DC Council Game 25: Wizards 111 vs Raptors 108: Indefensibly Sprinting Back On Defense | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 25: Wizards 111 vs Raptors 108: Indefensibly Sprinting Back On Defense

Updated: February 7, 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 25 contributors: Markus Allen (@mayminded), Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 111 vs Toronto Raptors 108 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Markus Allen

The most impressive part of the game is the 60-point combined output from two pairs of players: John Wall/Nick Young of Washington (31 and 29) and Jerryd Bayless/Linas Kleiza of Toronto (30 and 30). They put up points in similar ways, leading us to ask… Which duo was more effective across the board?

Blind Resumé

20-39 FGs, 10-18 from 3-point, 10-14 FTs — 60 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals

19-39 FGs, 2-3 from 3-point, 20-25 FTs — 60 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals

The Answers…

DUO A is Jerry Bayless and Linas Kleiza
20-39 from the field, 10-18 from 3 point, 10-14 from free throw, for 60 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals

DUO B is John Wall and Nick Young
19-39 from he field, 2-3 from 3 point, 20-25 from free throw, for 60 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals

Wall and Young were more effective, but it was still an impressive performance from Bayless and Kleiza.

Scene of the Game

Oh JaVale.

You hate to make this the scene of the game in a Wizards win, but man if it doesn’t give me the giggles. And aren’t giggles just positive pixels rendered into sound?

[Animated GIF via @JohnCTownsend]

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Rashad Mobley
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

KYLE WEIDIE: Wall scored 11 points in the first quarter, 11 in the third and 7 in the fourth. He didn’t score any of his 31 total points in overtime, but set the tone from start to finish. His two hustling blocks on Amir Johnson in OT, the guy who looked like an All-Star against Washington last game, were something to see. I think Wall was genuinely embarrassed by the show Jose Calderon put on in Toronto and was able, against a team like Toronto, to get his teammates to follow his lead. And let’s face it, as bad a defender as Calderon is, no one else on the Raptors could keep up with Wall, either. Key play: early in the third Wall passed up a wide open three. He didn’t have his feet set, it just would not have been a smart attempt. Instead, he pulled the ball out. The ultimate result? A Chris Singleton three. Now that’s discipline and leadership.
2.75 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: This 30 point game certainly differed from the 38 point game (in defeat) that John Wall had against the Rockets. Wall looked creative and showcased his athleticism attacking the basket, and showed layups that could only compare to those of Derrick Rose. What is more impressive than him going 10-19 from the field and converting 11-14 free throws is that he did so by opening up his game with a jump shot. He came down the court at a fast pace, and while the defense played off expecting him to drive, he pulled up for a couple silky mid-range jumpers. Wall also got other players involved and dished 7 assists, neverminding the 4 turnovers. When Wall has the type of performance that he did Monday night, the turnovers don’t even matter; he plays his game and it all equals out.
2.5 Stars
MOBLEY: Last week against the Magic, I criticized Wall for having Jason Kidd-like stats, without having a Kidd-like effect on the game. Last night, Wall looked like Kidd in his prime. He hit open shots, he passed up tough shots to get his teammates easier ones, he blocked shots, hit big free throws, sneered at the Raptors, and told everyone that D.C. was his house. For one of the few times this season, Wall could call himself “The Game Changer,” and I’d actually believe him.
2.75 Stars

TOTAL: 8 out of 9 stars


Nick Young

Nick Young

MARKUS ALLEN: At the beginning of the first quarter the Toronto commentator joked, “Nick Young only shoots when he has the ball. That statement holds so much truth, but on Tuesday night, it didn’t really mean anything. The best part of Young’s performance is that (without looking at his free throws), it looks like Nick had a typical game going 9-20. What you would’t know is that Young also went 9-11 from the free-throw line and ended up with 29 points. This was just simply amazing: we have learned that when Wall and Young play to their maximum potential, the backcourt can amount to 60 points! The only thing that can undermine that 60, is the 60 points also put up by Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza. Regardless, Young and Wall looked like a more aggressive version the Monta Ellis and Steph Curry duo, showcasing perfect chemistry. One can only hope they can they do it again.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: After 25 games (actually four seasons, but I’ll be nice), I have developed a bit of a Nick Young checklist that can be filled out after most of his games. A hot start? Check. A cold shooting spell in the middle of the game? check. Big shots down the stretch? Check. Drawing a four-point play with a Reggie Miller-like kick? Check. Two assists or less, despite having open teammates all around? Check. It’s not that Nick didn’t play well because he did, it’s just that he could have done a little more.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: When Nick is able to score within the offense it’s a thing of beauty. When he forces the game, it some of the worst “Hey, I bet he played for Tim Floyd at USC” basketball you’ve ever seen. Nick played well within the offense early, but he’s exactly who Randy Wittman was talking about after the game as being too unaware to realize that defenses are adjusting to him and to use that to his advantage. Also, he had a chance to win the game, took a horrible shot, and got blocked by James Johnson. Does Nick want to be a popcorn player or just a chucker?
2 Stars

TOTAL: 6.5 out of 9 stars


Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

RASHAD MOBLEY: Maybe Rashard Lewis’ knee injury was real, or maybe Randy Wittman simply wanted to save him the embarrassment of pulling him from the starting lineup … the truth is not clear. But what is clear is that Chris Singleton was the beneficiary of this move, because he was inserted back into the starting lineup for the 10th time this season, but for the first time since Flip Saunders was fired. Unlike Trevor Booker, who played well out of the starting lineup but usually much better in it, Singleton was passive against Toronto. He hit an open three, but he did little else on the offensive end of the floor. And on the defensive end, he started strong with a block and solid defense on DeMar DeRozan, but DeRozan returned the favor a couple of times and beat him. It would be convenient to break out the he’s-just-a-rookie excuse to account for Singleton’s uneven play, but he played better earlier in the season as a rookie, and these were the Raptors, not the Heat.
1 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Chris Singleton was on the court for 25 minutes, and finished with 2 points on 1-4 shooting to along with 2 rebounds. He was nonexistent on the offensive side, but that’s alright because consistent production isn’t really expected of him yet. The good thing about Singleton is that when he plays, he doesn’t make foolish mistakes. He just finds ways to contribute in other areas.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Singleton wasn’t always noticeable in the sudden start due to Rashard Lewis’ sore right knee, but he made some good plays. He still can pick up quick fouls due to bad positioning, getting behind on a screen, etc. He just needs more time and he’s getting it.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars


Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

MARKUS ALLEN: Trevor Booker is continuing to show why he needs to be the starting power forward now and when Andray Blatche returns. Booker went 7-10, for 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, and like Singleton, contributes a positive vibe to the team when he’s on the floor. He showed off his athleticism with explosive dunks and made hustle plays in transition. Booker is showing more and more potential, displays signs of being a great teammate, and is one of the key reasons the Wizards have won games. In the five Wizards wins this season, Booker has gone 19-24 on FGs for 47 points and 19 rebounds in 79 minutes of play.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: He shot 70% from the floor and 90% from the line. He blocked shots, he hustled and got steals, and after the game, John Wall told CSN Washington’s Chris Miller that if Booker hustles AND hits that open 15-footer, he can be one of the top players in this league. Aside from his low rebound total (four) and that one instance when Linas Kleiza backed him into the lane like Adrian Dantley, I can’t say I completely disagree with Wall’s assessment.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: I’m still bewildered that Booker was only credited with four rebounds (three were offensive). He simply killed it against the Raptors. Booker shook the with a couple thunderous slams (Cook Book SMASH!), he sprinted to coverage assignments in pressure defense, he made smart plays, he was an offensive threat. It’s not weird to say that right now, after John Wall, Booker is the best thing the Wizards have going.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars


JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: Let’s pretend JaVale McGee had never thrown the ball against the backboard and dunked it during a loss to the Houston Rockets. Let’s pretend JaVale McGee had a double-double last night with four or five blocked shots and the same amount of epic dunks. And let’s pretend those numbers had come against the Clippers on Friday. Those are the circumstances by which I could overlook McGee’s genius decision to sprint down the court (back on defense, ironically), even though his team still had possession of the ball. Unfortunately for JaVale, he did have that dunk against Houston, and he had just eight points and eight rebounds against Toronto, and coach Wittman had to sit him on the bench for extended periods of time, and he was unable to dominate the center trio of Aaron Gray/Jamaal Magloire/Amir Johnson. But when your play is average AND you run down the court in your customary cool gait, not even seeing the fact that your team is in the midst of starting an offensive set? Not even Pam McGee can spin that one. Not to mention, JaVale has once again made the Washington Wizards the object of national ridicule — even after a good win.
0 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: JaVale was the odd man out tonight, he went 4-9 for 8 points and 8 rebounds, but he wasn’t effective on defense, was dunked on, and had 4 fouls. It wasn’t that he played horrible, it’s just that he could have done way better against Jamaal Magloire and Aaron Gray, two match-ups he should dominate. There was also a possession where McGee was confused to whether the Wizards were playing offense or defense, and sprinted back to play defense when the Wizards clearly had the ball. He looked like a football player running the wrong way after picking up a fumble, and it summed up how he played Tuesday Night — not a big deal, but “C’mon Man!”
0.75 Star
WEIDIE: I don’t know, man, I just don’t know. McGee is becoming so ridiculous that it’s not even worth it. I credit him for trying (I think), but his focus on the details of basketball seems to be dwindling. {shrugs shoulders} Actually… trying? He can barely block out. Substance versus style? McGee is more of a sad spectacle than anything at this point.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1 out of 9 stars


The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: This was one of the rare nights when the Wizards had three starters (Wall, Young and Booker) come up big (in terms of numbers and minutes) so there were fewer chances for the bench to shine, but they did so with intangibles. Shelvin Mack, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin all played big minutes in the second quarter and extended Washington’s lead from 10 points to 17 points. If it had not been for their inability to slow Linas Kleiza during that same stretch, they might have put the game away. Also, Jan Vesely HAS to look for his shot more.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
ALLEN: Jordan Crawford had a good night and did exactly what was needed since the starters were playing efficiently. He came into the game and went 5-11 in 25 minutes of play, scoring 13 points… no surprises. Kevin Seraphin was less visible on the offensive side of the ball than he was in the Magic game (where he went 6-7 with 12 points), but he had 8 rebounds against Toronto and was pretty solid, disregarding his 5 fouls. Mack contributed with 4 points and 4 rebounds in 9 minutes of play, played within himself and did his part.
1 Star
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
WEIDIE: No one on the bench really starred, but they packed nice punch as a collective unit… I can’t find much wrong with any reserve who played. Crawford did take a bad shot or two… fine, but 13 points on 5-11 FGs is a nice, measured night for him. He hustled on defense, even though he did get burned by Jerryd Bayless a couple times. There was even a Mo Evans sighting, his 15 minutes, 3 minutes short of his previous season total, didn’t look particularly great, but let him chip of some rust.
1.75 Star
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford

BENCH TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars


The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: Why wasn’t JaVale McGee in for a key defensive possession at the end of the game? Simply put, by Randy Wittman in the post-game presser, rookie Jan Vesely, who subbed for McGee, is better at guarding screening action in just about any situation, including late game switching situations. Wittman’s team almost lost an 18-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter to the freaking Raptors (practically thanks to Anthony freaking Carter), but he’s not going to dwell on that.
1.75 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Randy Wittman came into the game stating that he was looking to change the rotation after the Wizards 107-81 loss against the Clippers. Rashard Lewis was not active against Toronto, so the coach replaced him with Chris Singleton and left Booker at the four. The bench did not have to be extremely active Monday night, due to the starters performance, and Wittman allowed his three hot players (Wall, Young and Booker) to log time of 44, 43 and 41 minutes. There should have been more pressure on the perimeter, where the Raptors went 13-26, but Wittman was content. He allowed the Wizards to run a fast-paced offense which beat the Raptors in getting to the free throw line (+7 attempts), had 23 fast break points, and had 42 points inside the paint.
1 Star
MOBLEY: After last night’s game, coach Wittman said a win is a win, and in theory that is the case, especially for a young team. Before the game, he told his team to consider the matchup against the Raptors to be a playoff game, and I admire that motivating tactic as well. But it still baffles me that the same coach could not motivate the Wizards to even show up for a quarter against the LA Clippers.   Perhaps the answer I see is in a pack of Marlboro Lights.
2 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars


Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

As the game was over and as fans were filing out, two youths yelled, “Great win, Ted!” as team owner Ted Leonsis took to exiting through the team tunnel. He looked up, smiled, perhaps made an internal blog monologue note. “Well, he heard us,” said one youth to the other as they started to leave. The next day Leonsis turned to some beatnik-esque pixel poetry on his blog, Ted’s Take. After highlighting, for some reason, that 14 out of 30 NBA teams have a record below .500, Leonsis wrote:

We played a team above us in the standings last night – that had beaten us easily last Friday. I am happy we won for our fans; even though the game went to overtime. The game was played on a Monday night – and attendance was at the 14,600 mark; as I have noted – we sell 14 to 15 k tix to all games now – and when we play a traditional opponent or a glamour team – our attendance swells to sell out or near sell out capacity.


We played with well more than half of our payroll sitting on the bench or in street clothes – with Lewis-Turiaf and Blatche out.

What does it all mean? It means that in reality, the Wizards almost blew an 18-point lead to the Raptors. And aside from Turiaf, the Wizards are a better team without more than half their payroll on the floor. Also, only about 2,000 of the supposed “14,600 attendance mark” were in the building just before tip-off. The semantics behind the stats of whether butts were actually in seats or not, the Wizards could use a more legitimate boost from the home crowd, not a fabriated perception.

But hey, you gotta start somewhere…



Top Tweets

@CarbonPrimo: Wall yelling “ITS MY CITY MAN!!!! THIS IS MY CITY” to the folks in the front row.

@MimiPh: Dream big! RT @adammcginnis: Wizards just need 5 more wins to avoid becoming worst winning% ever, which is 9-57 finish

@wzzntzz: Javale workin onit RT @NickSwardson Can’t believe no NBA player has perfected the half court sky hook. Unguardable shot. Boss.

End Scene


We still have things to clean up, absolutely. We still have to realize that when you’re a scorer in this league, and you are scoring, that the other team scouts just like we do. They going to get the ball out of your hands, and we have to be willing passers when that happens. That’s a compliment. That’s a compliment. They are doubling you for a reason. And now all we gotta do is make the simple plays.
Randy Wittman… wonder who he was walking about (name rhymes with sick lung… a la cigarettes)

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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.