DC Council Game 26: Wizards 93 vs Knicks 107: Mission: Lin-possible | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 26: Wizards 93 vs Knicks 107: Mission: Lin-possible

Updated: February 9, 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 26 contributors: Markus Allen (@mayminded), Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 93 vs New York Knicks 107 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Tyson Chandler was 11-14 from the line and the Wizards were 10-12. Washington finished the game 15-19 and Chandler didn’t attempt any more, but didn’t need to. The Knicks went 26-33 from the line.

“We fouled. I wish I could argue a lot of the calls… a lot of the calls were fouls,” said Randy Wittman. JaVale McGee (5) set an early tone, picking up fouls with bad defensive positioning against Chandler. Kevin Seraphin (3) did his part, going over the back against Steve Novak several feet from the basket when the Knicks were in the bonus. Jan Vesely racked up five fouls in less than 15 minutes with spastic limbs. Nick Young (5) seemed to be really bothered by the height of the Knicks’ wings, especially Bill Walker and Landry Fields. Yet another way the Wizards can lose, fouling a bunch.

Scene of the Game


Or you could really catch on to the “Lin-sanity” and say any of the following…

Linning Percentage
What’s for Linner?
17 Deadly Lins (17 is his jersey No.)
Lindow of Opportunity
Lin-don B. Johnson

Ok… this is getting lame, and I honestly don’t know why that last one is there, but it is. How about we watch Lin’s dunk again?… Not necessarily because of what he did and the surrounding hype, but because of what the Wizards did, or didn’t do.

John Wall did some crazy, cool things too…

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Adam McGinnis
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

MARKUS ALLEN: Jeremy Lin came into the game blanketed by the hype of his recent success (and the magnificent 2010 Summer League game against John Wall). Wall clearly understood this, and while the Wizards still lost the game, he refused to lose his individual matchup against Lin. He went 12-21 on FGs 29 points and 6 assists, shooting a couple nice jump shots and attacking the basket. Wall certainly made some mistakes on defense, but he hustled and did his part on offense. When he gives the Wizards that many points on 59-percent shooting, the rest of the team needs to step up and fill their specific roles.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: Those who point to Lin’s big night as an indictment of John’s man-to-man defensive ability need to realize that defense is a team game. Wall held his own, but had little help from his teammates in funneling Lin away from the paint, or at least changing his path, off screening action. Right now, No. 2’s scoring ability is as good as it has been all season.
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Wall’s nice night clearly got overshadowed by Lin, but his team lost. Mo Evans said after the game that he and Wall spoke about taking a page out of New York’s book and use Wall in the same manner as Lin was used. When I asked Wall about this, he said, “Just run whatever the coaches call. Coach has got his game plan and his plays for us, and we just gotta do a great job of executing. If we change something up, we do that. If not, we just go with the flow of what he’s calling.” Um… OK then.
2.5 Stars

TOTAL: 7.25 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

MARKUS ALLEN: No clue where Nick Young’s head was in this game, he must have been burnt out from the 29 points he dropped against the Raptors on Monday, because this was just pathetic. Unlike Wall’s matchup with Jeremy Lin, which featured two point guards playing great basketball, Young’s matchup with Bill Walker featured two shooting guards who couldn’t shoot. Walker and Young combined to go 5-21 for 12 points, 1-13 from beyond the arc. Nick Young went 3-11 (0-5 from 3-point range) for 7 points. So maybe in the end Nick felt like Wall. A loser after 48 minutes, but a winner in the match-up against Walker (5 points).
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNISThe variety of voices on this site are routinely labeled as being too hard on Nick Young, and there are times that this assessment might be accurate. Monday was not one of those nights, as Nick came with the bunk swag, bad fouls, terrible shots, and poor defensive rotations.
0.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Nick Young hit the first shot of the game 19 seconds in and Adam McGinnis turned to me and said, “That was a very Nick Young shot.” Uh oh. Silly turnovers dribbling into double teams, jacking shots and missing the open man on the swing pass, bobbling an oop from Wall… Young was pretty ineffectual against New York.
0.25 Stars

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Singleton is really only a spot-up 3-point shooter at this point and doesn’t provide much off the dribble. But that’s OK, because this was close to the type game we should expect from Singleton, at a minimum, when starting. He played 23 minutes and finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds (2 offensive, one of those a put-back dunk off a Trevor Booker miss, which was a nice post move against Tyson Chandler), 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, and a team-leading plus-6 in the plus/minus category. He didn’t get any burn in the fourth quarter when Wittman opted for Jordan Crawford instead, since the Wizards were trailing. Singleton made some mistakes on defense but should continue to start. He and Booker side-by-side, along with McGee patrolling the paint should make a nice defensive trio. Yet here we are.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Once again Singleton was on the court, but not really noticeable. He had 8 rebounds and 6 points, but didn’t really do anything else in his 23 minutes of play. It’s not a big deal because at least he doesn’t make bonehead plays when he’s on the floor.
0.5 Star
MCGINNISChris was active down low and in the passing lanes. He still needs a go-to move off the bounce, and he needs to refrain from dribbling for a shot when catching the ball at the three point line.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

ADAM MCGINNIS: The knock on Booker’s offensive game out of Clemson was that he can only go to his dominant left hand, that he struggles finishing around rim versus taller players and that his jumper is streaky. Trevor appeared to be conquering all of these valid critiques, on Wednesday with an array of successful post moves on the 7-foot Tyson Chandler, especially one where he drove hard under the hoop, faked and finished nicely with his right hand. Also, Booker drilled several face up mid-range Js, finishing the game with 17 points (8-11 FGs) and 7 rebounds. Even though his pick-and-roll defense was a mixed bag, Cook Book is developing into the Washington’s second-most reliable performer.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Booker continues to be the best story of this Wizards team. He followed his 70-percent shooting, 19 point performance against the Raptors, with a 72-percent 17 point performance against the Knicks. It would have benefited the Wizards to get him more opportunity (he took 11 shots) when he is scoring so efficiently.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Book came on strong with 10 first half points, but ultimately succumbed to the mass defensive confusion of the Wizards and made some mistakes himself. He did make some really nice post drives against Tyson Chandler, and it appears that his footwork is improving pretty rapidly.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

MARKUS ALLEN: The game was more about what Tyson Chandler did than what JaVale did; Tyson Chandler had 25 points, clearly out-matching JaVale, who ended the game with 5 fouls in only 20 minutes of play. McGee had 8 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Not bad, but the Wizards really needed him to slow Tyson Chandler down and stay out of foul trouble, two things that he did not do.
0.25 Star (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: The Good: Seven first quarter rebounds; a single, normal successful hook shot sans the sweeping part; and few nice blocks. The Bad: Everything else.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: McGee does one thing right and three things wrong. We might be looking at his worst days, but perhaps that’s good in that it can only get better: Randy Wittman on McGee after the game: “The dog days of the NBA happen every year, whatever is it — fatigue, sickness, just not playing well — gotta fight through. I gotta help him, I’ll continue to do that. He’s gotta stay uplifted and help himself also.”
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ADAM MCGINNIS: The lackluster play of this unit blew a huge opportunity for the Wizards to defeat the undermanned Knicks club, who were without their two high-profile All-Star players — Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. New York’s Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak combined for 36 points on 6-11 from three. Those two out-scored the entire Wizards bench by 10, and Washington’s reserves shot a dismal 1-8 from downtown. Kevin Seraphin drew the ire of Coach Wittman for a long jumper and a silly over the back foul 15 feet from the basket when the Wizards were in the bonus, resulting in two New York free throws. The Frenchman was overall ineffective. Also, rookies are not going to get the benefit of the doubt on whistles, so it could be easy to argue that Jan Vesely is being fingered for this initiation by the refs. But not really; he is just constantly fouling, in reality. Vesely closes out on shooters by landing atop of them and swings his arms wildly on help defense. His five fouls in 14 minutes were all earned. This was one of Jordan Crawford’s poorest outings in weeks (2-10 FG), he never found a rhythm. Shelvin Mack was held scoreless, looked out of sync and both of his careless turnovers led to easy buckets. Mo Evans connected on few jumpers, yet, the vet did not show much else to deserve his 21 minutes of burn. Roger Mason has be leading the league in makes with his foot on the 3-point line as he racked up another instance in his lone basket.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
ALLEN: The bench combined to go 9-29 for 25 points, most of which came from Jordan Crawford (2-10), but it still wasn’t a good performance. Maurice Evans had a good showing with 9 points, an encouraging sign. This was definitely not the bench performance we saw from Washington against the Orlando Magic.
0.5 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
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.
0.75 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford (I refuse to give this to Mo Evans by default… at least Crawford had 3 assists, but he did have 2 turnover, so…)

BENCH TOTAL: 1.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: I think Randy Wittman, known more as an enforcer when an assistant in the past (again, the whole “polar opposite” of Flip Saunders thing, his words), seems like a more patient man now. Or, maybe he’s just worn down by the situation. Or, maybe he knows his fate is a paycheck for 40 more games of tolerating this. Saunders was “tired of looking at that shit” in the preseason; Wittman must love him some basketball, it’s just that the basketball gods aren’t loving him right now. I have no inherent problem with Wittman’s rotations, he’s trying anything and everything. The coach has been given an insufficient roster and his players are not performing. Still, that doesn’t mean he isn’t being watched. “Don’t say it can’t get any worse,” Saunders also used to say. You have to wonder what would happen if Washington did make Sam Cassell head coach, but gave him a much more veteran staff of assistants than there is now. Nothing wrong with Wittman, just wondering…
1.25 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Not much to say, it was nice seeing Maurice Evans get some time in the rotation, but Wittman was in a tough spot with McGee in foul trouble, which didn’t leave him with many options to match up.
0.5 Star
MCGINNIS: Lin was misfiring on jumpers. Wittman and staff should have made Wall go under the ball screens to make Lin beat Washington from a distance. Another glaring mistake was Washington’s inability to recognize Steve Novak as a shooter.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • The nickname given to the Jeremy Lin hoopla has appropriately been dubbed “Linsanity,” because everything surrounding him is INSANE. Knicks fans were their usual obnoxious selves in the Phone Booth, so that was expected, but the the thousands of Asians who flocked to see Lin was almost surreal. During Knicks warm-ups, two rows of foreign media snapped pictures and captured video.
  • There were literally 15-20 Lin-related signs and a majority of them were made by Lin supporters, not New York fans.
  • Multiple groups had Lin’s name spelled out in a line of people wearing letter t-shirts.
  • LINSANITY is also having Super Agent David Falk standing immediately to your left as you wait among the heavy New York and Asian media throngs ready to pounce on the Knicks locker room, while you recognize Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano over to your right, waiting. The former governor of Arizona appeared to be the guest of Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, and the two had a lengthy conversation. Secretary Napolitano was impressed by Lin.
  • In the locker room before game, Roger Mason answered his phone “How u.”
  • During Pregame Q & A, Mike D’Antoni called Wall the fastest player in the NBA.
  • Late in the 4th quarter, McGee blew a defensive assignment on a pick-and-roll and Wizards called timeout. Wittman barked something in the general direction of McGee before setting up shop with his assistant coaches to strategize. McGee was animated at the end of the bench, motioning his arms with the infamous JaVale sour look-face. The player who came over to calm him down and in street clothes… none other than Mr. Andray Blatche.
  • B.J. Armstrong, former Chicago Bulls player and executive, took in the game next to Pam McGee. Armstrong is JaVale’s agent and still looks like he could get carded when buying booze. The three-time NBA champion guard stared at the University of Iowa and was honored last Saturday for the 25th anniversary of 1986-87 Elite 8 team. Armstrong’s Hawkeyes were ranked number one in regular season, won 30 games, and defeated the eventual national champion Indiana, becoming first team to ever put up a 100 on Bobby Knight. They were coached by Dr. Tom Davis, mentor of Maryland’s Gary Williams, and a young assistant on the staff was the former, disgraced Tennessee Vols coach Bruce Pearl.
  • Lin was the number one trending item on Twitter and #Linsanity also made the top ten list.
  • This Wizards switched up the player to lead the dancing in the hype circle after pre-game introductions and before tip-off. It was Trevor Booker’s turn Wednesday night, and he literally stood in the center of the circle of teammates, motionless the whole time before the circle broke up. This brought laughter amongst the Wiz kids.

Top Tweets

@Above_Legit: I want the next player the Wizards draft to take an IQ test

@iloveredskins: So I guess the Knicks didn’t shit talk the wiz during shoot around. Either that, or they didn’t play 2pac.

@PatrickTruby: I feel bad for John Wall.

@AthanDCTarHeel: Were Wizards playing the Soviet Union? @Truth_About_It Randy Wittman: “This game boiled down to containment.”

End Scene


Jeremy Lin’s response to a reporter who kept yelling out for him to talk about the “Tim Tebow comparison”  (not sure who’s making that… Bleacher Report, if I had to guess). There were some groans from other media in the scrum, and Lin didn’t really answer the question, moving on to the next one. It was an awkward, yet funny scene… it always is with hoards of foreign media around to cover a player for whatever reason. But hey, I’m not complaining… it gave me the opportunity to jokingly yell out “Talk about Teee-BOW!” as Lin departed down the hallway after his media session was over.

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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.