DC Council 43: Wizards 88 at Hawks 102: Turnovers On An Atlanta Layover Downed By Hawks After A Flight From New Orleans | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 43: Wizards 88 at Hawks 102: Turnovers On An Atlanta Layover Downed By Hawks After A Flight From New Orleans

Updated: March 18, 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 43 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@Adam McGinnis), Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 88 vs Atlanta Hawks 102 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

As a team the, Wizards had 22 turnovers (20 individual turnovers, John Wall had nine), which led to 37 points for the Hawks.

Kirk Hinrich drew an easy charge versus Jordan Crawford… Kevin Seraphin got 3-seconds in the paint called against him on offense… A couple bad exchanges between John Wall and Trevor Booker off screening action late in the third led to turnovers (a Joe Johnson 3-pointer being one result)…

Maybe the road-weary, short-handed (down to 10 available players in two games after the trade), in a four-games-in-five-nights schedule Wizards had some dead legs. Still, whatever the situation, this team must continue to kick the habit of A) avoiding unforced turnovers, naturally, but more importantly, B) when turnovers happen, the Wizards need to better forget about them and organize themselves to defend afterward. They didn’t do that at all versus the Hawks.

Scene of the Game

Faces of Wittman…

Zaza goes down early (due to Chris Singleton)…

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley
and Kyle Weidie 

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

John Wall

John Wall

RASHAD MOBLEY: One night after playing one of his finest games of the season against the New Orleans Hornets, John Wall reverted to some bad habits against the Atlanta Hawks. He made telegraphed passes to teammates, he tried to use his speed to force drives into openings that were nowhere to be found, and in the third — when the game swung completely in Atlanta’s favor — Wall did not run the offense effectively. In fact, after a strong first half (10 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds), Wall tallied just 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 turnovers in the second half. Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Teague made the necessary defense adjustments, and Wall had no answer.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: In the post game media session, Randy Wittman described his team as hitting a wall in the second half, and the Wizards point guard epitomized his assessment. Playing four road games in five days is tough even for a 21-year old, and after a strong first half, his game fell apart in the second. The sloppy ball-handling is something that we have not seen from Wall in awhile either.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Credit Atlanta’s defense some for not letting Wall even attempt a shot at the rim in the first half. He still went 4-for-6 on jumpers in the first two quarter, not an ideal set-up. In the third, when Atlanta started to get more control of the game, Wall kept on settling (he only attempted two FTs on the night). Sloppiness also killed him, some of his passes just weren’t on point (9 assists to 9 turnovers!). Tired legs — whatever the case — Wall wasn’t cutting it.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

ADAM McGINNIS: A starting 2 guard in the NBA can not score six points (2-for-9 FGs) and have his team still be successful; the league just is not set up in this manner. Jordan is going to take questionable and highly difficult shots, I have grown to accept that this is part of his identity as a basketball player. Him launching 22-foot contested jumpers off one pass with 15-to-18 seconds remaining on the 24-second shot clock, which he did often versus Hawks, is worse than just a tough attempt to be a scorer. I can live with the over-dribbling, the fade aways or the heat checks, but ‘Jack ’em Joe’ long 2-pointers have got to go.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: In Truth About It’s post-trade analysis, I wondered what would happen to the Wizards’ perimeter offense without Nick Young, if Roger Mason and Jordan Crawford would be able to summon some consistency. Mason has done his part, Crawford has been a non-factor. He took impossible shots, he held on to the ball too long, and not even a return to Atlanta could coax an inspired effort out of him.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: He missed some good looks, he missed some bad looks… I guess Crawford just assumed he could easily shoot coming off a couple ball screens. But c’mon, Kirk Hinrich is a good defender. He’s going to make those shots tough, even if you get some space. And you are going to miss those tough shots, Jordan. Work on that decision-making please.
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Chris Singleton only played 17 minutes, scored two points on 1-for-3 shooting, and had two rebounds, one assist and four fouls. He wasn’t bad, he was far from good… just mundanely decent, if not looking slightly more comfortable in his movements. Singleton still makes some hustle plays, but seems to be struggling within some invisible boundaries… maybe it’s just rookie dead legs in this short season. Again, Singleton is getting the burn, he’ll be on the team next year. But he will need to show a lot of improvement next season… such as not losing a defensive battle to Joe Johnson in the post. Perhaps, once Nene gets to DC, it’s time to start experimenting with some different starting lineups, develop different type of chemistry.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The return home to Atlanta did not bust Chris out of 2012 doldrums. His role is to start each half, be one of the first ones subbed out, and never return. At least he close-lined Zaza Pachuila on a hard foul.
0.5 Star
MOBLEY: Joe Johnson is quick, athletic, a threat inside and out, and an All-Star, so there’s no shame in Chris Singleton’s defensive struggles against him. But on the offensive end, on four difference occasions, the Wizards went through their progressions perfectly, and Singleton was left with wide open shots, and he was only able to hit one. He’s got to be a threat, particularly with the departure of Nick Young’s 16 points a game.
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: I alluded to Singleton’s tough matchup against Joe Johnson, Trevor Booker had an equally tough man to cover in Josh Smith, who can post up, hit threes, rebound, and block shots.  Booker did not shut Smith down (23 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals), but he was physical with him and disrupted his rhythm in the post. Booker did not, however do a good job in running out on Smith’s outside shots, but four games in five nights will have that effect. On offense, Booker was able to get the shots he wanted in the paint, while making the Hawks respect his jumper as well. 18 points on 8-for-14 FGs, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 turnovers is a decent line from Cook Book.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Booker had a strong offensive game but lost his man often on defense, and Josh Smith made plays against the Cook Book on several occasions. I still wish the team would run more individual plays for Trevor, however.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Booker needs to better learn post defensive footwork, because guarding 4s like Josh Smith can be tricky. It’s not always about leverage and strength, but rather moving quickly to counter positioning. Booker can also be disappointing in his ability to recognize help defense versus the amount of space he gives to the shooters he is assigned to cover. But these critiques are only the result of his play escalating expectations. His baby post hooks are getting better, and as Phil Chenier said, pretty soon they’ll have to change the scouting report to adjust for Booker’s jumper (the Hawks left him open a lot, and he made them pay). Plus, Booker always fights… goes without saying he continues to move toward “untouchable” territory.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

KYLE WEIDIE: Really solid game for Seraphin — 10 points, 7 rebounds (2 offensive), 1 assist, 2 fouls, 2 turnovers and 4 blocks in 29 minutes. Kevin has shown a nice touch on his jumper, and a willingness to kick it back out from the post (something JaVale McGee rarely did); he and Crawford had a couple nice exchanges in the first quarter. He must continue to learn awareness — losing track of the shot clock situation and getting offensive 3-second calls were the lapses against the Hawks. Still, Kevin has been showing more glimpses of promise lately… baby steps.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Kevin continues to be an offensive threat by consistently knocking down the elbow jumper. He appears to be in the best shape of his Washington career, and it is paying dividends with increased playing time.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: Seraphin was decisive when he got the ball against the Hawks. If an open shot was there, he took it, and if it wasn’t readily apparent, he quickly passed the ball back out. His number wasn’t called as much in the second half, until it was apparent Atlanta was going to win. Defensively, he did his best JaVale McGee impression by blocking four shots, and he was not bashful about getting physical wit Zaza Pachulia, also a physical player.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ADAM McGINNIS: Roger Mason continued his torrid production with 12 points on 5-for-9 FGs, 2-for-5 from downtown. Jan Vesely actually shot three times and made them all! Jan had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Shelvin Mack did his steady thing with 5 points, 4 assists, 3 boards, and 1 steal. Mo Evans ripped a three ball. Andray Blatche kept his streak of hitting the side or top of the backboard with a shot attempt in tact, and he even added a new wrinkle, an air ball layup. Blatche had 11 points and 3 rebounds but he is so painful to watch. Most fans want to sit him for rest of season, yet, for those who advocate tanking for a high draft pick position like myself, playing Blatche is best way to get this outcome.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason
MOBLEY: Roger Mason did his job by staying hot, Shelvin Mack did his by staying steady, and Andray Blatche is slowly starting to regain some of his offensive weapons (although he did hold the ball too long during a few possessions).  Even Jan Vesely got into the fun by scoring seven points.  Unfortunately, after that productive second quarter, the bench did not do much — mainly because of the sloppy play from the starters.
1.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason
WEIDIE: The Money Mase rain drops continue… Roger Mason has really been a bright, but unheralded spot that’s helped the Wizards look like a better team in the past dozen games, and he will likely play a key role for the rest of this season. Hopefully the wet nets continue. Shelvin Mack was again solid, saw some good things from Jan Vesely (especially him catching a lob dunk from Mack). Andray Blatche scored because he has some skill, but otherwise having to watch him is brutal because the only rational result is wicked pixels until he is gone.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason

BENCH TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

RASHAD MOBLEY: Coaching four games in five nights must be as difficult as playing them, because Wittman had a few missteps.  In that third quarter, when Wall and the rest of the offense became unraveled, Wittman was unable to reel his team in by calling a simpler play or even subbing in that bench unit that had played so well earlier in the game. Wittman only played Jan Vesely for 2:52 in the second half, despite his strong first half play, and he did not revisit the three guard offense in the second half — with Crawford struggling the way he was, a Mack/Mason/Wall trio may have fared better. Then again, this was the second game in as many nights, Wittman is undermanned and still adjusting to the departures of McGee and Young. Not an easy situation.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: The players stopped moving and stood around for much of the second half, allowing the Hawks to pull away. There are legitimate excuses of being undermanned and heavy legs during a road back-to-back. The Brazilian center can not get here soon enough.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Maybe Wittman should’ve slipped some 5-Hour Energy in the Wizards’ Gatorade… or whatever… because they struggled to keep themselves alive, motivated for the whole game. Had they done so, and had they been able to focus on not giving Hawks shooters too much space, Washington might have better made it a game until the end. But, they didn’t. We’ll see what takes shape as the recently changed roster gets a chance to solidify.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Adam McGinnis

 Referee-ing ain’t easy in the Big Easy, nor Hotlanta.

At 10:41 mark of the  second quarter, Mo Evans had a breakaway drive toward the basket; Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague slapped him on the arm to force a turnover, no whistle. The no call resulted in a Teague transition basket on the other end. Comcast SportsNet Wizards television play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz was incensed.

“What a horrible miss by Violet Palmer,” said Buckhantz. He and long-time partner Phil Chenier, the ex-player analyst, went silent until the next whistle, a foul against Andray Blatche by Ivan Johnson. The whistle really bailed out Blatche, who was rather languid in his attempt to seal and catch the ball in a post up against Johnson near the Hawks logo, about 17 feet away from the basket.

Soon they went to the replay of Evans getting fouled. The conversation between Buckhantz and Chenier:

Buckhantz: “Take a look at this play and unless I am crazy, he got him on the arm.”

Chenier: “Let’s take a look… it could have been a great play by Teague… Ohhhhhh,” [says Chenier has he sees the play in slow motion] “You’re not crazy.”

Buckhantz:  “Phil, I am sitting six feet from this, I can see it. Violet is three feet from it.”

Chenier: (chuckles) “Hey, she missed one.”

Buckhantz: “It happens.”

Chenier: “When you were a referee, you did not miss any?”

As Chenier says this, Shelvin Mack throws a lob to Jan Vesely for a dunk and the topic is dropped. Palmer, although a pioneer as the NBA’s first female referee, seems to have a poor call track record when it comes to the actual job. “I missed ’em all,” was Buckhantz’ quip to Chenier’s question.

Buck and Phil later return to the conversation about officials with about a minute left in the third quarter.

Buckhantz: “I didn’t mean to get all over Violet in that first half. I happen to think that she is a pretty good referee.”

Chenier: “I am sure she understands. She knows how you are.”

Buckhantz: [chuckles]

Later in the broadcast Buckhantz relayed a story about running into a few NBA refs in Louisiana, specifically on Wednesday, March 14..

Buckhantz: “Ran into some of the referees in New Orleans on Bourbon Street the other night, some of them had just finished officiating the Laker-New Orleans game on Wednesday night…”

Chenier: “Uh huh.”

Buckhantz: “…Tommy Washington one of them [who is refereeing the Wizards game versus the Hawks, Buckhantz points out], and then we ran into Bill Kennedy and Brian Forte who were working our game last night in New Orleans… Just enjoying themselves, taking in sights…”

Chenier: “Let me ask you this, what were you doing on Bourbon Street?”

Buckhantz: “I was observing the officials.”

Chenier: [chuckles]

Buckhantz: “I was an observer that night.”

Chenier: “I just asked.”

The tales a broadcaster on the road grind tells…

Buckhantz: “Brian Forte’s dad, Joe, longtime NBA ref, here at the game tonight.”

Chenier: “Did you see Brian recently, his son?”

Buckhantz: “In New Orleans, last night.”

Chenier: “There you go … I am observing too sometimes … not all the time.”

Buckhantz: “Not observing what I just said…”

Chenier: “Not at all.”

Buckhantz: “That is OK.”

[laughter all around]

Buckhantz: “Four games in five nights, man.”

Chenier: “I see your mouth moving, but I am really not hearing anything.”

Buckhantz: “Nobody else does, Phil, why should you be any different?”

Top Tweets

@Mike_Nasty11: If Vesely can pan out, he’ll be better than Javale McGee ever was with us.

@ConorDDirks: Violet Palmer falls for everything.

@William_Stokes: Booker hits another jumper. So dangerous #WizHawks

End Scene


“We’ve got guys in there that are NBA players. We don’t need to wait on anybody.
-Randy Wittman, talking about not using short-handedness as an excuse, 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.