DC Council Game 39: Wizards 99 vs Trail Blazers 111: Punk Me and I'll Punk You Back | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 39: Wizards 99 vs Trail Blazers 111: Punk Me and I’ll Punk You Back

Updated: March 11, 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 39 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@Adam McGinnis) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), with Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) from the television screen.]


Washington Wizards 99 vs Portland Trail Blazers 111 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Rashad Mobley

In the second half alone, LaMarcus Aldridge and Raymond Felton shot a combined 11-for-17 from the field (64-percent), and 12-for-13 from the free throw line (92-percent) for a combined 34 points (Portland scored 55 total). The last time Portland played the Wizards, Aldridge played two minutes before leaving with an injured ankle, and Felton scored just four points in 28 minutes. On Saturday night, Aldridge did it with jump shots and fadeaways, and Felton was able to out-smart John Wall on pick-and-rolls, getting into the lane at will. Via HoopData.com, Aldridge finished 6-for-6 at the rim, and Felton picked up three assists in the area.

Scene of the Game

JaVale McGee with a floater … that just kept on floating.

Trevor Booker, like Nick Young before him, throws an alley-oop to the Flying Buddha…

Kevin Seraphin will not be punked.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley
and John Converse Townsend

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

John Wall

John Wall

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: The coin-winning John Wall — the player friends of the Wizards expect him to be — was in full effect Saturday night. Wall scored 25 points, doing most of his damage in transition as he repeatedly raced past Blazers for scores at the rim. The most notable development is that Wall is playing under much more control than he’s shown before in his promising career. He led all players with eight assists and committed no turnovers for the second time this season, the fourth time in his career. The knock on Wall’s night was his defensive effort against Portland’s guards, Raymond Felton in particular. Felton pushed the pace, too easily finding gaps in Washington’s defense to score 21 ugly points, while also sinking nine of his 10 attempts from the charity stripe.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: John attacked the rim with ease while Portland’s backcourt struggled to stay in front of him. I really wish he would stop with the step-back jumper in end-of-quarter situations and use the floater instead.
2.25 Stars
MOBLEY: Wall bounced back from his poor performance against the Lakers with a strong, turnover-free game against the Blazers (25 points and eight assists). Unfortunately, his pick-and-roll defense on Raymond Felton in the second half left much to be desired. Felton scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half—mostly at Wall’s expense.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

RASHAD MOBLEY: A little over a week ago, Jordan Crawford had one of his best shooting games of the season in the Wizards’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers (59-percent from the field, 45-percent from 3-point range). The upside to a performance like that is that it gives a shooter like Crawford more confidence. The bad part? A shooter like Crawford will shoot more and with a higher degree of difficulty. Last night, Crawford was a relative non-factor with just eight points on 3-for-10 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum played a big part in limiting the 6-foot-4 Crawford’s scoring ability. But when Crawford shot 6-for-19 against the Lakers on Wednesday, he still got his teammates involved to the tune of five assists, and grabbed four rebounds. Crawford had one assist and no rebounds last night — not exactly what you want out of your starting shooting guard
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: J-Craw began the game by missing a long 2 early in the shot clock, his game never recovered. Jamal easily won the battle of the Crawfords. Jordan’s hot shooting stretch has unceremoniously ended.
0.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Crawford succumbed to his demons, mainly poor selection and a little thing we call “hero ball.” Another day in the life of a second-year gunner trying to make his way in the NBA.
1 Stars

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

ADAM MCGINNIS: Chris finished with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting, 2-for-4 from 3-point range, seven boards, and two assists. He converted an oop from Wall, which might have been his first highlight-type dunk of the season. The small forward position has been gaping hole all season, so it is a positive anytime the Wizards can get offensive production from the three spot. Singleton scored on few drives, which he needs to do more as he often settles for long jumpers.
1.5 Star (out of 3)
MOBLEY: For only the second time since Randy Wittman became the Wizards head coach, Chris Singleton scored in double figures (12 points). More importantly, Gerald Wallace — who is a great defender and has the ability play free safety and cheat off his man to help others — was forced to play Singleton honest. The Wizards need this type of effort and more for the upcoming six-game road trip.
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Chris Singleton is still figuring out what he can and can’t do. He’ll airball an awkward step-back jumper, but hit a 3-pointer on the next possession. He’ll get beat to a rebound, but later force his match-up to pick up his dribble or travel. I still think Singleton can develop into a Gerald Wallace-type player, as implausible as that may seem right now.
1 Star

TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Trevor Booker disappointed after a career game against the Los Angeles Lakers, giving up four inches and plenty of space (in part due to slow defensive rotations) to LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished the game with 30 points and 10 rebounds. “We were one-on-one the whole night,” Booker said after the game. “So I just tried to push him out as far as I could.” Clearly, that wasn’t enough. But to Booker’s credit, he did pull down 10 rebounds while also scoring nine points (3-for-5 FGs) to go with two assists, one block, one steal, and three turnovers.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Trevor’s night was a mixed bag. He threw a terrible oop, had a sick monster block, could not stop Aldridge, and crashed the glass with 10 boards. The Booker-Wall two-man game should be this team’s bread-and-butter offense play, but for some puzzling reason it is instead centered around creating long jumpers for wings. Book only took five shots in 33 minutes.
1.5 Stars
MOBLEY: Last week, Booker had to guard Antawn Jamison, David Lee, Pau Gasol, and then was LaMarcus Aldridge. Booker played physical against Aldridge, but he did not do a good enough job of making it difficult to get a shot off. He still hustled, and he still grabbed 10 rebounds, but Aldridge hung a 30-spot on him.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

ADAM McGINNIS: JaVale started out strong with nine points in the opening quarter, finishing with 15 points and four rebounds. He was hindered by two questionable offensive charge calls and only logged 24 minutes. Critics will undoubtedly point to a terrible shot while double-teamed, but I was impressed by McGee stopping his dribble in an one-on-one fast break opportunity to pass to a guard, and, on another occasion, actually kicking the ball out after securing an offensive board. The 2011-12 season has been a public relations nightmare for McGee, and many fans have unfairly pointed to his stupendous highly publicized goof ball mistakes as the systemic cause of Wizards woes. Under tutelage of a new staff and partnered with a legit post scorer, I believe JaVale has a chance to blossom in D.C. and it would be a mistake for the franchise to give up on his special talents just yet.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Given that he spent the entire fourth quarter of the Laker game on the bench, it was quite impressive to see McGee start strong against the Blazers (nine points). But he didn’t block a single shot, he was outrebounded by LaMarcus Aldridge (who is four inches shorter than McGee) and 56-year-old Marcus Camby. What’s the point of having a long athletic center, if he cannot win advantageous matchups?
1.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: LaMarcus Aldridge, Trevor Booker, Joel Pryzbilla, Gerald Wallace, Chris Singleton, Marcus Camby, John Wall, Kurt Thomas, Roger Mason: a list of players who equalled or bettered McGee’s performance on the glass—four rebounds, one offensive, in 24 minutes.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: The Wizards bench may have outscored the Blazers second unit, 30-27, but they were outplayed in runs to begin the second and fourth quarters. Nick Young made just four of his 16 shots, 15 of which were mid- to long-range jump shots: volume shooting at its finest. John Wall (9-for-19 FGs) was the only player on either team to attempt more shots. Young, who joked he was a “complete player” after a dishing out a career-high six dimes against the Lakers, showed his true colors with limited contributions outside inefficient scoring: three rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes off the bench. Seraphin, Blatche, Mack, and Mason had fine, if uninspiring games, in limited run.
0.75 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin’s “take no shit” attitude
McGINNIS: Nick Young struggled with his shooting while Mason continued his torrid post-All-Star break shooting with two big 3s, and Blatche just went through the motions. Seraphin showed that he is no punk with his dust up with Marcus Camby, and his budding confidence in the mid-range jumper is a pleasant surprise. Maybe it is time to give Mack some of Young and Crawford’s playing time to see how the rook can perform in extended minutes. He showed at Butler that he can play off the ball, and what is there really to lose at this point? The team still has single-digit wins after 39 games. Seraphin’s stellar output has made Vesely the odd man out in the rotation, as he racked up another DNP.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason
MOBLEY: It would have been virtually impossible for the bench to match the 55 points they produced against the Lakers, but their 30-point output Saturday night was not bad considering Nick Young played horribly. Mason continues to shoot well, Shelvin Mack is making the most of his limited minutes and Seraphin is a badass. He didn’t just push Camby, he continued to demonstrate a polished low-post game.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin

BENCH TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

RASHAD MOBLEY: In the post Wizards-Lakers DC Council entry, Kyle Weidie said the following about Coach Wittman: “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.” I don’t disagree with Kyle’s statement at all, but when the Wizards follow up a great victory with a disappointing double-digit loss at home against a team that had been blown out the night before, clearly the coach’s voice is not being listened to enough. Wall was continuously beat by Felton in the second half, and LaMarcus Aldridge torched everyone the Wizards threw at him. Wittman did not have an answer to either one of these problems, and it cost his team the victory. And with the exception of their last win against Portland, which came the night after a win against the Pistons, the Wizards have followed all of their Wittman-coached wins with a double-digit loss. The players are at fault, but so is their interim leader.
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Questions are swirling over Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan’s job security, speculation was out there that he might not have lasted the road trip if his team lost to Washington. The Wizards had not played since Wednesday and Portland was thumped in Boston on Friday night, so of course the Blazers end up with a convincing win. Wittman could not find a way to defend Aldridge, and his laudable decision to go small in the fourth quarter unfortunately did not work out.
1 Star
TOWNSEND: When asked about the team’s attention to detail leading up to the meeting with the Blazers, a wide-eyed Wittman answered, “Fine, fine.” Wall, however, disagreed, citing slow rotations and ineffective double-teams, among other errors, as reasons the Wiz Kids fell behind. Unfortunately, there were no answers at the back of Wittman’s coursebook.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

  • Gerald Wallace interrupted Raymond Felton’s media scrum to clown the guard’s adidas shoes, because Wallace is a Jordan brand guy. Felton fired back at Wallace’s footwear of choice: “They [Jordan shoes] suck, too. I don’t care because who he is. Think I care? And he [Michael Jordan] went to Carolina, and I don’t care. Anyway, next question.”
  • Fans should wait for Blatche to throw up some soft fadeaway jumper before hurling boos, but I can’t exactly blame Wizards faithful for showering him with jeers upon entry into games. This is not about his contract, calling himself captain, complaining about not getting the ball in the post (like he did on opening night) or recently begging for sympathy; it’s the fact that he’s currently an awful NBA basketball player. On one possession, he passed it to the left wing from the high-post position; instead of cutting to the low block, which was not occupied by a teammate, Blatche just hung out at the elbow for no apparent reason. Normally, I would cut him some slack due to his return from injury, but he is just jogging around out there and shows no interest in contributing, even in limited minutes. Blatche wrongly believes that his only game is being “the man,” and he is incapable of chipping in where needed, which should be low-post scoring, rebounding and interior defending. Andray is on the verge of never playing in the league again after the team does the no-brainer move of exercising the amnesty clause on his contract at the end of the season. The end of the exhausting relationship for all the parties involved (Blatche, the team, and fans) cannot come soon enough.
  • The Wizards are now selling Booker’s jersey in the arena and my tweet wondering what third-world country Blatche merchandise will end up in became a re-tweet hit. I spotted a middle-aged man wearing a Blatche jersey at the game with a young boy dressed in a Wall jersey; I really just wanted to give the guy a hug.
  • I spoke with Nicolaus Batum before the game, and he is excited to play in this summer’s Olympics for France. He revealed that fellow French national team member, Kevin Seraphin, was a real good dude and a very funny guy that made all his French teammates laugh.
  • During breaks of the game, the team will hold quick on-court contests. On Saturday night, they chose one where two fans competed in a full-court layups by dribbling through cones and another involving two men racing around in tricycles. I understand that these are for sponsors but am still puzzled as to why the staff believes watching grown adult men partake in these dull contests is even somewhat entertaining for the home crowd.
  • Nate McMillan said it is possible that another NBA player could reach Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point mark in a game. When asked what player in today’s game could score triple figures, McMillan replied: ” I do not know … just one without a conscious.”
  • With 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Blazers holding a 10-point lead, a group of fans in Section 108 successfully started the wave. The whole arena took part, it went around several times. As a wave cynic, I consider this the low point of the season for Washington basketball fans in the Verizon Center. The wave instigators were the same faction that took part in a pregame picture with Seraphin.
  • Booker had a large contingent from his alma mater, the Clemson Tigers, in attendance, and Wizards video guru Jumoke Davis snapped this photo of Booker posing with his supporters after the game.
  • Referee Scott Foster, who screwed Portland out a victory over Thunder and has sketchy ties to the crooked ref Tim Donaghy, had several suspect calls.
  • I asked Felton about the boos that Blatche receives and he offered his advice:

“My biggest thing to Andray would be to stay positive, stay focused. For the fans, don’t be so hard on him. At the end of the day, we are human beings. We make mistakes. We do things that maybe the public eye don’t like. We are not perfect, but nobody is, so the biggest thing is just to give him a chance. He trying to change things around… He trying to come back… You can’t really down a kid like that. You gotta stay positive. I feel bad for him to hear the fans booing him like that. It’s tough. Everybody goes through things.”

  • Felton could not relate to Blatche’s falling-out with the home crowd but understood (although his prediction is likely off):

“I have never heard fans boo me. I have heard fans boo a team after a bad game, but I have never heard fans just boo me. I have never been in that situation, so I don’t know how he feels, but at the same time I can understand, so for him just keep his head positive, don’t worry about it. Just continue to fight and the fans will come back along. They loved him at one point, so now they don’t, so they will come back around and love him again.”

Top Tweets

@Abstract_cool: When we started the John Wall era, one of the first things I remember hearing is they want to get more physical and tough. I enjoy this

@BoneyStarks: During time out a video of Andray Blatche making Chipotle burritos was on the big screen. Foreshadowing like a mug.

@wzzntzz: ? isnt whether Wiz win or lose. It whether Gerald WAlllace will emotionally ruin another Wiz playa b4 game ends. NEVA 4GET

End Scene


Kevin Seraphin:

“I don’t really know why he [Marcus Camby] got mad, because I just boxed him out. You know? Then he just pushed me like that and I can’t let people push me like that. I stood up to tell him what’s up.

“Maybe he tried to punk somebody. But if he wanted to punk somebody, that was not here. That was not in Washington.”

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.