DC Council Game 31: Wizards 100 at Jazz 114: Jammin' with Jazzy Jefferson | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 31: Wizards 100 at Jazz 114: Jammin’ with Jazzy Jefferson

Updated: February 19, 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 31 contributors: Arish Narayen, John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).


Washington Wizards 100 at Utah Jazz 114 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

As covered, the Jazz scored 70 points in the paint to 44 from the Wizards, the difference being 57 attempts to 43.

Scene of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

A telling scene of offensive rebounds and a youth team attempting to stay together:

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Arish Narayen, John Converse Townsend
and Kyle Weidie 

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

John Wall

John Wall

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: John Wall is so good with his off hand; he’s an underrated slasher and finisher going left. Wizards broadcaster Phil Chenier commented on that point in the second quarter after a (missed) jump shot by Wall, where he created space by taking a hard dribble to his left before rising for the 18-footer: “The fact he changed hands, switched to the left, enabled him to get that shot off.” That skill helped Wall score 24 points on 12 shots. He finished the game with four rebounds, two steals, and five assists as Washington’s top performer.
2 Stars (out of 3)
NARAYEN: Wall continued his torrid month of February against a diminutive Utah backcourt, contributing 24 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals. However, the team had more turnovers (15) than assists (14), and some of that responsibility falls on Wall’s shoulders (John had 4 TO’s).
2 Stars
WEIDIE: The Wizards started 5-5 from the field during which Wall had two assists and a jumper, and Utah looked confused on how to contain Washington’s young legs. Somewhere not long after that Wall lost control of his team’s offense. Utah simply packed the paint on defense and Wall’s five assists, four turnovers on the evening were no answer.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

ARISH NARAYEN: A consistently bad game for Young, as he was 2-7 from the field in the 1st half (6 points), and scored only four points on 2-5 shooting in the 2nd half. The customary hot stretch was simply not there. A partial explanation can be found in the advanced stats: per Hoopdata, Nick had one assisted bucket—that shot was of the 16-23 foot variety. It is common knowledge that the long 2 is the least efficient shot in basketball; last night, half of Young’s field goal attempts came from 16-23 feet. While Nick is already attempting a career-high 4.8 three pointers per game, the Wizards’ offense would be better served by a conscious effort by Swaggy P to take a single step back on those ‘foot-on-the-line’ 2s. Further, the entire team must realize that ISO-Nick rarely works, and even when it does, the possessions are rarely efficient.
0.75 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Nick Young got off to a hot start, teasing the audience with what looked like the start of a big game after making a step-back 18-footer and a layup in the first six minutes of the first quarter. Young made just two shots afterward.
1 Star
WEIDIE: The only way Young makes his teammates better is if he’s scoring for himself. He’s improved at defense over the years, but that’s only so he can stay on the floor to keep trying to shoot. You’d hate to completely give up on a scoring talent like him, but this is his fifth season; if he’s not showing signs of getting it now… Maybe Young really is just a spot-up shooter who can also drive, but just needs better teammates and less plays called for him.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

ARISH NARAYEN: With Chris, the Office Space interview scene with “The Bobs” comes to mind: “What would you say you do here, Chris?” That may be overly harsh for a rookie learning during a lockout shortened season, but I suppose it’s borne of my frustration in being unable to pin down what Chris does well. Supposedly, Singleton’s best assets are his length and defense. But, per the fabled eye test, it does not appear that Chris’s lateral quickness is there yet. On at least one occasion, Paul Millsap beat him off the dribble for an easy score. This is not limited to a single game—wings have been driving baseline on Chris all season. To make matters worse, Chris effectively ended two Wizards’ offensive possessions with bad shots. I’m not sure anyone knows what he does well offensively (it certainly isn’t shooting from distance). Chris Singleton: a mystery wrapped in an OH MY GOD PLEASE DON’T SHOOT.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Another unimpressive outing from Chris Singleton, whose best moments came early in the first quarter.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Maybe someone is in Singleton’s ear telling him that he needs to be more aggressive on offense. That’s great and all, but his decision-making has been getting worse as of late. Might be time for him to learn some from the bench.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: Against bigger opponents who are bulls on the block, Booker is going to have games like this—his numbers against the likes of Elton Brand and Blake Griffin are part of the confirmation. And although Booker for the most part was not guarding the man who did the damage, Jefferson, next to his matchup of Paul Millsap, he completely disappeared. His line: 26 minutes, four points, 1-5 FGs, four rebounds, one assist, two turnovers and two steals. Just like McGee, Booker played a big role in why the Wizards started on their heels. It’s nights like this you wonder if Booker is truly potentially starting material, or if he’s just a really nice role player getting great development opportunity right now.
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
NARAYEN: Ugly game for Cook Book and the entire Wiz frontcourt, as Al Jefferson looked like a father posting up his little kids in the driveway.
0.5 Star
TOWNSEND: Trevor Booker is much more effective when attacking the basket than when he settles in space for long 2-point jump shots. On the other side of the ball, Booker needs to box out; Paul Millsap dominated the boards in the match-up between the two forwards.
1 Star

TOTAL: 2 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: I love the idea of JaVale McGee being able to pull-up from mid-range and hit jumpers, but he should take a page out of Jan Vesely’s book and not shoot them. He’s become a much better post player, having learned to use the glass and his left hand, two things McGee neglected early in the season (and his career). That said, McGee tried to duel with Jazz center Al Jefferson, but was outclassed from the opening tip. Jefferson scored 26 points before halftime and finished the game with a season-high 34. McGee did have three blocks, six rebounds, one assist, and a pair of turnovers to go with 15 points.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
NARAYEN: ‘Hot’ start mitigated by ‘Vale attempting three shots from 16-23 feet (not a typo), and generally getting abused by Jefferson et al. McGee was tied with Nick Young for a team-worst minus-17 plus/minus.
1.25 Stars
WEIDIE: McGee scored 15 points while giving up about 18 points to Al Jefferson This proved a couple things: 1) JaVale is an offensive weapon other NBAers, particularly Jefferson, have a hard time combatting, and 2) McGee’s toughness and physique is almost always going to lose out against a tougher frontline.
1.25 Star

TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ARISH NARAYEN: A fairly productive night for the bench, as they got some extended burn after the Wizards were down 22 entering the fourth quarter. I could laud Jordan Crawford for his offensive efficiency in pseudo-garbage time, but I was most impressed by Jan Vesely. With 7:20 left in the fourth quarter, Washington had ‘cut the lead’ to 16. Vesely had three separate effort plays on one defensive sequence: sealing off Favors, fighting for the rebound off a Watson miss, then causing a turnover after the ball got back to Favors under the basket. Jan even chipped in a nice assist to Seraphin on the previous Wizards’ possession. Once he bulks up, Vesely should be a defensive stalwart for this franchise.
2 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
TOWNSEND: The Wizards bench held its own against the Jazz’s second unit, ranked fifth in the league in points per game (36.6), but Al Jefferson and the rest of Utah’s starting five were too much for the Wiz Kids in Salt Lake City.Bench comparison:

  • Wizards: 42 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 10 free throw attempts, 5 turnovers.
  • Jazz: 39 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks, 12 free throw attempts, 9 turnovers

2 Stars

Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
WEIDIE: With a 10 point 2nd quarter behind 4-9 shooting, Jordan Crawford tried to keep his Wizards hanging around. But it was only enough to tie Utah at 30 in the quarter as Al Jefferson scored 16. Still, 21 points on 14 shots with three assists and six rebounds was a nice night for Crawford, although there’s not much confidence a game like that happens more than once every five or six times. Otherwise, Jan Vesely hustled as much as he could against stronger players, and Kevin Seraphin did some okay things, but only after getting horribly abused by Al Jefferson for eight points over 104 seconds in the second quarter.
1.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford

BENCH TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: I guess Wittman just expected JaVale McGee to ‘man up’ on Al Jefferson and didn’t so much want to completely adjust his defense to compensate for the Wizards getting killed in the paint from the game’s onset. It sounds like a rock and a hard place for Wittman, but you would’ve liked to see better adjustments in the second quarter, not after the first half was over. When Utah, after establishing the inside in the first half, was able to spread the ball around in the third quarter with eight assists on 15 of their field-goals, Washington played like they had no clue what was happening to them. Wittman didn’t have his team ready in Utah, but sometimes that’s like trying to make pizza dough out of saltine crackers, I imagine.
1 Star (out of 3)
NARAYEN: To his credit, Wittman had little to work with. As he said, Al Jefferson “did whatever he wanted with the ball.” JaVale McGee, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin… it didn’t matter. But the coach, like the point guard, must bear some of the blame for the offense degenerating into hero ball for extended stretches.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Wittman is a guy who rewards hustle. “It’s like J.V.,” laughed my friend Danny during the game. “If you’re going to run, he’ll put you in, and hopefully it will come together.” It was interesting to see a five-man unit of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, Trevor Booker, and JaVale McGee in the second quarter; it’s a strong rotation, despite finishing with a plus/minus of minus-1.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ John Converse Townsend

The crowd at Energy Solutions Arena was pretty tame, allowing the microphones on the floor to pick up plenty of player chatter during the game.

Crawford had some gems.

With 9:36 left in the second quarter, Crawford was in an iso against rookie guard Alec Burks. After sinking a fadeaway J, Crawford yelled, “And-1!” turning toward the baseline ref with a scowl.

Later that quarter, the Jazz lead cut to eight, 41-33, after another Crawford 16-footer, Enes Kanter had the ball under the basket. As Kanter went up for the shot attempt, Crawford rose with him, blocking the ball from behind. “GET THAT SHIT OUTTA HERE!” exploded Crawford, thinking he’d made a good defensive play. Crawford, however, was whistled for a push in the back; Kanter made one of two free throws.

But Jordan Crawford isn’t just talking to the referees; Crawford is constantly chatting with when teammates when he’s on the floor, a sign he’s beginning to mature as a sophomore and is assuming leadership responsibilities when running the point. He’s also playing smarter, at a more controlled pace, which clearly helped him better see the floor.

Crawford finished the game with the third-highest point total, 21 (7-14 FG), behind Al Jefferson and John Wall. He also grabbed six rebounds, and flashed some creative passing skills on his way to three assists.

“Nice pass for Seraphin,” said Steve Buckhantz, voice of the Wizards, after a no-look lefty dish to the second-year Frenchmen in the paint, which resulted in a pair of free throws. “Sometimes, Phil—and we talked about this last year and people said, ‘Look, don’t compare him to Earl Monroe, because you can’t do that’—some of his passes are very similar to the way The Pearl used to pass the ball.”

High praise. Well-deserved.



Top Tweets

@JaValeMcGee34: 1st KFC started in Utah!

@MrMichaelLee: #wizards down 20, but that won’t stop them from being showmen. Jordan Crawford with underhand lob to John Wall for fastbreak dunk. Uh…OK

@wzzntzz: “Seraphin, a little strong…” –Buck undersellin Seraphin botched spot: underhanded brick 2 feet wide off backboard

End Scene


“We weren’t getting back, taking tough shots and not playing defense. To give up 100 points in three quarters is unnecessary.”
—John Wall, referring to Utah’s 27-12 advantage in fast-break points, and also referring to every player on the Wizards’ roster.

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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.