to five Wizards technicals. The scene at the top of this post of Saunders being held back by Blatche is classic enough… But perhaps Randy Wittman’s occasionally seen “shock face” (usually after something JaVale McGee has done) is more classic. This time, it’s the fill-in coach’s reaction to a terrible shot by Jordan Crawford.

Fan Tweets

@Unsilent: How many more coaches need to get tossed before Sam Cassell gets to run this team? Get angry, Randy Wittman

@mimiph: On Amtrak back to DC. Following Wizards games on twitter is way more fun than actually watching the games.

Slept-On Moment

  • McGINNIS: Die hard fans know how much JaVale loves to take off dribbling, and there was a moment in the fourth quarter where had his chance. McGee secured a long rebound and old JaVale would have jetted down the court for a likely turnover. Instead, he immediately stopped dribbling and hit Wall with an outlet pass. John then quickly threw the ball up court and it resulted in a layup for Blatche. This seems like an ordinary play, yet in the maturation of McGee, it is a significant example of him finally listening to his coaches and making the correct basketball play to benefit his team.
  • MOBLEY: JaVale McGee, without the help of a big man camp or a summer with Hakeem Olajuwon, has developed an effective hook shot. More importantly, he seems to be comfortable using it as a go-to move. In the past, if McGee went 8-9 from the field, the assumption would be that a dunk fest had occurred. But on this night, McGee showed the full repertoire while grabbing 14 rebounds (11 offensive). He definitely seems to be playing with a purpose as of late.
  • PERMUTT: Paul Pierce reminded Chris Singleton, and Wizards faithful, that there’s a difference between a promising youngster and a seasoned veteran star. After Singleton hit a three, Pierce roasted him on three consecutive possessions, using off-ball screens and sharp cuts to get to his spots at will. Singleton may be Washington’s best perimeter defender and a future lock-down stud, but he’s still got a lot to learn.

End Scene


“I think I had the right to stare at him.”

[-John Wall, via Wizards Insider]

{A John Wall stare-down, technically worthy.}


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 currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.