DC Council Game 24: Wizards 81 vs Clippers 107: 'Holy Smoke' Wizards Puff Puff, But Don't Pass | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 24: Wizards 81 vs Clippers 107: ‘Holy Smoke’ Wizards Puff Puff, But Don’t Pass

Updated: February 6, 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. Click here for cumulative DC Council 3-star ratings over the course of the season. Game 24 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis), John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 81 vs Los Angeles Clippers 107 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

1. For the first time this season, Washington scored fewer than 20 points in each of the first three quarters (17, 17, 19).

2. Nick Young’s total shot attempts at the rim. (He’s averaging 1.8 attempts at the rim per game.) Both came in the first eight minutes of the game.

3. Three Wizards — Trevor Booker, John Wall and Head Coach Randy Wittman — were charged with technical fouls.

4. Chauncey Billups made a game-high four 3-point attempts vs. Washington.

5. The number field goals Nick Young made from the field. He attempted 16.

6. The number of free throws the Clippers made in the game. They attempted 17 free throws and won by 26 points.

7. The Clippers (23) scored seven more points than the Wizards (16) on second-chance opportunities. The key: rebounding. The Clippers were plus-21 on the glass (plus-4 OREB).

8. Blake Griffin’s game-high assist total (to go with 21 points and 11 rebounds) despite not playing a minute in the fourth quarter.

9. … um, the Clippers scored more than half of their points in the paint (56) in front of the 19,419 in attendance, the Wizards largest crowd of the season.

0. The number of times the Wizards had a lead over the Clippers.

Scene of the Game

Ke-viiiiiiiiiiiiiiin (and Blake).

Yes, people, Kevin Seraphin still looks very raw. But he’s a big body, sets a helluva screen (Kirk Hinrich was impressed during his time in D.C.), and the Wizards need things like this. Give him some more time. And, although he lost the ball going to the basket with much less authority than needed before he and Blake Griffin got tied up, give Seraphin credit for fighting some. Of course, Griffin did give Kevin a ‘You realize I’m winning this jump ball, right?… This is essentially a steal.’ look.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, John Converse Townsend,
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

KYLE WEIDIE: 2 points, 1-9 FGs, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 turnover, 28 minutes versus 14 points, 4-8 FGs, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 29 minutes. Which one was Chris Paul and which one was John Wall? Wall is the latter, Paul the former, ‘Can’t throw a rock in the ocean,’ I believe were Paul’s words after the game. Wall had the stronger stats, but you can’t say he had the stronger game since CP3’s Clippers won. Still, I can’t fault Wall’s night too much, I saw many more positives than negatives. This was a “surroundings” game… although, not saying that Wall doesn’t have a long, long way to grow before he can leave an imprint on a big game like Paul.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: Game Changer’s had a nice scoring outburst in second quarter and held Chris Paul to two points. He continues to gut it out in this disastrous season.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Wall’s most memorable play came with about six and a half minutes left to play in the fourth quarter — you might remember it. The Wizards were in a half court set, and Wall’s answers to the Clippers defensive questions had grown tired. So he dribbled headfirst into a wall of Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups, collapsing in a heap to the sounds of the referee’s whistle (timeout Washington) and boos from the Verizon Center crowd.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

ADAM MCGINNIS: Swaggy P was hot early and it was good to see him attacking the hoop on a few drives. He cooled off in second half and was unable to contribute in any other facet. Young still gives effort when the franchise likely does not have him in their future plans. We’ll see what 14 points on 5-16 FGs with fetches on the open market.
1 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Nick Young played one of his better games, but you wouldn’t know it from the box score. 14 points on 16 shots with 2 rebounds and 1 assist is par for the course.
1.25 Stars
WEIDIE: Word is, Nick Young rented three rooms for Chauncey Billups at whatever hotel the Clippers stayed at… what can I say? He just wanted the guy to have plenty of space. Kidding aside via Billups’ 4-4 from long distance thanks to Young, there was also that play 12 seconds into the third quarter where, after gathering a turnover, Young called timeout falling out of bounds while no one except his teammate JaVale McGee was right in front of him waiting to receive the ball. Not the worst thing in the world to do, but a very Wizards thing nonetheless.
1 Stars

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: What we’ve learned: Rashard Lewis is a liability in transition. Earlier this season, Lewis was missing easy buckets, at times even stealing passes from teammates on the break. Last night, Lewissinglehandedly destroyed both a two-on-one and a three-on-one fast break, turning the ball over on both occasions. His three turnovers on the night were more than his totals for points, field goals made, free throws attempted, rebounds, assists, and steals. He played 22 minutes. It should be illegal to spell Rashard Lewis without b-u-y-o-u-t.
0 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: I am starting to feel bad for Lewis because he does not belong on a NBA court anymore, and it is painful to watch him struggle with easy plays like failing to execute a 3-on-1 fast break.
0 Stars
WEIDIE: I still don’t know if Randy Wittman was talking about benching Lewis or starting another veteran with Lewis. He’s not making bad basketball decisions, per se, but he’s performing horrible basketball actions. A possible unwillingness to be in Washington could be playing into Lewis’ executable demeanor. Also, Caron Butler pulled out all the moves on him. “DC, Stand UP!!!”
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 0.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: Cook Book’s stats look like having to make a salad out of the lettuce and mayonnaise spillings from a Burger King burger — 4 points, 2-5 FGs, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 2 blocks and 1 steal in 26 minutes. OK, not that bad… Booker did come out aggressive like his coach wanted, and Wittman gave him credit for doing so after the game. Still, when all was said and done, Trevor got caught up in the wave of the Clippers and couldn’t do much to establish himself, as he does have his personal limitations as well as those established by his team. Not too worried, the recipes will get more consistent, and right now, starting Booker is still the right book to cook from. As far as the Burger King? Don’t worry, he told me his pregame meal was a Cobb salad.
0.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Cook Book got in early foul trouble and never found his groove. Trevor is going to need hours of slow jams.
0.5 Star
TOWNSEND: Despite getting the start, and playing for more than 26 minutes, Trevor Booker was nearly outplayed by the Clippers’ Brian Cook, who saw around 6 minutes of game action in the fourth quarter. What more do you need to know?
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.75 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

ADAM MCGINNIS: When discussing McGee’s contract situation, pundits point to DeAndre Jordan’s 4-year, $42.7 million contract as the market for JaVale. Jordan absolutely destroyed the Wizards bigs and McGee offered little resistance. JaVale’s hook shots are becoming more of an adventure than any success. McGee might still get his big pay day, but his reps better destroy this game tape before their negotiations. Jordan even supposedly stared down Mama McGee after one of his dunks. BURN!
0 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: This game featured two centers from the 2008 NBA Draft. On the one hand you had $43 million defensive showstopper, and second rounder, DeAndre Jordan. On the other, you had Pam McGee’s coddled son, an 18th pick. While McGee was begging for bailout foul calls from the officials, Jordan was playing ball. McGee finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds.
0.75 Star
WEIDIE: There are only so many ways to say that JaVale McGee is getting better, but not as much as he’s not getting better. If that’s confusing I am too. It’s hard to tell if McGee is going to change eventually or just become more like him. At least a Wizard will likely be in the dunk contest.
0.5 Stars

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: All things considered, the bench played well. They scored 51 of the Wizards’ 81 points (18 from behind the arc), outrebounded the starters and even turned the ball over less frequently. Shout-out to Mean Kevin Seraphin, who had a team-high 8 rebounds, his best mark of the season.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
MCGINNIS: There was no spark whatsoever, and the whole unit looked nervous when entering game; the Clippers just toyed with them. They kept playing hard, however, and had a decent final quarter, which prevented the loss reaching 50 points. In youth basketball, there are always a few kids who freak out when they get a pass on offense and can’t wait to dish it away. This is how to describe Jan Vesely on offense. Kevin Seraphin mistimes his jumps and consistently refuses to use his big body on box outs. Jordan Crawford knocked down a few threes, and Chris Singleton finally busted out of his slump with some solid burn. Hamady N’diaye getting some late garbage time produced my only smile of this Lob City massacre.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Chris Singleton
WEIDIE: The ghastly domination worthy of movie comparison to a scary guy with a bunch of nails and pins in his head distracted from a 4th quarter that the Wizards won 28-20… Holy Smokes! Roger Mason Jr. plus-6, Hamady N’diaye plus-4!!
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely (yea, Jan’s had a tough go of it lately, but I’m not going to sleep on the mostly decent job he did of guarding Blake Griffin)

BENCH TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

ADAM MCGINNIS: Wittmania was fun while it lasted, it could be officially done with these weekend drubbings (Although Toronto at home on Monday provides a ripe opportunity to rebound). Wittman left the second unit in way too long to begin second quarter when the rout was getting worse, but that is just nitpicking since it likely did not matter. The Wizards have no reliable low post bigs, just part of the flawed roster, and run a bizarre offense focused on shooting inefficient long twos. The have also been creamed on boards in repeated games (69 total to Toronto and Los Angeles). On nights list this, Wittman might be wishing that he walked out the door with Flip.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: “We were back on the cigarettes, and I told them I’m pulling that cigarette out tonight,” Randy Wittman said before the game, talking about how his team had fallen off the wagon after a loss to the Raptors. Cigarettes were not so much the issue; the Wizards are fighting for their lives after a near fatal of nicotine poisoning.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Cigarettes are a nasty habit. My dad knows. He’s even tried hypnosis during his tenured career, to no avail. Here’s Wittman’s problem: some if his players are going to smoke anyway. So when his whole team gets drunk on the game, and a couple of the habitual guys start lighting up, teammates with a buzz are going to start bumming cigarettes off the smokers and lighting up too. Doesn’t take long for the whole crew to start puffing cigs on the regular for the rest of the night. Some non-smokers might even start buying their own packs.
0.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

There was a very ‘on to the next one’ feel after the game, as in there’s nothing to look forward to for the duration of this season. Pretty tough for the team, but probably good for the Wizards’ lottery chances. Now, this is not to say that some guys aren’t playing hard and won’t continue to do so. Many of them are and will; you have to love basketball to some degree to get to this level, and those who came from good college experiences like John Wall (Kentucky), Shelvin Mack (Butler), Trevor Booker (Clemson), Chris Singleton (Florida State) know the most about what it takes to be a team — also include Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin because of their structured international experience. Some of the Wizards will make it to the other side of this mess, some won’t.

Also Seen…

Caron Butler drilling a three over Rashard Lewis at the first half buzzer certainly stands out, which means one day Rashard Lewis could be doing the same for another team against the Wizards.

Of course, it took until later for me to realize that DeAndre Jordan gave JaVale McGee the ol’ salute after a dunk.

Finally, before the game in the locker room, John Wall told Nick Young that he could name the colleges of each player on the Clippers roster. He got all right except two: Brian Cook (Illinois) and Reggie Evans (Iowa).

Top Tweets

@dmbosstone: Wow. The #wizards fan couldn’t find G-Wiz in the shuffle game. That pretty much sums up the night for DC.

@malikshareef: The “mercy” rule should have been in the new NBA CBA. I don’t wanna watch this Wiz-Clips game anymore.

@gheorghetheblog: Wizards getting shot clock violations down 30. #NewTraditions

@WorldWiEdWard: If I’m Randy Wittman, right about now I’d pull a Bob Knight and throw a chair on the floor #Wizards

@ldrabick: Flip Saunders must have that feeling you have when you find out your ex is dating someone not as cute as you.

End Scene

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT (Do distressed bench shots get old? Don’t worry, we’re weary of this. The answer is not yet.):

I think once that game started and they saw how hard they came at us, it was a ‘holy smoke’… I don’t know, I’m searching too.
Randy Wittman

[via @Jose3030]

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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.