DC Council Game 34: Wizards 118 at Bucks 119: Randy Wittman is, "Done With Young Guys" | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 34: Wizards 118 at Bucks 119: Randy Wittman is, “Done With Young Guys”

Updated: February 29, 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 34 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis), Sam Permutt and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 118 at Milwaukee Bucks 119 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

In the second half, played without JaVale McGee and Nick Young (except for Young’s 4:36 at the beginning of the fourth quarter), the Wizards shot 55.8-percent (65 points on 24-43 FGs) with 15 assists to seven turnovers (Wall had nine and two). The Wizards also held the Bucks to 40.5-percent shooting (52 points) in quarters three and four.

With McGee and Young present for almost 34 combined first half minutes, the Wizards shot 40.9-percent (53 points on 18-44 FGs) with nine assists to seven turnovers (Wall had six and five). The Bucks shot 49-percent with 67 points in the first half.

Not saying that not playing McGee and Young had to do with anything — Wall accepted responsibility for his turnovers on Twitter after the game, BTW — but there’s something to be said about bout JaVale and Nick needing to better learn how not to be part of the problem. Perhaps sitting and watching their teammates do well will help, but I have my doubts.

Scene of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Is this the play that got JaVale McGee benched?

Hell, I dunno, but keep reading.

[McGee lusts after a block, but fouls Drew Gooden on a last second 3-pointer at the end of the first half.]

[But hey, McGee, on a previous play, had this nice dunk, which is good for contests.]

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Sam Permutt
and Kyle Weidie 

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

John Wall

John Wall

SAM PERMUTT: The best part about Wall’s monster assist night was that so many of his dimes were out of the half-court offense. Wall relentlessly attacked the rim, using change of pace and direction to get into the lane seemingly at will. He was looking to pass on nearly every play; his 15 assists reflect both this mentality and his teammates’ ability to knock down shots. Even though Wall didn’t shoot a good percentage (5-13 from the field) and turned the ball over seven times, this was the kind of game approach from him that could make the Wizards a winning team. Even when he jumps looking to pass, he can still get his own shots up to the rim (if no passes are open) because he hangs in the air for such a long time, often drawing the whistle from the refs for the body contact he creates with defenders. And that would-be game-winner was a pretty incredible shot.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: When John was in the depths of his early season struggles, he took an unnecessary 3-pointer against Knicks and a forced shot versus Celtics in late game situations. Those clutch mistakes have been replaced by a huge shot in a win over Raptors and last night’s go-ahead runner with 6.8 seconds remaining. Although the Wizards did not pull out the victory, these are encouraging signs in the development of the Game Changer.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: In the first half Wall contributed to the slop with five turnovers. In the second half he cleaned up his act and dished out nine assists (15 total for the game) to just two turnovers. He simply picked apart Milwaukee’s defense in the second half, where the Wizards shot 9-14 from 3-point land and Wall assisted on nine of those makes. If would’ve been nice if Wall would’ve sealed his potential game winner with 6.8 seconds left with lockout defense against Brandon Jennings so the Wizards defense would not have to help, exposing the offensive boards for Ilyasova’s game-winning put-back… but that’s life.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.75 out of 9 stars

Nick Young

Nick Young

KYLE WEIDIE: ‘Dammit, it’s not enough that Nick sometimes has a decent shooting night that’s akin to throwing a rock in a pond, or that sometimes he allows John Wall to set him up, or that his defense has improved over the years… It’s time that his game grows up and time for Young to start creating for others, else the Wizards rebuilding efforts just might be better served with him riding the bench and the likes of Jordan Crawford, Roger Mason Jr. and Mo Evans playing off Wall and sharing with teammates’ — I wonder if this is what Randy Wittman is thinking. Young was 3-11 on FGs with one rebound, one steal and one foul in the first half. He sat the entire third, and in four and a half minutes at the beginning of the fourth, tried to play defense (1 block, 1 steal, 1 rebound) while not attempting a single shot. But just one lapse in defense, falling asleep and allowing too much space between him and Mike Dunleavy, cost Young a chance to play for the rest of the night — 7 points in 20 minutes. Good luck with free agency, Nick.
0 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Nick shot poorly, got benched at half and never was much of a factor. His backup, Jordan Crawford, is completely outplaying him.
0.5 Stars
PERMUTT: When the Wizards went down early in the first quarter, it seemed that Nick was experimenting with different shot techniques as opposed to playing in a real game. Of the first seven Wizards shots, Young attempted four of them, a collection that included a ridiculous fadeaway (made) and an open free-throw jumper (air-balled). He was not seriously missed in the second half.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

SAM PERMUTT: Someone got their head right over All-Star weekend. This game marked the return of the scrappy, headstrong, tough-as-nails Chris Singleton we saw glimpses of early on this season. Singleton was everywhere from the opening tip; chasing down loose rebounds, aggressively getting to his spots on the floor for midrange jumpers or confident drives, etc. Singleton also played significant minutes in the second half at the power forward position, and he looked very comfortable setting screens and moving within the offense. If only he had tried to fight around Ilyasova before the Jennings’ shot bricked off of the rim and somehow made that tap more difficult… but it was undoubtedly a tough play to make.
2.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: This was the assertive and versatile small forward that fans thought they were getting on draft day. Chris still needs to take better angles with his on-ball defense but his aggressive drives to the rack were welcome, and he took two big charges.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Hello Chris Singleton, I remember you… same Chris Singleton out of Florida State who “slipped” to the Wizards with the 17th pick, right? Welcome back. You looked a bit skittish early, but I knew when you rebounded your own missed jumper and charged through the lane for a dunk early in the first that it was going to be a better night, rookie. You took charges, you got help-side blocks, you fouled the shit out of former Wizard Drew Gooden en route to a career night. Nice (16 points, 9 rebounds, 6-6 FTs, 3 assists). Singleton missed his assignment of blocking out Ilyasova in the end, but I’ll look past that considering everything else.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 7 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

ADAM MCGINNIS: Trevor had a slow first half before regrouping for a monster second half, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He responded to his halftime benching by immediately knocking down several jumpers and even called “bank” on one attempt off the glass. His follow-up buckets were also key down the stretch. Good things happen with the Wizards offense when Wall and Booker run the high pick-and-roll. Booker comes open at the high-post either for a jumper, a drive opportunity or he reverses the ball quickly to a shooter.
2 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: After getting benched to start the second half, along with Nick Young and JaVale, Cook Book made the most of his second chance. The jumpers were nice, but he validated his value to the team by contributing physicality and reminding us all that he is often effective on the court simply because he plays hard and within himself.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Score a win for rebuilding, for now. We now know Trevor Booker’s basketball culture has not moved past being unaffected by a benching by his coach. In the second quarter Booker felt dainty enough to attempt a runner in the lane — that’s not a Trevor Booker that anyone should know. After sitting the bench to start the third, Booker was brought in for Kevin Seraphin at the seven minute mark and proceeded to hit three straight jumpers in about 90 seconds, the third, a bank shot, leading to rare smiles from Trevor and a Bucks timeout. For the rest of the second half Booker was the monster he should be, on the boards, on defense, and in pick-and-rolls with John Wall.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

KYLE WEIDIE: I’m sure some will point to JaVale fouling Drew Gooden on a 3-point attempt at the very last second of the first half (seen above) as the reason why Randy Wittman benched McGee for all of the second half. Or maybe they’ll point to the defensive three-second call against him that occurred not a minute before. It could be for a lot of reasons one might assume, but in reality knows nothing about. Maybe he pouted in the locker room during half. Maybe it was a build-up, in Wittman’s mind, of all the coaching McGee doesn’t adhere to. Maybe against the Bucks, without Andrew Bogut, Wittman just preferred the smaller lineup (yea, riiiight). And maybe Wittman has decided to take it to the next step away from coddling young players and using their ignorance as an excuse. It’s time for McGee to grow up, if that even has anything to do with it, and evidently Wittman’s message to him is loud enough for him to sit and watch for 24 minutes. Next Up: Dwight Howard
0 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: Two areas that JaVale has improved this season is that he has stopped with the one-man dribbling fast breaks, and he rarely falls for head fakes anymore. Well, Drew Gooden got McGee up in air on a 3-point shot fake with five seconds left in first half and was rewarded with three free throws when McGee landed on him. This caused Wittman to go to the ‘two hands on the back of his head’ distressed move, and JaVale never played again.
0.5 Star
PERMUTT: JaVale had a sub-par first half; with Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova dominating the glass, ‘Vale was practically invisible except for a highlight dunk and a bonehead end-of-quarter sequence resulting in three Drew Gooden free throws. Dude did nothing in the second half. It was almost like he wasn’t on the court….
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

KYLE WEIDIE: It sure did help the bench’s cause that JaVale McGee and Nick Young dug themselves such a hole, but it’s a team game. Still, when it was time to show up, Jordan Crawford (19 points), and, unexpectedly, Roger Mason Jr. (14 points) and Mo Evans (15 points) answered the call. Jan Vesely’s seven minutes barely registered (he needs to not get manned down by Luc Mbah a Moute in the post), Kevin Seraphin was a warm body, snagging a single offensive rebound to go with four fouls in 12 minutes, and Shelvin Mack was a tinge below solidly average. 48 of the 52 bench points were covered by the Crawford/Evans/Mason trio; they got collectively hot from deep (10-14) — only one of their 10 makes, a pull-up by Crawford, was not assisted upon; six of those assists were courtesy of John Wall.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans (good shot attempts, defense, hustle and the willingness to pass will do the trick)
MCGINNIS: Roger Mason and Mo Evans combined for 29 points on seven made 3s. I doubt that last night’s surprise happens in a NBA game again. Crawford continues to quiet all of his early season detractors by being a consistent offensive spark plug off the bench. Those three players were instrumental in the Wizards comeback.
2.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
PERMUTT: Jordan Crawford, Mo Evans and Roger Mason were obviously good, shooting a ridiculous 10-14 from 3-point range between them. But Jan Vesely (great hedge and recover on a pick-and-pop), Shelvin Mack (beautiful step-back with the shot-clock expiring), and Kevin Seraphin all had minor contributions, too.  Despite having more fouls (4) than all other statistics combined (2 points, 1 rebound), Seraphin’s defensive presence was most helpful.
3 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans

BENCH TOTAL: 8 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

ADAM MCGINNIS: The coach had no answers for Mike Dunleavy’s 28 points or the Bucks offense in general. He started the second half by benching three starters: McGee, Young and Booker. It worked, helping the Wizards outscore the Bucks by 11 points in the third quarter. Wittman wisely went small to close out the game, but maybe should have put in a bigger lineup to protect the rim on Ilyasova’s winning offensive put-back. Randy is putting his stamp on this team and you have to applaud his desire to make players earn their minutes.
2 Stars (out of 3)
PERMUTT: As a coach, it’s got to feel good to take a risk and have your players validate your decision. Interested to see how Wittman will process this game going forward. Did Young and McGee learn anything? Whose minutes does Mo Evans get? Lots of challenges ahead.
3 Stars
WEIDIE: I give Wittman two stars simply for his tactic of benching Nick Young, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee to start the second half, and not playing Young and McGee at all in the third quarter. What he found out was that he turned to the right page in the Cook Book, Trevor got 16 points and six rebounds in the second half; that Young could come in and attempt to focus on defense first, getting a board and a nice help-side block, but could quickly go back to the bench after losing track of Mike Dunleavy on a key possession; and finally, that McGee could not play in the second half at all and it wouldn’t really matter. Wittman gets 0.5 star simply for filling out the lineup card correctly.
2.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 7.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Sam Permutt

During the halftime break, a graphic popped up with details on the stars to track for the night, with Nick Young pictured for the Wizards.  The sub-heading read, “17 points in 15 minutes” and Steve & Phil were quick to point out the error (he only had seven points) while lamenting the fact that he didn’t actually have 17. Little did they know, Young would only play five second-half minutes and fail to score again.

Also, Randy Wittman’s “O” Face… as in… “Oh my god WTF is JaVale McGee doing now Oh, he’s just hanging out in the lane on defense FOR-EH-VER, getting a three-second call? …  And then mere plays later, McGee fouled Drew Gooden on a 3-point attempt … Yep, that’s the exact Randy Wittman “O” Face.


Top Tweets

@Unsilent: So I guess we can call that a walk-off walk. #Wizards #pixelsoffatigue

@AnaheimAmigos: And I thought the first half had the perfect ending…

@malitzd: We all know at least one person cheering at the end of that Wizards game — Pamela McGee

End Scene


“I’m done with young guys. If they don’t want to play the right way, young guys aren’t going to play. It does us no good. They’re not going to learn anything when they want to play the game the way they want to play. You get no development out of them. . . . All they’re developing is bad habits. I went with guys who I knew were going to go out there and bust their rear ends.”
—Randy Wittman, via Washington Post


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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.