DC Council Game 35: Wizards 95 vs Magic 102: New Starters, Same Results, But Different Team | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 35: Wizards 95 vs Magic 102: New Starters, Same Results, But Different Team

Updated: March 2, 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 35 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from the Verizon Center, and Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) from the television screen.]


Washington Wizards 95 vs Orlando Magic 102 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

15-for-36, Orlando’s 3-point percentage…

Ryan Anderson, who often found himself free, went 4-for-10 from behind the line. Jameer Nelson saw plenty of space, too: 4-for-9 from deep. J.J. Redick nailed two of his three attempts. Hedo Turkoglu went 2-for-6, as did Jason Richardson. Even Chris Duhon got in on the action going 1-for-2 from long range.

The Wizards, on the other hand, shot 6-for-16. Their shooters provide severe malnourishment. Let John Wall eat, Ernie Grunfeld, let him eat.

Scene of the Game

Sure, the scene of the game could be basketball-related, but why when you have Trevor Booker and Jason Richardson squaring off?

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

ADAM McGINNIS: Superstars have this elite ability to feel what part of their offensive game is working and roll with it. Against the Magic, John became a scorer, a change from his usual role as basketball distributor. He finished with 33 points (13-25 FG), four assists, three rebounds, two steals and only one turnover in 43-plus minutes. When asked about slowing down Wall, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy answered, “We didn’t do anything the entire game to slow him down.” There was a stretch early in the fourth quarter where Wall was literally unstoppable, after the Magic had jumped to a 79-70 lead with 10:28 left in the game. During the next three and a half minutes, John made two free throws, finished an incredible spin move bucket, executed a finger roll layup, drilled a step-back J, knocked down another long jumper, and found Mo Evans for a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 83. The Game Changer lived up to his nickname.
3 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Tuesday night the Wizards had six players in double figures, largely due to John Wall’s 15 assists. Wednesday night, none of his teammates could get into a rhythm, and Wall did his best Derrick Rose impression in carrying the team by scoring inside, outside and from the line—and most importantly, he had just one turnover. The fact that he forced some shots was irrelevant on this night.
2.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Wall cut down on the turnovers from the Milwaukee game (7 to 1), but he also cut down on the assists (15 to 4). On some nights he’ll need to score, and when he goes 13-for-25 from the field and 7-for-10 on free-throws, you can live with that. His offensive game is showing legit improvement, his FG% from 10-15 feet increasing to 40.6-percent this season, up from 28-percent last season. Maybe Wall building up to a decent sophomore campaign, along with encouraging signs from Trevor Booker, is all Wizards fans will ultimately need in this rather useless season.
2.5 Stars

TOTAL: 8 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

RASHAD MOBLEY: At first glance, Jordan Crawford’s performance against the Magic did not differ too much from what his predecessor did in the starting lineup (Mr. Nick Young). Crawford shot 18 times (hitting 7 of them) and scored 18 points. He was red-hot in the third quarter (14 points), he had at least two semi-ridiculous heat checks, before encountering a cold spell (0-for-6) in the fourth. But what distinguished Crawford from Young on this night was his ability to pass the ball (5 assists). Once he got the attention of the Magic by draining three consecutive jumpers to start the third quarter, Crawford didn’t continue to force bad shots. He got Wall the ball for an open jumper, and then he hit Wall and Seraphin with perfect passes that turned into layups. He certainly would have done his team some good by hitting at least one shot in the fourth quarter, but his versatility is what kept the Wizards in the game.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Have you ever rooted for a player like J-Craw? He continues to make difficult shots at a maddening rate, drops sick no-look dimes and his heat checks are so customary at this point that they do not even phase me. He does it all with beaming confidence and a competitive scowl.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Crawford’s third quarter was fire… 14 points, four assists …But whatever led to him going 0-for-6 from the field in the fourth, Jordan needs to figure out how to not do that. The Wizards could’ve used him.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Not an utterly glorious stat line out of Singleton with six points, 2-5 FGs, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and four fouls in 36 minutes, but he’s not really a “stats” guy anyway. Singleton got his hands in passing lanes, served up a hard foul or two, did some boxing out… nice bits of effort on his part will one day allow his basketball IQ to catch up. He also needs to remember that Ryan Anderson will shoot over you with less space than anticipated.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Whatever Chris did over the All-Star break, he needs to keep doing it. Although his line will not stand out, he was scrapping out there on defense, and his deflections led to many steals.
2 Stars
MOBLEY: Singleton followed up a career night with a performance that seems to be more his speed. He wasn’t an offensive threat but was solid on defense—particularly when Dwight Howard tried to put the ball on the floor—and he had a couple of nice steals. Still, Singleton was part of the reason Wall had to score instead of facilitating.
1 Star

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: Like a pitching ace who does not have his fastball and has to use smoke and mirrors to go seven innings, Booker did not have his jump shot or any semblance of an offensive game against the Magic, but he did bring his trademark aggressiveness. He emphatically grabbed rebounds and quickly got the ball out of his hands and into Wall’s, he fearlessly guarded Ryan Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis, even though he was shorter, and in Davis’ case, much lighter. He even instigated a bit of a scrum with Jason Richardson (who really shouldn’t want to mix it up with Booker). But there were two encounters with Dwight Howard that really summed up the type of game Booker played. Late in the second quarter, Howard grabbed a rebound, and Booker ran up behind him and slapped the ball out of his hands. Much to Booker’s dismay, a foul was called. But early in the third quarter when the Wizards were in the midst of a 10-2 run, Booker tried the exact same move on Howard, stole the ball and passed it to Seraphin for an easy basket. When the Wizards improve in the personnel department, nights like this will translate to victories.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Trevor was already a fan favorite before effectively defending Howard in the post and not backing down from Richardson in their dust up. It is now time for the Wizards to start featuring his jersey and selling his T-shirt on their website, because Booker is the kind of player you love getting behind in sports.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Booker wasn’t much of a scoring threat, and the Magic played him that way on defense, but his presence was felt with 13 solid rebounds, five offensive. He played admirable defense on Dwight Howard and also let Jason Richardson know that he wouldn’t stand for his veteran B.S. Nice cooking in my book.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

ADAM McGINNIS: The Wizards went small and Kevin only saw 15 minutes of limited action with four points and two rebounds. Howard did not dominate like he did in the Magic’s victory in Orlando, so this could be considered a positive step for the young Frenchmen. But Kevin didn’t score like he did in Orlando either.
1 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: I hope the point that Randy Wittman is trying to drive home to JaVale McGee kicks in soon, because Seraphin is marginal at best right now. Although in fairness to him, McGee doesn’t do much against Dwight Howard either.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Seraphin tried against Dwight Howard and all, but quite often, he isn’t much of a presence on the court, at least for a guy with his girth. I wonder if the Nene comparisons have been tempered a bit by the organization, because right now Seraphin has potential that more resembles DeSagana Diop, but with three less inches in height.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: In the first quarter, the Wizards starters seem to be feeling the effects of the Milwaukee game less than 24 hours earlier, and the bench bailed them out in second quarter. An aggressive JaVale McGee had nine points and five rebounds in the second quarter alone, and Roger Mason and a less aggressive Nick Young made meaningful contributions as well. But in the second half, except for Mo Evans who hit a game-tying 3-pointer halfway through the fourth quarter, the bench contributed nothing. Jan Vesely and Shelvin Mack did nothing to restore Coach Wittman’s faith in the young players.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: JaVale McGee—he could have easily pouted after being demoted for the first time in 83 games, but he played hard.
McGINNIS: JaVale and Nick are in the dog house with no signs of coming out. Crawford is out-performing Young and has earned his starting gig. McGee is all over the place and his benching feels like a ploy to make him focus on winning team basketball plays. Evans hit a big corner-3 and maybe has some decent burn left in those old legs. Jan played six minutes and did not pick up a foul. I feel bad for Mack because he is the odd man out with Wall logging heavy minutes and Crawford gunning.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
WEIDIE: Can’t expect Mo Evans and Roger Mason to bail you out with shooting every game… blame whatever on roster construction. Collectively, the bench went 10-for-28 (35.7-percent) while the Wizards shot 41.4-percent as a team. JaVale McGee did try (9 points, 4-8 FGs, 6 rebounds, 1 block in 16 minutes)… now if he could just get better at trying the right way.
0.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: JaVale McGee

BENCH TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: When you bench knucklehead starters, McGee and Young, and you’re set to play Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, and you only have the 22-year-old Kevin Seraphin with minimal basketball instinct because he hasn’t been playing the game for very long to turn to at center… Good luck. By hey, Witt’s team is competing… losing better (as they say), and for this I commend the coach. When I asked him after the game about McGee and Young responding to his move, Wittman said, “I got to get them to play at their levels, that’s what I’m trying to do. There’s nothing more than that,” then the coach went into how he also had to reward the guys who played well in Milwaukee. “How long that will take, we’ll see,” the coach ultimately concluded about McGee and Young. That we will.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Randy was sly about his lineup changes before the game, stuck to his guns and rode a small lineup out in the latter stages of the night. Fans can get behind trying to make JaVale and Nick better all around players by limiting their minutes or yanking their “cigs.” Moral victories look the same as non-competitive blowout losses, yet, they go down the hatch much better.
2 Stars
MOBLEY: Coach tinkered with his lineup like a mad scientist against the Magic with mixed results. But he taught Young and McGee lessons by bringing them off the bench, and he gave Crawford the quick hook after he tried to show J.J. Redick “what it was.” That’s the accountability we’ve come to expect from Wittman.
2 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 6 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

Before the game, Dwight Howard was making fun of Dwayne Wade’s shoes over the All-Star Weekend to several Magic teammates. “He (Wade) wears white boots, Uggs, man, Uggs…..Ugh.”

Two Nets fans brought large posters of the faces of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, setting up shop behind the Magic bench, near the tunnel to their locker room. I snapped this picture, and it became a popular retweet, especially in the NJ/NY area.

Lewis, Mason, McGee, Crawford, and Turiaf were unable to name the theme song to Miami Vice on a big screen segment. Young thought it was Baywatch, and Crawford was convinced it was “Coming to America.” Miami Vice ran on TV from 1984-89, but was remade into a movie in 2006.

Shelvin Mack went back home to Kentucky over the All-Star weekend where he enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his sisters. He did not watch the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge live but was amused by the highlight of Greg Monroe stealing the ball from Wall when he was trying a show-boat dunk off the bounce toward the end. “That play was hilarious,” Mack said

Trevor Booker took part in the Clemson Alumni game over the weekend as a coach and joked that his coaching skills were why his team won.

Top Tweets

@StillUnknown85: Where them critics of John Wall now?

@AngryBlkManDC: Physically or mentally? RT @adammcginnis: JaVale is checking into the game



@H55ndiaye: THEY GON RESPECT THE MAN @Trevor_Booker!!!!I Almost felt like going through the screen just now!!!


End Scene


“Can’t say that I do. I’m sure I’ll figure it out sooner or later.”
JaVale McGee

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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.