DC Council Game 32: Wizards 88 at Suns 104: Rest Won't Cure Selfish Basketball | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 32: Wizards 88 at Suns 104: Rest Won’t Cure Selfish Basketball

Updated: February 21, 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 32 contributors: Markus Allen (@mayminded), Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), and Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20).


Washington Wizards 88 at Phoenix Suns 104 [box score]

Stat of The Game

w/ Markus Allen

The Wizards were up 55-54, their first lead of the game, with 8:12 remaining in the third quarter before the Suns went on a 31-6 run to close the period .Washington just lost it on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense didn’t help. In that stretch starting around the 7:31 mark of the third, they committed eight fouls, had three turnovers and missed 14 shots. Washington found themselves down 61-85 at the start of the fourth quarter and effectively out of the game. I don’t know what exactly caused this collapse, but the Wizards continued to make bonehead plays; and the Suns, a team with experienced veterans, were sure to capitalize on all of them. The Wizards have now lost 10 straight to the Suns, last winning in 2006 when Gilbert Arenas had 54 points in an overtime victory.

Scene of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Beautiful, selfless Phoenix Suns basketball that the Wizards could learn from:

Looking past the Wizards’ worst bouts of selfish basketball (those took place in the third quarter), this Nick Young garbage-time bucket still typifies life for Washington:

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Adam McGinnis and Rashad Mobley 

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

John Wall

John Wall

RASHAD MOBLEY: Through the first half and the first three minutes of the second half, John Wall and Steve Nash were playing identical games. Nash grabbed a few rebounds here, found some open teammates there, and shot the ball when the opportunity presented itself. The Suns took away Wall’s ability to lead the fast break, but he still found open teammates, grabbed rebounds out of the net and attempted to run and scored when he had a clear shot (including one Nash-like floater). But when the Wizards took their first lead at 55-54 with 8:12 left in the third quarter, Nash was able to summon another gear to lead his team, while Wall just disappeared. Nash had six points and three assists and controlled the tempo masterfully, and when Sebastian Telfair came in for him late in the third, the Suns were up 19. During that same span, Wall did not have an assist, a rebound, a point or a steal. Instead, he missed two shots and had a turnover.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: John Wall was going for the triple-double early, but couldn’t get it with the Wizards playing themselves out of the game during the third quarter. He could’ve had a decent line, but only ended up with 10 points, six assists and six rebounds in 31 minutes. He had 10 points, six boards and four assists in 19 minutes at half.
0.75 Stars
McGINNIS: John Wall continued his torrid February with another solid performance, yet still is not getting the respect from officials as Nash got away with numerous fouls on his drives. Wall was on pace for a triple-double until he sat out final quarter in the blowout loss.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars


Nick Young

Nick Young

ADAM McGINNIS: Nick had another dud game, finishing with a line of six points, two rebounds, one assist, two turnovers, four fouls on 3-13 shooting (0-4 from 3-point land). Young’s defense has improved over his NBA career to become serviceable, but against the Suns he was dreadful. He missed rotations, did not fight over screens effectively, and picked up avoidable fouls by taking bad angles on close-outs. His shot was not falling, thus making him ineffective. At least Young accomplished something positive in Arizona by making a couple’s wedding reception special with a surprise visit.
0 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: It was just an off night for Young, his 3-13 shooting night his fourth worst this season percentage-wise. It’s risk versus reward when he tries to force the hot hand, and last night he was just cold.
0.25 Star
MOBLEY: Nick Young’s ability to score was completely nullified by the age-less Grant Hill, which ideally should have meant that Nick should have picked up the slack with the other facets of his game—except they do not exist.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 9 stars


Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

MARKUS ALLEN: Singleton had five points and three fouls in 14 minutes of play. He didn’t really contribute on either side of the ball, and was taken out due to his sloppy play. He really isn’t fitting into the starting lineup, and it has the Wizards torn between starting Singleton (who does nothing) or Lewis (who does nothing).
0.25 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: First it was Gerald Wallace, then Caron Butler, and now Jared Dudley’s turn to beat the rookie off the dribble. Singleton’s highly touted ready-made wing defense was supposed to be a strength, but now is turning out to be one of the team’s glaring liabilities at the small forward position.
0 Stars
MOBLEY: There are certain games on the schedule that seemingly play to Chris Singleton’s strengths, and this Suns game seemed like one of them. Phoenix plays an open court game, which for Singleton should have meant easy buckets on offense and the opportunity for steals on defense. But he was insignificant on both ends of the court and got in early foul trouble. We’ve reached that point when Wittman needs to pull him from the lineup … but for whom?
0 Stars

TOTAL: 0.25 out of 9 stars


Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: Although Singleton failed to take advantage of the favorable match-up this Phoenix Suns team presented, Trevor Booker did the complete opposite. Aside from Marcin Gortat, the Suns do not have a legitimate post presence, which meant Booker could conceivably have his way inside. He did just that with 16 points and eight rebounds. The problem was on defense; Booker was the one getting exploited. The 6-foot-11 Channing Frye was hitting 3-pointers seemingly at will (too much space, Trevor), and then the 7-foot Gortat simply shot over him (which in fairness was more a reflection on Seraphin, not Booker). Still, he was one of the few players who hustled and did not fall victim to the selfish brand of basketball that doomed the Wizards in the third quarter.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Trevor Booker continues to showcase that he should be part of the nucleus of the Wizards in the near future. He did his part, if only the other pieces would do the same.
1.5 Stars
McGINNIS: Trevor showed continued improvement in his offensive game with an array of nifty moves (especially with his off hand, his right). During the Wizards’ third quarter scoring drought, the team mysteriously went away from Booker and it cost the them dearly.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars


JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

MARKUS ALLEN: McGee nut-shot via Channing Frye video? Ouch. It was over with when JaVale McGee was elbowed in the groin by Frye. McGee actually showed some nice post moves — had some up-and-unders, spin moves, and off-the-glass shots that really looked nice. He finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in only 20 minutes of play. But once again he played limited minutes as the Wizards were out of it after the first half … and much of that had to do with McGee’s selfish play in the third. In better news, his bonehead play made infamous on SportsCenter has now been out staged by Martell Webster, who decided to dunk the ball when the Timberwolves were down three with four seconds left to play in overtime.
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The poor third quarter sequence of a charge, followed by a defensive lapse and then a 15-foot hook shot miss marred what was an highly efficient game by McGee.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: McGee’s night was a microcosm of the entire game for the Wizards.  Great hustle early, strong start on both ends of the floor, selfish play in the third quarter (in one six-second span, McGee missed a shot, got another blocked, and was then called for charging without once looking to pass the ball out to a guard), and then he was non-existent the rest of the game.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 3.75 out of 9 stars


The Bench

The Bench

ADAM McGINNIS: Jordan Crawford provided a spark off the pine with 20 points on 7-10 shooting. Roger Mason knocked down two 3-pointers, but his defense was awful; Michael Redd lit him up in the decisive 31-6 third quarter run by Suns. Rashard Lewis logged 30 minutes due to both Singleton’s early foul trouble and Young’s ineffectiveness. Lewis gutted out some decent run in first half but hit a wall in second, symbolized by him completely missing the rim on a wide open 3-point attempt. Maybe he should have spent the weekend getting in extra gym time instead of taking a road trip to Las Vegas. In fourth quarter garbage-time, Mack played his usual under control game, and Seraphin looked like he could be a decent backup someday. Jan Vesely should rhyme with foul.
1 Star (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
ALLEN: Jordan Crawford stepped up in the wake of Nick Young’s poor shooting performance. He had 20 points on 7-10 shooting, but ultimately it was irrelevant as the Wizards couldn’t hold up on the defensive side of the ball. Roger Mason had 10 points on 4-8 FGs, and Rashard Lewis still has a broke jumper.
1.25 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford
MOBLEY: Crawford was the only Wizards player who consistently hit shots, and Mason did his best to lead a brief fourth quarter comeback. Seraphin’s shortcomings forced Booker to guard Gortat, Shelvin Mack and Vesely did nothing, and this unit continues to miss the presence of Ronny Turiaf.
1.5 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Jordan Crawford

BENCH TOTAL: 3.75 out of 9 stars


The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

MARKUS ALLEN: How did he allow the Suns to pull away in the third quarter? There was confusion throughout, leaving the Wizards alloowing a 31-6 Suns run. Who expected the Wizards to get two wins on the road, though? I’m sure Wittman is somewhat satisfied (and relieved) to head back home to play the Kings on Wednesday.
0.25 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The coach had no answer as the third quarter spiraled out control, when perhaps McGee should have been re-inserted back in to the game (although he was also part of the problem). “A couple of times, I looked and thought a timeout was going to get called,” said John Wall to Michael Lee. It is highly disappointing that the coaching staff could not close out the road trip with a more competitive outing, especially on two days rest.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: According to Michael Lee’s game article in the Washington Post, Randy Wittman was upset with his team’s selfish third quarter play, and he mentioned that he will not let that brand of basketball return. I admire Wittman’s tough talk, and I’m sure he will make the necessary adjustments before Wednesday’s game against Sacramento. But during the Suns game, he failed to get his team to respond to Gentry’s zone—which is when the Wizards fell into the selfish play. During that 31-6 run, he only called one timeout (when seemingly no zone-breaking strategies were discussed), he didn’t get a technical foul, he didn’t make the right substitutions; Wittman just did not have the right motivating tactics at all. I’ll accept that his leader (Wall) did not do him any favors by failing to grab a hold of the team, but still, this loss is on the head coach and his staff.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars


Seen on the Screen

w/ Kyle Weidie

Ernie & The Wolf

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld and television news personality Wolf Blitzer take on the Wizards-Suns in Phoenix. During the third quarter, their trip would become quite the situation room. Was it basketball or that organic bean curd and mystery meat sausage chimichanga that Grunfeld had? Time, and some flushes, will only tell.

Top Tweets

@AverageBro: If there is such a thing as Basketball Jesus, he will get John Wall some shooters to pass to. Or another team with some shooters to pass to.

@StillUnknown85: Nick get to the line, stop trying to shoot yourself out of a slump

@wzzntzz: Vale really did become Pierre there. New Edition need a soprano ?

End Scene


“It flashed before my eyes. It happened so fast. I couldn’t believe it.”
—Rashard Lewis, talking about the game-changing third quarter via Wizards Insider, but he could be talking about a lot of things…

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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.