DC Council Game 28: Wizards 98 at Pistons 77: A Game-Changer In The Third | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 28: Wizards 98 at Pistons 77: A Game-Changer In The Third

Updated: February 13, 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 28 contributors: Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 98 vs Detroit Pistons 77 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

How ’bout that defensive effort in Detroit? The Pistons had their worst shooting night of the year with a season-low 32.6-percent on field-goals. Detroit was dreadful from the 3-point line where they shot 9.1-percent, missing 10 of 11 attempts. Greg Monroe was the only Pistons player who scored two or more baskets in the second half, one in which the team shot a combined 27.3-percent from the field.

Scene of the Game

w/ Rashad Mobley

One of John Wall’s best attributes is his speed, which is why it is really hard to find issue with his one-man fast breaks. He has the ability to fly down the court, contort his body in such a way that makes it difficult for the opposing team to stop him, and then score. However, Wall has found that method of scoring much more difficult in his second year, and as Chris Paul observed, he has yet to master the art of adeptly changing gears. In the clip above, not only does Wall switch speeds to perfection, he waves off two options (Nick Young, then Chris Singleton) until he finds the right one. That right option just so happens to be a wide open JaVale McGee, who catches the alley-oop and slams it home with ease. It shows Wall has a command of the offense, his personnel and, most importantly, has the ability to change directions and speeds.

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

KYLE WEIDIE: Wall slopped through a first half and most of the third in earnest. The Pistons made a 13-4 run to go up by two points, 61-59, with 3:42 left in the third and Randy Wittman called timeout. At that point, Wall had nine assists, but six turnovers, and was 0-5 from the field with zero points. From there the “Game-Changer” changed the game. His nine points in the last three minutes of the third keyed a 15-2 run to end the period that extended into a strong start to the fourth that put the game away for the Wizards. Most importantly, Wall got six assists (matching his career high of 15) to only one turnover over the rest of the game. He also added two steals, five rebounds and two blocks to his stat line; Wall still leads all NBA guards with 28 blocks on the season.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: I know Wall shot a Rondo-like 3-10 from the field and had an Iverson-like seven turnovers in his 39 minutes of play. But during that third quarter, he controlled the tempo like Jason Kidd, scored nine points, handed out four assists and methodically put the Pistons away. Sam Cassell and Coach Wittman need to lock Wall in a room and make him watch that over and over.
2 Stars
TOWNSEND: John Wall bounced back strong after a passive start to the game, driving and dishing his way to a career-high 15 assists. Wall’s turnaround began with three minutes left in the third quarter; Wall finished a layup with contact for a three-point play, his first points of the night. Wall poured in another seven points before the end of the third quarter to kick off a 22-2 Wizards run that put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.5 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

KYLE WEIDIE: 22 points on 13 shots (8 FGs, 3-6 3P, 3-3 FTs) is about the best you could hope out of Young (on a consistent basis). He played much more within himself and allowed for the point guard, John Wall, to take over the game in crucial moments—for instance, Wall assisted on two of Young’s 3-pointers. Nick’s poor handles still get him in trouble, he just doesn’t seem able to see the double team until he dribbles right into it. He’s also a low-focus player, clearly—he missed a gimme at the rim, once dribbled the ball off his foot trying to go behind his back to save it from going out of bounds, etc. Still, the team depends on Young to have more shooting nights like Sunday.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEYNick must have watched the horrible shot selection by Ben Gordon on Sunday and said, “Damn is that what I look like?” because he was model of efficiency. He shot 8-13 from the field and 3-6 from 3-point land. That’s the Nick Young the Chicago Bulls thought would be available this past summer.
2.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Young followed-up his 22-point outburst against Miami with 22 points on 8-13 shooting in The Palace at Auburn Hills, his most efficient performance since the Wizards’ Feb. 1 meeting with Orlando. But the Nick Young Pick-and-Roll Project needs to be come to an end. As the pick-and-roll handler, an overwhelmed Nick Young is averaging 0.79 points per play (PPP), his least effective offensive situation, according to mySynergySports.com.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

RASHAD MOBLEY: At the start of the season, Chris Singleton excelled at the 50-50 plays. He got his hands on loose balls, he drew charges, he made the steals, and he even hit a 3-point shot or two for good measure. For some reason, Singleton can’t seem to get that confidence back, and now he’s playing the Rashard Lewis ‘why-is-he-still-in-the-starting-lineup’ role. To make matters worse, Jan Vesely seems to be doing the things Singleton used to do, but better.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: It seemed that Singleton was emerging from his long winter hibernation with improved play in the first quarter. Singleton was earning trips to the free throw line, scoring points, grabbing rebounds—he even drew a charge. But then the rookie first-rounder kind of just disappeared afterward. Weird, but not surprising given his recent form.
0.75 Star
WEIDIESingleton put in some solid effort minutes, and early he showed the confidence to take it full court on offense. Still, you can tell he’s thinking too much instead of going off instinct.
1 Stars

TOTAL: 2.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: The Wizards’ starting power forward had another solid game with nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks, a steal, and an assist in 30 minutes of action. Booker must have decided to give his jump shot the benefit of the doubt, firing away without hesitation for the first time in a few games. Booker took three jumpers beyond 16 feet, but made just one of these attempts, staying more or less true to his season average from that distance (27 percent). Here’s where Booker needs to watch the film and make an adjustment: defenses are playing the percentages, content to let Booker idle in space. If he were to take a quick dribble forward, Booker would just about double the odds of punishing the defense from the field—Booker is shooting 50 percent between 10 and 15 feet according to Hoopdata.com.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Just another day at the office for Mr. Booker. Not flashy, not fancy, not dazzling, just solid. And considering he grabbed 15 rebounds on Friday night against Miami, he’s entitled to a little mediocrity.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Booker was quiet in the stat book, but his defense against Greg Monroe was huge. He was the only one who had the toughness to push Monroe away from the rim (McGee certainly didn’t). The defining moment came late in the 3rd during a key Wizards run. Detroit called a 20-second time to stop bleeding and then immediately called Monroe’s number. Not only did Booker get the stop, but he drew an offensive foul against Monroe as well.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: I watched Greg Monroe have his way with JaVale in the first quarter, and I was convinced that this would be a Dwight Howard situation (McGee struggles mightily against Howard). What Monroe lacks in athleticism, he makes up tenfold in skill, and it did not look like McGee had answers. But thanks to Wall’s adept passing, and McGee’s commitment to crashing the boards, Monroe did not win the matchup after all. JaVale ran the floor beautifully, he blocked two shots, but altered at least five others. And even though Monroe scored 27 points, he only made 9-19 shots, and McGee made him work. Although, it’s worth mentioning that at points when both McGee and Trevor Booker were in the game, Randy Wittman chose to put Book on Monroe, not McGee.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: More good looks from McGee in Detroit. He hammered down half a dozen dunks and added a pair of alley-oops, and he altered more Pistons shots than a strong wind on a cliffside blacktop.
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: A lot of encouraging signs in McGee’s second strong game in a row after a bit of a slump. He ran the floor well, used his athleticism to play at a level above the Pistons, and limited risk in guarding the paint. Boxing out would be a simple, huge step he can take to improve, however.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 7 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Jordan Crawford went on cringe-worthy tantrum in which he missed 10 of his 12 shot attempts. Crawford couldn’t shoot a lick, but didn’t do himself any favors by relying on an arsenal of turnaround and fall-away J’s. … Jan Vesely had his first double-digit scoring night of his career in a 10 point and 8 rebound performance. With some added bulk and a few seasons of NBA experience, I don’t see why the instinctive Vesely can’t become a quality defensive center. … Rashard Lewis came back from the dead to score 10 points in 12 minutes (6 points from beyond the arc) to finally reach the 15,000-point mark for his career. Lewis joins Jason Kidd and Paul Pierce as the only players in history with 15,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,500 3-pointers.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
MOBLEY: Jordan Crawford succumbed to the pressure of playing in front of his hometown crowd. Shelvin Mack and Mo Evans didn’t get enough minutes to shine. Rashard Lewis teased us with more of his sharpshooting, scoring 10 points in 12 minutes. But Jan Vesely’s career night was enough to carry the entire bench and then some.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
WEIDIE: Can’t complain about 30 points from this crew. Rashard Lewis had one of his best shooting performances all season (10 points, 3-5 FGs); Shelvin Mack was solid as usual, and Jan Vesely was simply superb with his length, rebounding and hustle (career-high 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals… he’ll cut down on the turnovers, 4). The only blemishes were Jordan Crawford’s abysmal attempts to impress the hometown crowd (2-12 FGs, but he did have 4 assists), and Mo Evans, who is just bad at basketball at this juncture.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely

BENCH TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: After the Miami game on Friday Wittman suggested that he would shorten his rotation, and it seems he already had… and it seems Kevin Seraphin was the victim. After a really strong game in Orlando, the young big man just hasn’t been cutting it mentally. He’ll be watching plenty of basketball from the pine, and hopefully learn. Otherwise, I can’t argue with Wittman’s game plan versus Detroit. Normally the Pistons average 88 possessions per 48 minutes. Washington made them play at their pace—by my calculations, Detroit had over 97 possessions in last night’s game and had 32.6-percent shooting to show for it.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: I can understand that Coach Wittman wanted to start this road trip off with a victory, especially given that the Wizards had won just 1 of 11 road games. But long after the fate of this game had been sealed, John Wall and JaVale McGee needlessly remained on the floor. The Wizards can ill-afford to have either player injured.
1.75 Stars
TOWNSEND: Wittman has virtually cut Kevin Seraphin out of the frontcourt rotation. Seraphin has played 14 minutes combined over the past three games, in clear favor of Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely and JaVale McGee, who has been featured for extended minutes after a change to his asthma medication has renewed the pep in his step.
2.25 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 6 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

Smiles from Kids.

[GIF via TAI’s @JohnCTownsend]

Jan Vesely Rebounds & Dives.

Top Tweets

@recordsANDradio: Prior to John Wall (2011), the last #Wizards rookie to score a 1,000 points in his rookie season was Juwan Howard (1995). #WickedPixels

@Abstract_cool: Vesely is becoming one of my favorite on the team. I love hustle and people that care!!

@WizOfAwesKevin: Ernie was sitting back chewing that gum with that “I’m a boss” look.

End Scene


“Shard, that’s what I came here for!

A Rashard Lewis heckler in Detroit after Lewis made his second three on a night where he went over 15,000 career points, via Wizards Insider

[Click here to see Lewis being congratulated by teammates on his achievement via NBA.com/Wizards]

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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.