DC Council Game 40: Wizards 97 at Spurs 112: Winless Since 1999 - Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 40: Wizards 97 at Spurs 112: Winless Since 1999

Updated: March 13, 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 40 contributors: Markus AllenAdam McGinnis (@Adam McGinnis) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 97 vs San Antonio Spurs 112 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Markus Allen

>>The Spurs had 23 assists in the first half and ended up with a season high 30; Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker contributed seven each. San Antonio played team ball, passing, moving and rotating so well that the Wizards never could rotate fast enough to keep up on defense.

>>Washington has not beaten the Spurs in San Antonio since December 11, 1999 when Mitch Richmond scored 31 points. Last night’s loss pushes the Spurs home winning streak over the Wizards to 12, and their overall winning streak over the Wizards to 12 as well.

Scene of the Game

16 of Tony Parker’s 31 points came in the paint…

You may see the pretty move to the basket in the video below and initially think, ‘Wow… did you see the way Parker went into JaVale McGee’s chest and finished?’

I know I did. But what you should also see is that McGee’s pick-and-roll defensive intuitiveness is still not leading him to use his length and athleticism to cut off the ball handler. Sure, Parker is super fast and tough to check, but McGee and John Wall are clearly not playing this situation correctly, and the most glaring issue is McGee’s preparation to attempt to block Parker’s shot. It was reminiscent of his previous intentional goaltend of Francisco Garcia (against the Sacramento Kings) which got him summoned to the bench.


D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Adam McGinnis,
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

KYLE WEIDIE: It started about four minutes into the game, Tony Parker blew by Wall on a back cut. Wall wasn’t ready, and he didn’t turn his head fast enough. He just didn’t have it, and neither did his teammates. All night, Wall’s Wizards couldn’t figure out how to best pressure both the ball and passing lanes, resulting in Tony Parker going off with 31 points on 13-for-18 FGs. Wall finished with 12 points (5-for-14 FGs and just 2-for-2 on FTs), five assists, two turnovers and three rebounds in 33.5 minutes. Sure, he had some nice blocks and hit some jumpers late when the Wizards were fighting their hardest to stay within ten points, but several of his passes were off — we will see the blooper of a pass hitting McGee in the head (he should always be looking), but was that the best pass for Wall to make anyway? And I’m not a body language scientist, but it seems Wall was showing too much frustration in the lack of defensive help from teammates against Parker, when Wall himself showed little signs of setting a tone to compete on all plays from the get-go.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: John Wall had a bad night offensively, but that wasn’t the main issue tonight as the Wizards scored pretty well. The main problem for him and the team was on the defensive side, where he was outworked by Tony Parker who had 31 points.
0.75 Star
McGINNIS: Tony Parker is in the MVP conversation for a reason, and he absolutely cooked up the Wizards star point guard. Parker lulled John to sleep by moving quickly without the ball and then closed the game out with a pick-in-roll clinic. Wall bizarrely made all of his five field goals on jumpers and only took two free throws.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

MARKUS ALLEN: Jordan Crawford played his part, and when he and Nick Young are scoring together, it keeps the Wizards in the game. He was efficient from the 3-point line early, and ended up going 3-for-6 from deep. He had a nice dish to open up the 2nd half, and ended up with 19 points and 5 assists.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: When Jordan starts a game hot, time to buckle up because it will be a thrill ride of highs and lows. His long range bombs kept the Wizards in the game in first half (we was 3-for-4 from three in the first quarter). While J-Craw still has tendency to over dribble, his no look pass to Booker for a fast break dunk was one of his best assists of the season.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: What’s the biggest issue with Crawford? Shot selection. What gets lost amidst poor selection, at times, is Crawford’s ability to contribute in multiple areas. Sure, he needs to improve on just about everything, but his well-rounded abilities as a basketball player are harder to accomplish than him knowing when to feel for his own shots when the floor is opening up, versus just making the extra pass and saving it for another possession. He will get better with more experience. There was nothing inherently wrong with him dribbling on that one possession where he made a half arc into and out of the paint, but him shooting a tough fader after all that just doesn’t seem ideal. Pass it to someone ready next time, Jordan.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

ADAM McGINNIS: Chris entered the NBA with a reputation of being a stalwart defender and as the two-time ACC defensive player of the year. After last night, his signature play so far in the NBA will be that nasty block of Manu Ginobili. He made his only shot attempt in 23 minutes by drilling a 3-pointer, along with snagging five rebounds, one assist and two blocks. During San Antonio’s first half offensive assault, Singleton was slow to react to his man moving and also got beat to some loose balls. Chris passed up several drive opportunities; he needs to find additional ways to contribute offensively other than just being a streaky spot-up shooter.
1 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Chris Singleton hit a 3-pointer! Besides that, he had five rebounds and really didn’t contribute much, but he held his own against Richard Jefferson.
1 Star
WEIDIE: On the Wizards first defensive possession, Singleton made sure DeJuan Blair was on his back while securing a defensive board. He also had a couple very nice blocks. More effort plays from C-Sing, but call me surprised to find out that the part of his offense involving spot-up 3-point shooting is much more pleasurable to observe than pretty much any other part.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

MARKUS ALLEN: Trevor Booker played decent offensively, but did not rebound and barely played defense. He went 5-for-13 from the field to score 11 points, and I must give him credit for showing off a nice jump shot. The problem is Booker only had three rebounds to DeJuan Blair’s 12, and was part of an interior defense that allowed 64 points in the paint. Duncan, Splitter, Bonner, and Blair were just too textbook … for Book.
0.75 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: The battle of Booker and DeJuan Blair was an Ernie Grunfled special. The Wizards team president sold the second round pick in 2009 to Houston instead of drafting Blair, whom the fan base was screaming for at the time. Then, a year later, Grunfeld traded up in the draft to select a similar bruising player in Booker (although, Booker does have knee ligaments, Blair doesn’t).  Cook Book struggled with finishing around the rim against the height of the Spurs’ frontline, and he missed way too many rotations and pick-and-roll defensive help assignments.
1.5 Stars
WEIDIE: Cook Book had some formidably rotund ingredients to deal with in DeJuan Blair; the former second round pick once so coveted by Wizards fans (over Jermaine Taylor for cash) snagged 12 rebounds (seven offensive) in 26.5 minutes to Booker’s three rebounds (one offensive) in 32 minutes. It still seems like he’s trying to force jumpers early, which ironically opened up the floor for him to hit one on Matt Bonner in the second half. Booker really needs to work on his ability to finish/draw contact on drives, but considering his offensive improvement to-date, there’s no reason to think he won’t get better soon.
1 Star

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 9 stars

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee

ADAM McGINNIS: JaVale’s answer to the trade rumors circling around the Inter-tubes was to come out and straight ball in San Antonio. He crashed the offensive Boards early and was active around the rim all evening. He finished with 21 points on 9-for-13 FGs, 15 boards (seven offensive), and one block. Two plays that stood out in first half: one where he got ball at half court, stopped dribbling, gave it to a guard, then ran straight for the rim and, unfortunately, Chris Singleton missed him for the lob, but McGee soon got a tip-in dunk on the possession. On another play (in GIF form below), McGee beat Tim Duncan to the left low block coming off a Shelvin Mack screen from across the lane, established great position by sealing Duncan, took the post dish, and then drop-stepped and slammed it home. JaVale has struggled with big centers like a Dwight Howard,  so to see him have a huge performance on a legit, albeit older 7-footer like Duncan is encouraging. The “let’s make fun of goofy McGee” crowd will ignore these plays and refuse to acknowledge his improvement by just linking the video where he got rocked in the face with the ball. He earned his rep, so he has to deal with the consequences. But from a basketball sense, games like this are a reminder why McGee is too talented for the Wizards to give up on, as well as the reason other teams are vying for his services.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: McGee had a great game, scoring from the paint, hitting free-throws, and ended up with a double double. He hit a running floater (fluke), a jump shot (fluke), and it just seemed like his night on the offensive side. However, he, along with Trevor Booker, just didn’t hold the defense down in the paint, often moving a step slow on rotations. (Does the Kawhi Leonard 3-pointer that put the Spurs up 106-93 with 3:23 left ring a bell?) Maybe he felt like since he was scoring so well that he could slack off on D, which should never be the case.
1.75 Stars
WEIDIE: JaVale had some bad, blooper plays, and he had some amazing plays — get used to it, comes with his territory. What I liked was his ability to stay around the rim against San Antonio. Seven of his 15 rebounds were offensive; he scored four times off his offensive boards, and got an assist on a Jordan Crawford 3-pointer on another. On the other hand, McGee does make the old bigs in the NBA look extra old… But can he do it more often against younger guys? He also continues to be oblivious to the movement of opposing offenses — one of the first of many great passes by the Spurs flew out of Parker’s hands, right by McGee’s nose, and into the hands of a scoring Duncan.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ADAM McGINNIS: I understand the predicament that organization and coaching staff finds themselves in with Andray Blatche. The Wizards need to play him so he can regain his confidence, get into game shape coming off an injury, and just maybe revive his rock-bottom trade value so they can get rid of their self-inflicted mistake. However, there is just no reason for Blatche to be out there anymore. He is basically a spot up, midrange jump shooter, and the team already has a stockpile of those inefficient gunners. Against the Spurs, Andray misfired on numerous fade aways (one that hit the side of backboard), got an easy defensive board ripped from his hands by Tiago Splitter (who Blatche fouled while shooting), provided no paint defense resistance whatsoever, and could not put a shot in over Matt Bonner when he was under the hoop. Blatche’s team low minus-15 plus-minus was well-deserved. After two straight DNPs (Coach’s Decision), Jan Vesely got some action and was able to tip out several rebounds. He ended up with three boards, one assist, one steal and did not take a shot in 18 minutes. Nick Young was feeling it with 18 points on 7-for-10 FGs and 4-for-5 from 3-point land in 24 minutes. This is the type of role that I see for Young moving forward in his professional career: the main perimeter scorer on a second unit, close with him if he gets hot; this will not be in Washington. Roger Mason’s shot was not there (1-for-5 FG), and Shelvin Mack did his usual steady back-up point guard thing, with two points, three assists, two boards and one steal in 13 minutes.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Nick Young
ALLEN: Nick Young had a lights-out game shooting, but he still had some foolish plays which you can’t see on the stat line. He went 7-for-10 on FGs (4-for-5 from deep) with 18 points, which was the key to the Wizards keeping it a game for the most part. Andray Blatche was the second leading scorer off the bench, but he went 3-for-10 and had a play where he shot the ball off the side of the backboard (see below). Roger Mason tried to get involved but couldn’t join in on the good shooting night, while Jan Vesely provided good energy and actually played a little defense. So basically Nick Young scored, and the rest of the bench did nothing; they can’t win that way.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Nick Young
WEIDIE: Nick Young made some nice shots in another losing effort. He tried on defense in a continued showcase that he can do something else. He can’t wait to get out of Washington, and the feeling could be likewise. I’ll be curious to see, if Young does get traded, if he will ever be able to adjust his game to do the things that guys on winning teams do. The rest of the bench was either inconsequential, or just bad. I’ll keep preaching to continue to give Jan Vesely more time to develop, but am a tad baffled at how underdeveloped his offense (shot-making) instinct is compared to his overall basketball instinct.
0.75 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Nick Young

BENCH TOTAL: 3.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: We don’t see Jan Vesely for a couple games, people wonder. We don’t see Kevin Seraphin for most of the game against San Antonio, cats get curious. These actions are for reasons, people. Wittman is playing the matchups. Los Angeles and Portland have big teams without point guards who will kill you off ball screening action, play Seraphin. The Spurs have Tony Parker, play Vesely. Now, the matchups Wittman has at his behest often don’t work out, but that’s not always his fault. I don’t doubt the coach is trying to motivate his players on defense, either; his guys simply came out flat in Texas. My curiosity: without boos from home fans as an excuse on the road, and with the trade deadline coming up Thursday, as Andray Blatche continues to be on the team, and healthy, will Wittman continue to let him set poor examples by playing him (especially when Ronny Turiaf will come back soon)?
1 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: It would have been nice to see the Wittman go to a zone more often to stop the points in the paint (although the Spurs are a good long distance shooting team). The Wizards’ issue was not scoring, but rather on the defensive side of the ball, where they allowed the Spurs to shoot 54-percent from the field and score 64 points in the paint.
1 Star
McGINNIS: Giving Seraphin only two minutes and Blatche 17 is reason enough for zero stars, he also left his reserves in for too long in the 4th quarter. Maybe he was just resting the starters for tonight’s game against Dallas. Wittman did get his team to play a little better defense in the second half; the Wizards could have easily given up, as this game had 30-point blowout written all over it.
1 Star

COACH TOTAL: 3 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Kyle Weidie

Post Moves…

Judging by Randy Wittman’s encouragement of JaVale to finish the play in the upper-left background, and Mo Evan’s ‘Why doesn’t he do that more often?’ arms from the bench, below is a GIF of a genuine, legitimate post move against Tim Duncan by JaVale McGee.

Judging by this GIF below, Andray Blatche is as terrible in the post as ever… this particular shot against Matt Bonner catches the side of the backboard.

Top Tweets

@cooooooookiee: Anybody wanna guess how much Blatche weighs these days? He’s approximately two Matt Bonner’s wide. #WizSpurs

@McCarrick: you can hope for a bad Kobe night. The Spurs are relentless basketball cyborg

@StillUnknown85: why is Blatche eating Seraphin’s minutes?

End Scene


“I was definitely a lot more comfortable. I’ve been out for a month. I got to keep working hard and staying focused on what I’m trying to get back to.-Andray Blatche, via the Washington Post


  1. larry smith

    March 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Why? are you folks writing. Let me sum it up for y’all’ the fake coach, y’all fake star dirty Wall, and the whole team except for your truly Mr. Nick Young is terrible. End of story.

  2. nich

    March 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    i love that nick young’s mom is named larry.

  3. nich

    March 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Actually, it’s even funnier to picture Nick Young logging on to truthaboutit as Larry Smith after every game to trash his teammates.

    So easy to imagine Nick Young fiddling with his earing going “Yo Javale, you can be Pierre, I wanna be Larry Smith, just an average regular dude who really appreciates contested fadeaways”

  4. Ayo Obayomi

    March 14, 2012 at 12:27 am

    At least someone defends Nick around here. He is, at worst, the 2nd best defender on the team and the best shooter undeniably, but if I read any of the posts or comments, I would think he was the worst player in the league.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply