DC Council Game 6: Wizards 85 at Magic 103: Making Progress Harder To Find | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 6: Wizards 85 at Magic 103: Making Progress Harder To Find

Updated: January 5, 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 6 contributors: Arish Narayen, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie.]


Washington Wizards 85 at Orlando Magic 103 [box score]

Quick STAT: Sometimes the Wizards’ offense is so simple that opponents know exactly what they will do. Sometimes the game is so simple that you don’t need an intricate offense, you just need to make shots. The Wizards are very, very bad at making shots, shooting 36.6% from the field, 2-12 from the three-point line against Orlando. One of the best ways to tank is to have bad shooters, I suppose. So, good one, Wizards.

Scene of the Game

Teach it again, Sam.

[screen shot via Comcast]

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Rashad Mobley, Arish Narayen and Kyle Weidie


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

John Wall

John Wall

ARISH NARAYEN: Wall entered the game shooting a league-worst 37.1% from the field (amongst the 119 players who qualify). In the first half, it appeared that percentage would continue to get worse. After a ridiculous transition block by Dwight Howard early on (in which Howard raced back and pinned Wall’s layup attempt against the backboard), John was consistently finishing too strong at the rim. As a result, Wall had five points on 2-9 FGs with around three minutes left to play in the second quarter. As Orlando settled into its second half lead, Wall played a bit better. In addition to converting a few one-man fast-breaks after an Orlando score, Wall began making some of the elbow jump-shots left open by the sagging Orlando D. He finished with 14 points (6-16 FG), 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and, most notably, zero turnovers.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Wall played 33 turnover-less minutes, which is an improvement, but he had a plus/minus of minus-25, and he didn’t do a good job of running the team. Maybe Tony Kornheiser is right.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Derrick Rose improved his FG% by 1.4% from his rookie to soph seasons. Through six games, Wall’s FG% has dropped 8% since last season. Wall is not a very good shot creator, and teams will continue to go under the ball screen against him for the unforeseeable future.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3.5 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

ARISH NARAYEN: Like John Wall, Nick Young began the game slowly. In addition to being posted-up effectively by Jason Richardson on Orlando’s first few possessions — J-Rich scored the Magic’s first five points — Young was 0-5 from the field in the first quarter. The bricks were contagious, as the Wizards’ missed their first twelve shots and scored a meager 14 points in the first twelve minutes. Young came back with a better effort in the second half, converting two clean, spot-up looks to begin the third quarter. Demonstrating his gunning abilities in the second half, Nick led the team in scoring (17 points) despite those first five misses. Given how poorly the team continues to shoot, such a distinction is dubious at best.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: He single-handedly tried to get the Wizards back in the game in the third quarter with 11 points, but he was a non-factor in the first half, and the less he scores, the more noticeable his defensive lapses seem to be.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE:Don’t ever count Nick Young out, because he’ll always keep trying to score no matter how bad he or his team starts. I just don’t know whether to give up on him ever being able to pass or embrace that the fact that I may be watching one of the worst passing guards in NBA history.
1.25 Star

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

KYLE WEIDIE: Lewis is always going to be out there trying with good intent, wish that won games. His long distance jumper is a shell of its former self. Is it his knees? Does he not get as much lift? Probably. Whatever the case, if he’s going to shoot 25% from three-point land (like he is through six games this season), it might as well be someone else. Yes, Lewis does bring a calming presence to the offense, believe it or not, because he’s been trying his hardest to cultivate offense by getting shots in the paint. But another problem: he’s not really a paint finisher. Six points on 3-10 shooting (0-2 from three) with four rebounds, an assist, and two turnovers in 29 minutes… Lewis is the definition of a warm-body. He won’t really hurt you, some of that warmth may transfer to the next body, but he for damn sure isn’t putting any food on the table.
0.75 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: The Wizards are still waiting for Lewis to regain his form from four years ago when was a member of the Magic. The Magic seem to be quite happy with Ryan Anderson who had 23 points and 15 rebounds.
0.5 Stars
NARAYEN: So professional right now. Another unremarkable game for Rashard, despite the “F U for trading me” angle.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.75 out of 9 stars

Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche

KYLE WEIDIE: The Wicked Pixel? The Dead Horse? Which one is a better nickname for Blatche? I don’t know. What I do know is that he’s one of the laziest players on the court every time he steps on the floor. And I don’t know if it’s dwindling the spirit of the team to a nub, or if Blatche’s teammates are becoming immune to his presence. I also don’t know how a team owner can continue to preach toughness, yet defend Blatche… Let’s go ahead and add that to the dictionary under “oxymoron.” Blatche has skill and size, but not hustle and toughness, two qualities he has displayed in mere fractions of fractions of fractions over his NBA career, if at all. He made a couple nice moves in Orlando against an equally gunning Big Baby Davis. Great. Otherwise, 10 points on 5-12 shooting with 6 rebounds in 29 minutes — seems pretty normal, sadly. The Wizards can’t get rid of Blatche fast enough, because I don’t imagine anyone has the balls to bring him off the bench.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: No one is expecting him to go for 28 and 9 every night like he did against the Celtics, but uninspired efforts like the one he gave in Orlando is just plain depressing.
1 Star
NARAYEN: Ryan Anderson is still open for three.
1 Star

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: During yesterday’s 3-on-3, we at Truth About It pointed out that JaVale McGee tends to struggle against Dwight Howard. No one expected McGee to dominate, but we did expect McGee to at least come up with some sort of moral victory against Superman. Instead McGee was completely demoralized by the All-Star center. It wasn’t just that Howard went for 28 points and 20 rebounds, it was the fact that so many of those points were wide open dunks. McGee was outmuscled, outclassed, and he failed to reach double figures in points (for the first time this season) or rebounds. McGee’s best move of the night was when he drew a charge (read: flop) on Howard, and even after that Howard laughed and said, “Come on man, you better than that.”
0.5 Star (out of 3)
NARAYEN: JaVale McGee: 6 points, 4 rebounds. Dwight Howard: 28 points, 20 rebounds. Not quite there yet, Pierre.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Another bad stat line versus Dwight Howard, but I actually don’t mind how JaVale played last night (most of Howard’s damage came against the clueless Seraphin). Aside from a couple bouts with bad body language that he must further control, McGee played mostly within himself, tried some decent post moves, and blocked five shots. For just about once, I don’t have too many complaints, given the opponent circumstance.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ARISH NARAYEN: I died a little inside each time Jordan Crawford threw up a long, contested two. I suppose I can’t fault Jordan, since a blow-out = his time to shine [see him smiling against the Bucks?]. The Wizards missed Turiaf last night, as Kevin Seraphin routinely got lost on D and was generally abused by Dwight Howard. Booker and Singleton continue to provide solid minutes — one would hope the loss of Turiaf means more burn for these guys. Jan Vesely dressed for the game, but never got on the court.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub of the Game: Trevor Booker
MOBLEY: Even Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz are starting to hint that Trevor Booker needs to get more playing time. Flip can’t keep denying him minutes when he’s hustling more than any other player.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker
WEIDIE: Seraphin should be in the D-League, unfortunately him not going is evidently an “arrangement” his agent has with the team; his pick-and-roll defense has the mental intelligence of a Jersey Shore episode. Roger Mason: NOT a popcorn player (aside from one Christmas Day). Trevor Booker better be earning more playing time. Jordan Crawford is 21-61 on the season… Is is a sophmore slump or is he simply a bad shooter who takes horrible shots? Otherwise, the bench is young and they tried.
1.25 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Trevor Booker

BENCH TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Flip Saunders

The Coach: Flip Saunders

RASHAD MOBLEY: It is easy for me to turn this particular space into a Fire Flip Saunders rant, so I will avoid that route and take the elusive high road. With 8:37 left in the first quarter, the Wizards were down 9-0 and all five of his starters had miss relatively easy shots. Given that his team was 0-5 and on the road, I wanted to see Flip pull his starters and put in an all-hustle lineup of Shelvin Mack, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Roger Mason and Kevin Seraphin just to shake his team up a bit. Instead, he watched his team shoot poorly and give up 48 points in the paint. To his credit, Flip hinted in his postgame presser that personnel changes could be coming, so perhaps even he’s seen enough at this point. It just does not seem like any of his players are listening anymore.
1 Star (out of 3)
NARAYEN: Though Seraphin spelling McGee on Howard ended predictably, I thought Flip managed the rotation well. Flip, if you’re out there in this world of wicked pixels, please tell Jordan Crawford that he doesn’t always have to shoot. And, play Booker more.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Flip is not high on the list of NBA coaches who really seem to be able to motivate players. Water is also wet. But now I’m wondering if we should lay off the criticism of the coach. I mean, do people really expect Saunders to change Blatche? Maybe get 7-Day off the team and see how the coach can do.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 3.5 out of 6 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Kyle Weidie

JaVale McGee goes Vlade Divac on Dwight Howard… pretty smart of him, if you ask me.

Fan Tweets

@Above_Legit: I cant even count the number of times our players have passed up an open shot only to go into the lane and get a charge called on them

@llttlewayne: I’ve said it once and ill say it again the wizards could go 0-66 but that’s still my team *terrel owens voice*

Slept-On Moment

  • MOBLEY: There are two point guards on the Wizards roster: John Wall and Shelvin Mack. Yet Jordan Crawford, who has not shown that he can do anything except shoot and score, continues to get the nod over Mack. Crawford has already played himself out of the starting lineup, and Wall’s lackluster play has been the subject of at least two of Flip’s postgame pressers. Against Orlando, both Wall and Crawford struggled again, yet Shelvin Mack only played four minutes. If Flip has no faith in Mack’s game, and if Wall is going to continue to struggle the way he is, a move for a veteran backup point guard is in order.
  • NARAYEN: Moment: Dwight Howard’s first quarter block on Wall, in what appeared to be an easy layup in transition. Afterwards, Wall appeared hesitant to go to the rim, and took a nasty fall after trying to put back his own miss only a few minutes later.
  • WEIDIE: Nick Young had a defensive target on him from the jump ball… Stan Van Gundy seemed intent on exploiting the 6’6″, 220 lbs. Jason Richardson against the 6’6″, 200 lbs. Young on the first couple of Magic half-court possessions. Did Nick get stronger over the summer? I can’t tell. But post position was way too easy to come by for Richardson. And not like that affected the outcome of the game — let’s be serious — but it likely affected the dollar amount of Nick’s next contract. And these are the “slept-on” moments of bad Wizards team…

End Scene


“Right now, we playing as individuals and we got to change it ASAP.”

[-Jordan Crawford on Irony, via Wizards Insider]

{Smiles in Orlando, while they last.}

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.

  • Patrik Trimmer

    i didn’t like the McGee for seraphin sub or the young for mason sub early in the first. Roger hasn’t shown any better shooting touch or defensive ability than anybody and replacing McGee with a less skilled, less experienced player (are there really such people) only added fuel to Howard’s fire. No digs at the officiating? These refs are treating these guys like TC Williams in Remember The Titans. Our guards can’t buy a call going to the basket. Flip needs to get kiced out of every game, and Ted needs to go the Mark Cuban route of sending tapes of poor officiating to the league office. Nowadays people can’t breathe in the direction of Dirk and not get a whistle.

  • Alex

    I’ve been watching the Wiz more this season than at the end of last season (something misguided about still having hope…) — was Jordan Crawford this bad last year, too? There’s quite literally nothing more destructive to a team than someone who takes awful shots, doesn’t make them, and doesn’t play any defense. At least Shelvin Mack knows what he can’t do. (Mack’s Butler Bulldogs also beat Crawford’s Xavier Musketeers two years ago, although that’s obviously highly irrelevant.)

  • Alex,
    Jordan Crawford was decent last year, but most of his high volume scoring binges came along during the second half of the season when expectations were low. this year he was expected to produce (or at least compete for the starting “2” guard slot) and he’s yet to deliver. Then again, Flip needs to stop playing him at the point.

    If the Wizards played hard and lost because of bad calls, I’d be up in arms over the officiating.

  • Thomloverosthirdchin

    Once upon a time there was only one rogue ref…….