DC Council Game 27: Wizards vs Heat: Slow-Roasted in the Phone Booth | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 27: Wizards vs Heat: Slow-Roasted in the Phone Booth

Updated: February 11, 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: Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) from the television screen with on John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from the Verizon Center.]


Washington Wizards 89 vs Miami Heat 106 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Free-throws are always on the verge of being an issue with this team, but are often overshadowed by bigger issues. Against the Heat they were certainly part of the problem. They shot 60-percent (17-28), and the normally decent Crawford (2-6) played a role. Crawford’s FT-percentage is down to .737 this season from .869 his rookie season.

But scoring opportunities in the paint took the cake. The Heat out-scored Washington 52-48 in that area (Miami going for 50-plus in the lane was discussed pre-game), and did their damage going 26-41 on those field-goals. Then you realize Washington attempted 12 (TWELVE) more shots in the paint than Miami, but make two less field-goals (24-53). If only John Wall and JaVale McGee were better finishers.

Scene of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

RASHAD MOBLEY: The Wall/Lin match up received a lot of hype on Wednesday, and justifiably so. Lin is in the midst of an unprecedented run, and Wall, the number one draft pick from 2010, had his hands full when they first faced off in 2010 summer league. Wall rose the occasion and played well, but Lin played better and the Knicks won. But if there was ever a night where the Wizards NEEDED Wall to have a big game, it was against the Miami Heat. The Heat’s weaknesses lie at point guard and center, so the stage was set for Wall, but he his performance was lukewarm instead. As Erik Spolestra noticed after the game, Wall put pressure on the Heat with his speed and quickness, and that played a large role in his 10 assists. Unfortunately, he had no outside shot, struggled to get to the rim (four FT attempts) and sometimes was simply out of control (seven turnovers). This happened against Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. Defensively, several Heat players would encroach on him at the free-throw line in transition, but he could fully adjust. Meanwhile, Mr. Lin lit Derek Fisher and Steve Blake up for 38 points. Basketball is all about match-ups, and Wall did not come close to winning his last night.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSENDDespite turning over the ball seven times, Wall has begun to make noticeable improvement in his half court game. He slashed to the hoop for points here and passed around defenders there; not easy to do against the Miami Heat. Get get the kid some help already.
2 Stars 
WEIDIE: John Wall just couldn’t finish at the rim early, but like a smart point guard, he made sure to create for teammates—6 assists and 2 turnovers in the 1st half. He scored 10 in the third, looking to propel his team, hitting a wide, wide open jumper with both Miami and the crowd egging him on. Circumstance got him in the end, but he’ll have better days against top-notch teams.

1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Nick Young played a game steadier than a chair with ten legs. Young took five shots in the first, second and fourth quarter, making a pair in each; he made just one of his four attempts in the third quarter. Inexplicably, the self-proclaimed “best 3-point shooter in the world” went just 3-10 from beyond the arc (2-8 in the third quarter). Outside of cataloging when Young takes his shots and how many he makes each game—7 of 19 in this case—what’s there to say that hasn’t already been said?
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEYAs Richard Hamilton can attest to, the job against Dwyane Wade is simple. Either force him to play defense by having a career night offensively, or shut him down and force him into an off night. Nick didn’t have a bad offensive game, but he didn’t disrupt Wade’s flow at any point either. And he shot a whopping ten shots from behind the arc, making just three.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: “Nick Young can score.” That’s the best thing I can say about his game right now. He is physically capable of putting the ball through the rim and net. Now how efficiently he can do this, or whether he can do much else… moving on. Signs point to the Wizards doing so at the end of this season as well.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3.75 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Singleton isn’t playing with much confidence right now, which is a shame because he has talent, albeit raw, that could help the Wizards stay in games. He’s overly cautious on the offensive end, passing up simple scoring opportunities and open jump shots—the jump shot is all about confidence. Singleton has to hit that 3-ball if he wants to see regular floor time. Patience, I remind myself. Patience.
1 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Singleton had to guard LeBron James, and he did not do a bad job, although clearly James was in facilitator mode last night. But Singleton missed two wide open jumpers in the first quarter. Had he hit them, he could opened up the floor for Wall even more, and given the Heat another player to worry about. But since he missed, he found himself on the bench for 31 of the game’s 48 minutes.
0.5 Stars
WEIDIENot much going with Singleton. He just seems less fluid, less aggressive, less confident than he was earlier this season. He’s played his 26th game in 47 days with the Wizards. Last season at Florida State he got 104 days before he reached his 27th game. That being said, he’s gotta step up or you might see Jan Vesely starting in his place.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 2 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: Booker continues confirm the reality of his good play as of late—13 points on 6-13 shooting with 15 rebounds, 4 offensive, and 4 steals is as solid a stat line as they come. People may remember that dunk that he missed that resulted in Wade’s movie set alley-oop to LeBron, but Book caught some oops of his own, hit a jumper late in the third, and then proceeded to get hype and clap his hands low back up the court. Booker is making plenty of mistakes, but if anyone is taking advantage of this development time in a positive manner it’s him. His starting position should be solidified, even if he has a couple bad games in a row.

2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: No complaints about Booker tonight. He was physical when he had to be—especially the few times he came in contact with LeBron. He’s starting to get more confident in his 15-17 foot jumper, and at 6’8″ he grabbed 15 rebounds against a taller Heat front line.
2 Stars
TOWNSEND: Trevor Booker wasn’t perfect … far from it, but the undersized sophomore is proving he’s an NBA starter. He was averaging 12.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in his last seven games, and followed-up with a 13-15-4 performance against the Miami Heat.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

KYLE WEIDIE: JaVale McGee put up some nice numbers and he fought. Even after he made some mistakes, he fought. A season-high 24 points, 13 rebounds (4 offensive) against even Joel Anthony means something. But he still does so many baffling things…. getting the ball in the post and immediately pulling it down low, turning it over, for example. He would rather risk trying to dunk on people from far away instead of using his athletics to craftily maneuver to the rim for points, consider that dunk he missed at the end that could’ve been a two-handed throw down, instead of one. McGee had a hook shot in the middle of the lane that was nice. Why don’t we see those more often? Too many plays seem to get McGee the ball on the block where he settles for a baseline hook that’s tough to hit. Randy Wittman needs to find more ways to get him that shot at the front of the rim. He needs to learn how to protect his body, maintain his balance, and not fade away. His basketball discipline, although he’s taken baby steps (via less JaVale dribbles), still needs drastic improvement. But hey, his athleticism will get you nights like this sometimes.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Wall failed to exploit the advantage he had a point guard, which may have cost the Wizards the game. McGee’s won his matchup against Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman by scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Chris Bosh scored on him rather easily, but that feels like nitpicking on a night like tonight.
2.5 Star
TOWNSEND: Last night’s team-high 24-point 13-rebound performance was JaVale McGee’s first double-double since the Jan. 28 meeting vs. the Charlotte Bobcats. He’s still a work in progress … and I’m not quite sure we’ll be seeing the final product in D.C.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 6 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: This unit laid an egg for the second consecutive game, and at no time was this more evident than the start of the second quarter. Shelvin Mack, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, Jan Vesely and starter JaVale McGee collectively have very little impact. Mack didn’t shoot, Crawford kept shooting but hit nothing, Vesely continued to be the Silent Bob of the offense, Evans missed his shots, and McGee—as well as he played during other quarters— was finding it difficult to get easy baskets without the aid of John Wall. The bench is supposed to maintain the lead or energize the starters by extending it, but instead, they forced Coach Wittman to trickle the starters back into the game. They also provoked this tweet out of Washington Examiner Wizards beat writer Craig Stouffer: “#Wizards 2nd unit atrocious. Crawford’s missed his last 3, Evans is 1 for4, McGee can’t start 12 feet from the basket. Vesely-ugh, and Mack.”
0.5 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford (but only because he had 6 assists)
TOWNSEND: No player had a more disappointing game than Jordan Crawford, who missed 10 of his 12 shot attempts (0-4 from 3-point land). Crawford was off all night, unable to finish those driving lefty layups he likes and missing free throws when he caught his breath at the free throw line.
0.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
WEIDIE: Jan Vesely played very underrated defense against Chris Bosh and Mo Evans made valiant attempts to get physical with LeBron James. And that’s about all you can say about a bench that collectively shot 5-23 (2-12 via Jordan Crawford) and scored 15 points… to the entire 15 points that Miami got from Shane Battier off the bench, much less the 21 scored by the rest of the Heat second unit. Ronny Turiaf would really help this team; at this point, they need to figure out a way not to bring Blatche or Lewis back and sign another body—but we know those two players will come back, and we know that Blatche will have a great last 15-20 games of the season… “Great.”
0.5 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely

BENCH TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

RASHAD MOBLEY: Any game against LeBron James and Dwayne Wade has the potential to be a blowout, so the fact that the Wizards remained in striking distance until the fourth quarter means that Coach Wittman and his staff definitely had their young guys motivated. But when your bench doesn’t show up, your team shoots 19-percent from the three-point line, misses 11 free throws, and allows Shane Battier to get a season-high 15 points, it is tough to get a win. The good news is that Wall and the rest of his guys continue to buy into the up tempo approach. The bad news is that on nights like last night, the talent disparity is just too much to overcome.
2 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: There’s only so much an interim head coach can do when facing the reigning Eastern Conference Champs with a roster full of shooters who can’t shoot and players who can’t play.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: One could say that Nick Young is tuning Randy Wittman out too, with the way Randy gets on him and the way Nick responds… but you also must ask if Young has ever tuned-in a coach. Poor Randy, but oh well. His team made a go of it.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

Hockey press box seats at a Wizards game….
This could be you!!!!

A hallway of fright, where at the end,
Dexter Pittman and Eddy Curry ride stationary bikes.

Top Tweets

@adammcginnis: Fans should get free chic fil a when McGee makes 2 free throws in a row

@ESPN_RobKing: Best thing about Jeremy Lin’s performance tonight: Nobody cares about what the Heat did to my #Wizards. The worst: ethnic shorthand.

@craigoriah: Remember folks, dc hated lebron before it was cool. #WizHeat

End Scene


After the game, Nick Young said he found himself “too wide open” beyond the arc, leading to a missed 3-pointer. Townsend commented that the Heat had been sagging off shooters all night, and asked why the Wizards couldn’t find the touch from the perimeter (4-21 from 3-point range). Young responded, as he exited the locker room:

“I was 3 for 10, and most of those were open. I’m the best 3-point shooter in the world!”

Young is shooting 35.5 percent from deep this season, his lowest mark since his sophomore season (34.1 percent)

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.