DC Council Game 38: Wizards 106 vs Lakers 101: Wiz Turn Home Crowd In Their Favor | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 38: Wizards 106 vs Lakers 101: Wiz Turn Home Crowd In Their Favor

Updated: March 9, 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 38 contributors: Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from the Verizon Center, with Adam McGinnis (@Adam McGinnisfrom the television screen.]


Washington Wizards 106 vs Los Angeles 101 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

Nick Young had a career-high six assist! Four came in the fourth quarter!

Huh? What? Huh? 

Young achieved his previous career-high of five assists twice last season, and has achieved that mark four times in his career.

He has now passed for four or more assists in a game 13 times in his career of 332 games.

Who benefited from Nick’s assists on Wednesday? Well, big Kevin Seraphin got three buckets, Trevor Booker got one too. The best part? Young’s passing led to both of Roger Mason’s 3-pointers within the first 80 seconds of the fourth quarter that really helped turn the tide of the game (and the Verizon Center crowd in favor of the Wizards). Nicely done, Nick.

Scene of the Game

Former Maryland Terp and current alien Steve Blake gladly ducks out the way of a John Wall dunk. This is probably the coolest manner a dude has ever gotten out of the way from being dunked on, but not really.

Worst part is… Blake clearly was outside of the charge circle. He could’ve drawn one. But do you see those John Wall power dribbles en route to the rim? Can’t exactly blame Steve either. Same guy who threw punches with John Gilchrist?

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: John went scoreless in the first half for the first time this season and did not make his first basket until a flying dunk with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. He was tentative, passive, sloppy with the ball and lost an opportunity to expose Derek Fisher’s weak defense. Washington bizarrely seemed more effective when he was on the bench. Wall still had seven assists, highlighted by a late pass to Seraphin for a key dunk.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: This may have been the worst John Wall performance I’ve seen in two years. Mike Prada from Bullets Forever implied it was the Lakers length, I think he just had an off game. He did manage to have two big assists to Seraphin and Young late in the game to help stretch the Wizards’ lead from two to six, but that’s about all he contributed.
1 Star
WEIDIE: And here I was thinking Wall would be the Wizards’ only advantage. He finished 1-for-8 on field-goals with nine assists and five turnovers (five and four in the first half; four and one in 13.5 second-half minutes). After the game, Randy Wittman said: “He was played differently tonight than he’s probably been played all year in pick-and-rolls,” also crediting the soph with persevering through struggles. A lesson learned and a real win are both wins for John.
1.25 Star

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

ADAM MCGINNIS: J-Craw had a rough shooting night (6-for-19 FG, 0-for-6 3-pointers) but did contribute five assists. Kobe was able to draw early fouls on Jordan by getting him to bite on head fakes. Crawford settled down and was able to hold Kobe to 3-for-18 shooting in the second half.
1.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Crawford shot 6-for-19 for the game, but most of that came in the first half when he shot 4-for-13 and got no help from John Wall, so he does get credit for trying. But much like Young, he has to work harder to find the easy shot, instead of forcing bad ones. But his five assists mean that he at least tried to contribute in other ways.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Crawford had a tough shooting night and a tough assignment in trying to guard Kobe (who scorched JC for several points in the first), but he never stopped being pesky on defense. Plus, Crawford easily picked up five assists, which was Nick Young’s previous career high, as you know.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

ADAM MCGINNIS: Chris made a three early in the game, which ended up being his only points in 20 minutes of action. The Wizards went to a three-guard lineup which made Singleton the odd man out, and his contributions were limited.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: For the 14 straight time, I wondered aloud why Singleton was starting, and for the first time I was given an explanation by Mr. Kyle Weidie:  “Well you figure he’s gonna be one of the Wizards who the team will be built around, so they might as well start him.” I’d start Vesely, because he’s the higher pick. Singleton gave the Wizards nothing tonight.
0.25 Star
WEIDIE: Singleton’s stat line was very similar’s to Ron Artest’s, which would have been awesome at one point in time,but not in the present. Guess who is who (as if it matters) — 3 points, 1-for-3 FGs, 3 rebounds, and 2 fouls in 20.5 minutes versus 3 points, 1-for-6 FGs, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 foul in 26.5 minutes. For the run he’s getting, Singleton is having a historically crappy rookie season (and he was the first stat line)
0.5 Star

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

RASHAD MOBLEY: Height, along with speed, effort and talent, is something that you simply cannot teach, and Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are a pair of seven footers who pose problems for nearly every team they face. At just 6-foot-8, Booker gave away four inches to both, and there were times when Gasol’s skill and size were simply too much for him to overcome. But in that pivotal third quarter, Booker had eight points and five rebounds, and on defense he seemed to intimidate both Gasol and Bynum. In that fourth quarter, Booker failed to score, but he blocked Gasol’s shot, disrupted the Lakers pick and roll, and grabbed eight rebounds (four offensive, four defensive) and was the best player on the floor (sorry Kevin Seraphin). There’s no way Blatche is getting back in the starting lineup after this, and if Singleton wants to keep his slot, he may want watch Booker’s performance on this night.
3 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: I have been arguing that Wizards need to start featuring Booker apparel online and in the team store. After his outstanding performance versus the Lakers, it could be time to put him on a billboard outside the arena. Trevor did his post game interview with blood dripping from his face, how can you not love that?
3 Stars
WEIDIE: Simply put: Booker was a monster. Eight (EIGHT!) of his career-high 17 rebounds came in the fourth quarter. You know how important it is to take chances away from even a cold shooting Kobe? Exactly, important nonetheless. The Wizards don’t win without a couple of the Cook Book’s amazing offensive boards. Stick with the recipe. (0.25 deduction for going 3-for-7 on free-throws).
2.75 Stars

TOTAL: 8.75 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

RASHAD MOBLEY: Trevor Booker had occasional problems with the Lakers front line because he lacked the height, not strength. JaVale has plenty of height — which led to him grabbing 12 rebounds — but he lacked the physical presence to put any type of defensive resistance to Bynum, which is part of the reason he did not play a minute of the fourth quarter. But to McGee’s credit, he had no problem playing the Mateen Cleaves bench role. He was the first man off the bench cheering when Kevin Seraphin made a strong play, and not once did he pout about not getting any minutes in that last quarter. Still, how many times do we have to watch McGee get pushed around and fantasize about him hitting the weight room, so that he CAN have an impact?
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: JaVale had a solid double double and did not have any glaring bonehead plays, but I was more impressed by how happy he was on the bench as he cheered for his teammates. He flexed his bicep after a Booker slam and was downright giddy for Kevin Seraphin’s baskets. Pierre even broke out smiles.
2 Star
WEIDIE: McGee focused more on what the team is asking of him — 12 rebounds (2 offensive) in 23 minutes is solid. Sure, we saw some goofy stuff, per usual, but maybe we have to start accepting some of that as a caveat of his athleticism. His ability to get pushed around easily will continue to be glaring, especially because McGee has said in the past that he prefers not to gain muscle in order to maintain his agility. I’m sure there’s a happy medium, he just needs to be willing to achieve it.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

RASHAD MOBLEY: With apologies to Andray Blatche, who hit nice-looking shots in the first and second quarter, and Shelvin Mack, who filled in admirably for the ineffective John Wall, the collective bench play of Seraphin, Young and Roger Mason deserved the “Game Changer(s)” moniker for this game. Young’s contributions included his third quarter scoring (9 points), fourth quarter passing ( a whopping 4 assists) and second half defense against Kobe Bryant (Kobe shot 3-for-18 in 22 second-half minutes, and Young guarded him for 15 of those minutes). Mason took two passes from Young early in the fourth quarter, and hit two big three-pointers that took the Wizards from down two points to up four. And Seraphin channeled his inner Bill Walton by hitting jumpers, hook shots, grabbing rebounds, and body-ing Bynum. After the game, the Lakers begrudgingly gave credit where credit was due by saying the Wizards’ bench “Game Changers” took advantage of turnovers and errors and fed off the crowd. Sorry guys, Young, Seraphin and Mason just outplayed and out-hustled the Lakers bench and the starters.
3 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
MCGINNIS: This unit destroyed their Lakers counterparts and they soley contributed to the comeback victory. Seraphin had the best game of his professional career, Young made huge clutch baskets and Roger Mason’s exceptional long range shooting quieted the L.A.-heavy Verizon Center crowd. Mack’s stellar ball handling was a positive; critics who have popped up online recently need to give the rookie some credit.
3 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin
WEIDIE: You simply can’t say enough about the bench. Nick Young really took the same crappy shots that he usually takes (7-for-19 field goals, 1-for-9 from three, 2-for-8 in the fourth quarter), but those six assists help us look past that. Roger Mason’s bombs (and sometimes that’s all it takes, some who can actually make shots) were momentum-changers (and we barely noticed his bad defense). “Under control,” was Wittman’s key phrase regarding Seraphin, high praise if you ask me. 55 total points off the bench. Amazing.
3 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason

BENCH TOTAL: 9 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: Wittman after the game: “Hopefully this can go a long way for us in terms of that mentality of staying in the game, playing as hard as you can. You never know in an NBA game what’s going to happen, doesn’t matter who you’re playing.” For Wittman’s sake, I hope his team learned that turning-point lesson. But let’s also realize this: the game against the Lakers, perhaps because the Wizards got more pumped against a major team (like they did versus the Thunder), was an oddly imperfect union of the glimpses of positive traits shown by individuals on this team at times (along with Kobe’s shot-jacking and the laziness of Andrew Bynum). And per Witt’s quote, you never know what’s going to happen in an NBA game — meaning the Wizards could provide a stinker versus Portland on Saturday. Credit Wittman for going with the hot lineup, but it’s really nothing new with his interim strategy. You can’t deny the fact that his voice is being listened to.
2.25 Star (out of 3)
MCGINNIS: Randy took the blame for his team’s dismal loss to Golden State and midway through the third quarter, it appeared he might have to fall on the sword again for Washington’s porous defense. Then the team started pushing the Lakers around and pulled out the shocking upset victory. Closing the game out with Young and Seraphin along with leaving Mack in for Wall during a long stretch of the fourth quarter were all the correct moves.
2.5 Stars
MOBLEY: At one point in the fourth quarter, Coach Wittman could have looked to his right and seen John Wall, JaVale McGee, Jordan Crawford and Andray Blatche — all former starters — on the bench while his regular bench players took on Gasol, Fisher, Bynum and Kobe. I don’t think even Bill Raftery knows how many onions it takes to do that.
2.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 7.25 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

  • Lakers fans, lots and lots of Lakers fans. About an hour before tip-off I counted Lakers jerseys (and jersey-shirts/team garb in yellow) versus Wizards jerseys and paraphernalia. My count was about 130-to-5 in favor of the visiting Lakers.
  • LA’s game versus the Pistons was on a pull down screen in the Wizards’ locker room before the game. Andray Blatche pulled up his chair for a good look at what was being shown. McGee, walking out of the training room, paused to observe from a standing position. Randy Wittman after the game said that they had their best shoot-around all year that morning, that they were really focused.
  • Here is where I’ll provide some ribbing of my friend Dean, the Lakers fan. Evidently he was at the game, and evidently a “friend” of his couldn’t get in. So evidently he rolled out with the Lakers up 20 points. Dean and said friend went to a local Chinatown watering hole, we’ll evidently call it Zola. Evidently the Wizards-Lakers game was blacked out due to the Dish Network (or something or the sorts). Whatever the case, evidently Dean had no clue that his team was crumbling blocks away, only able to halfway keep up on Twitter. So maybe it was his fault.
  • Talk from the Wizards after the game was all about turning the home crowd to their favor. John Wall: “Just about any big game, it has been the crowd was on the other side. Every time we make it a game, the crowd always changes.”

Top Tweets

@WayneWash0: Nick Young just threw a alley oop to God

@KevinDing: Bynum and Ebanks on bench laughing as Wizards defenders continue to fall for Kobe’s pump fakes. After Q1, LAL 29, WASH 21.

@35_Fitz (Trevor Booker): Papa Johns half off tomorrow

End Scene


A frustrated Kobe Bryant

“Keep it to one-word answers.”
Kobe Bryant’s follow-up after responding “Very,” to an initial question about his level of disappointment in the loss.

Nick Young’s alley-oop attempt to Sweet Baby Jesus:

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • larry smith

    Hey!! Wiedy Piedy why don’t you shut the hell up , and get of Nick Young. We love and like Nick game. And Nick is giving you some thing to write about, be thankful. Loser, just like the wizards losers except for Nick Young.

  • Blue

    Larry I appreciate your enthusiasm but Nick is a bum…he’s gotta go. The Wizards could go out and get any fool off the streets of DC to chuck off balance ill-advised jumpers game in and game out while playing little defense never passing and laughing all the damn time like everything is a big joke.
    Nick, Andray, and JaVale are all immature inconsistent selfish unprofessionals and they all have to go.

  • Michael

    @Blue- Can you please stop it with the Nick Young doesn’t play any defense nonsense?

    The person you are describing is Jordan Crawford (as evident by his opponent per of 18.4 at sg this season). Not Nick Young who is easily the second best defender on this team (has the lowest opponent per of anyone on the team).

  • Ayo Obayomi

    Blue: Yeah, they do have a bum who takes horrible shots and plays no D. his name is Michael Jordan Crawford. Young consistently plays above average D, and is the only guy that shoots at a decent clip from 3, yet he gets killed for everything around here.

    In the 4th quarter, most of shots were in the offense, and he even drove to the basket 3 times, and got no call. Heck, his threes were good looks too, they just didn’t go down (that happens sometimes if you didn’t know) I love how his D on Kobe, who went 1-10 in the 4th alone gets overlooked, while Crawful somehow gets most of the credit for D’ing up Kobe. The only shot Kobe made was a long fadeaway with Nick up in his grill. One time, Nick got pumped faked by Kobe, but he didn’t bump him and kept his had up, still forcing a tough shot.

    Crawful is a much better passer than NY (although he does have his share of turnovers, which once again gets overlooked), but NY is a better shooter and much better defender. If Young had the game Crawful had against GS or LAL, he would get 0 or .25 stars GUARANTEED (his D would not have been nearly as bad either). It’s sad how Young is hated even more than Blatche (who is actually not good) or Mcgee (who plays horrid D and never gets called out on it, and I like McGee) just because he smiles.

    I’m sure the T-wolves, Clippers, or Bulls (which are good teams by the way) would love to have Nick Young, and I’m sure he wants to get the hell out of here as well. Unfortunately, if Blatche and McGee are also gone, then who will get blamed?

  • I think both Young and Crawford do try hard at defense. Sure, they need to learn how to not take some plays off. And lately, Young has found himself trailing off ball movement around screens a little too much, for which he’s gotten benched. Crawford has done this too, sometimes. Kobe scored 14 in the 1st quarter mostly on JC, but it wasn’t from him not trying. He also didn’t give up despite shooting horribly against Golden State. At least these are some of the things my close observation has seen.

    The Wizards’ improvement on defense really starts with better communication from a more disciplined anchor in the middle.

  • Michael

    I couldn’t really care less if someone tries on defense. I care about whether they are effective on defense.

    For example, if you ever watch Dwight Howard, you probably notice he just stands around in no defensive position the majority of the time. But is he still the best defender in the league? Yes.

    Jordan Crawford may try, but due to Young’s superior size, quickness, and smarts, he is a significantly better defender than Crawford. The stats back this up as well. (Young has two full inches in height and 5 inches longer in wingspan, which matters).

    And also, I don’t know how you guys can give Crawford a 1.5/3 rating for that game. That implies he was average. Crawford was 6/19, couldn’t lock up anyone out there, and finished with a +/- of -2. Does that sound like a mediocre performance? I don’t think so. I continue to fail to see what everyone sees in this guy, or why he is starting in front of Nick Young.

    I’d love to see the Wizards trade Young to the Bulls or any playoff contender. I think people will finally realize what they were missing with him. He isn’t a #2 option, which is what he has been asked to be for the majority of this season, but he is a legit starting sg in this league which is more than I can say for Jordan Crawful (nicely done on this nickname Ayo).

  • nich

    I thought Crawford played some decent D when he was on Kobe too. That said, Young is definitely a better defender.

    The ball movement is better when Crawford is in there. Maybe Nick picked up on that being the only reason- besides riding the hot hand for 1 game too many that Crawford is still in there. Remember, it’s not who starts that matters. It’s who finishes. Plenty of guys come off the bench who are more effective than people starting ahead of them. That said, Crawford & Seraphin have such a nice rapport that I probably prefer Craw with 2nd unit too.

    As for +/- Crawford had a significantly better one against Golden State despite shooting like doo-doo and Young putting up 25 points..It’s a misleading statistic, even with a larger sample size. We’re all guilty of using it when
    it suits our needs.

    Crawford and Young’s shooting percentages are about the same for this year. .404 to .397.. is that really significant?
    Most of Crawford’s looks were wide open in this game. Sometimes he just doesn’t bang them out. Nick seems to actively encourage an increased degree of difficulty on his shots. Maybe he is a significantly better shooter than Crawford, he just isn’t showing it. Crawford is showing improvement across the board.

    This team isn’t good enough to do anything but ride the hot hand. We should roll with both of them vs Portland as apparently Singleton’s post-break epiphany was a pipe dream.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    Michael: Finally, someone who realizes Nick is a legit starting 2 in this league! He has to do too much on this team, but that shouldn’t mean he is the plague! I wish I thought of the Crawful name, but I heard it from someone on Bullets Forever who also realizes that Crawford =! good.

    Nich: this is Young’ worse shooting season by far (that 2 week slump when he shot 55% AND this is Crawful’s BEST shooting season). This doesn’t even account for the fact that Young is a threat from 3, where with Crawford, you can say “Let him chuck!”

    In terms of +/-, I didn’t use it, but throughout the whole season, Nick has one of the better #s on the team (it’s still awful of course because the team usually loses). There are a few games where Crawford has a better #, but for the most part, Nick has one of the highest #s while Crawford has one of the lowest.

  • Robert

    I think everyone should just realize that we will never see a smooth, efficient offense as long as John Wall is running the team. He plays well some nights, but overall he simply does not make his teammates better in any way, shape, or form. I’d rather have Ricky Rubio (even knowing he may have torn his ACL last night).

    Rumors are that the Wizards are chasing Bogut, but will not part with Wall. I think they need to give up on Wall, and insist that he be part of the trade. How about Wall, Mcgee, Blatche, and anyone except Trevor Booker and Vesely for Jennings and Bogut.

    Also, I wish the Wizards could trade Nick Young, but that looks unlikely since he has to consent to any trade since he is on a 1 year deal. Jordan Crawford needs to just go away-I have never seen an nba player throw more garbage up at the rim since Dajuan Wagner. Sometimes the garbage happens to go in, but it is still an awful shot.

    The Wizards have only 1 player who makes his teammates better-Trevor Booker. The team has some talent, but their collective basketball IQ is in the negative. (Basketball IQ = ability to make teammates better) Since everyone on the Wiz makes their teammates worse, we are seeing every player play below their potential.

  • Michael

    @nich- +/- is actually a very good statistic. But when you apply it to a blowout game like Golden State, then yes, it can be misleading for a variety of reasons.

    It needs to be taken into context for each specific game. And a matchup like LA in a close game, where it was no coincidence that the Wizards came back while Crawford was on the bench, it is an important thing to note.

    And also, Young is a significantly better shooter than Crawford. If you look at any statistic regarding field goal percentage from shooting jumpers, Nick Young is ahead of Jordan Crawford.

  • Adam McGinnis

    I have nothing really to add other than I love all the comments.

  • Ray Ray

    Both Nick Young and Jordan Crawford are black holes who would sooner shoot a contested shot over 3 defenders with 20 seconds left on the shot clock than pass it to an open teammate and as far as I’m concerned they’re both expendable.

  • Emperor of Ice Cream

    I gotta disagree with @Robert about Wall. He doesn’t have anything like the cast Rubio does. He played under good control on the offensive end – 8 asst 0 turnovers! -but he is getting burned on the defensive end.