DC Council Game 44: Wizards 92 at Grizzlies 97: Covering The Spread With Turnover Butter | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 44: Wizards 92 at Grizzlies 97: Covering The Spread With Turnover Butter

Updated: March 19, 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 44 contributors: Markus AllenAdam McGinnis (@Adam McGinnis), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]


Washington Wizards 92 at Memphis Grizzlies 97 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Adam McGinnis

The statistics that stand out are Washington’s 20 turnovers to 12 for Memphis, and the Grizzlies outscoring the Wizards by 15 points at the free throw line. Memphis swiped 12 steals and eight different players recorded at least one. The Wizards converted three more field-goals than Memphis, but the Grizzlies made eight more free throws than Washington attempted. [Free Throws: Washington 12-19; Memphis 27-37]

Scene of the Game

It’s all about Kevin Seraphin…

First, he snatches this steal out of Mike Conley’s hands in mid-air…

Then he pulls the chair out from under Marc Gasol, causing a turnover…

Finally, we couldn’t let Kevin get away without a GIF of him being dunked on by the 6-foot-2 Jeremy Pargo…

Seraphin had this to say on Twitter after the game…


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

ADAM McGINNIS: John bounced back from a poor second half in Atlanta with a nice effort of 25 points, 10-for-16 shooting, six assists, three blocks, and three steals. Unfortunately, Wall’s seven turnovers proved costly, and many were created by him jumping in the air with nowhere to go while Memphis wisely played the passing lanes for steals. Over the past few games, Wall has fallen victim to defenders poking the ball away from behind him. Two of Wall’s blocks against the Grizzlies were highlight that perhaps only Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook or Miami’s Dwyane Wade could replicate. You have to admire how Wall continues to compete night in and night out, while his team wallows in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Wall had 25 points and scored efficiently, but he had seven turnovers which were very costly in the close game. The Wizards shot better than the Grizzlies, but they had seven less shot attempts; Wall’s turnovers mean less shot attempts.
1 Star
WEIDIE: Wall bounced back nicely by finding a way to attack the pelts of the Grizzlies in the paint, but he also missed 5-of-10 free throws and severely misjudged Memphis’ ability to play his athleticism. “Don’t jump to pass,” is an age-old adage. Sure, it can sometimes work in the favor of an athlete like Wall, but when the Grizzlies are able to counter jumping passes several times over, you might want to take another route. Seven turnovers and that many missed freebies won’t cut it, Game Changer. Nice play-changing blocks, though.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

MARKUS ALLEN: Jordan Crawford went 8-for-17 with 22 points, three assists and four turnovers. Just like Wall, the turnovers were costly, but Crawford did his part by shooting pretty well from the field. This might have been the one night I would have advised Crawford to just jack up a shot instead of trying to force a pass. He shot 47-percent, so maybe he should have continued to let it loose.
1 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Jordan had a decent shooting night, although he tends to get into trouble by over dribbling and freelancing from the offense. J-Craw has legitimate NBA ability, and once he finds a way to be more efficient by eliminating questionable shot attempts, he could flourish in this league.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Crawford can score, we get it. He can also do more for his team than Nick Young, we get that. But he still has a long way to go before he can positively assess the proper pace and control he should play at. Yes, you need his offensive energy to take some risks… Many NBA coaches learn to live with such, but there’s a fine line between that and recklessness.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Well, aside from getting burnt by Rudy Gay for some points—which tends to happen to NBA defenders in training—Singleton finally had a game where he clearly made his presence known to both the eyes and the stat book. In turn, Randy Wittman rewarded him for his hustle. In 33 minutes Singleton scored just 2 points on 1-for-3 FGs, but he also got 8 rebounds (2 offensive), 5 steals, 3 blocks, just 1 turnover, and 3 worthy fouls. His two points were meager in count, but impressive… a follow slam that put the Wizards up 55-54 after after a 10-4 run to start the third quarter. Singleton needs to bottle whatever it is he found down in Memphis and improve on that. It was nice to see him active with a couple key steals late.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Singleton logged 33 minutes, and while he didn’t produce on the offensive side of the ball, he had five steals and was active on the defensive side. Chris Singleton isn’t expected to put up a lot of points; and although Rudy Gay scored 27, he played good defense and made him earn those points from the line.
1.25 Stars
McGINNIS: Chris was not drafted for his scoring, and although I have continually harped on Singleton’s shooting woes, the little contributions he has not displayed in other area has been more troubling. His blocks, steals and rebounding were all impressive versus Memphis, hopefully a positive he can build on for the future.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: Booker had a weird game. His stat line is pretty bad: six points, 3-for-8 FGs, no attempted free-throws, three rebounds, one offensive, one assist, one block, two turnovers and two fouls… all of this in 37 minutes. Ouch. But his game didn’t appear that bad. He battled against the bigger Zach Randolph, but Z-Bo hit some tough jump shots, mostly staying outside anyway. Booker hit a jumper and had a nice close hook over Randolph, but otherwise just got lost amidst the bodies, I guess. I can’t say that Booker had a bad game, but perhaps it’s instances like these (along losing battles against LeMarcus Aldridge and Elton Brand) is why Booker long-term might be best spent coming off the bench for a Washington playoff team. But that’s okay, he’s a monster enough to learn how to play that way, get the minutes, and be effective. Also, Booker needs to cut some of the fading jumper he’s recently attempted several times to no success out of his diet.
1 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Where was Booker? He played 37 minutes but didn’t produce anything on the stat line. I don’t even know what to say, so I won’t.
0.5 Star
McGINNIS: The size of Memphis’s front line really bothered Trevor resulting with several indecisive post moves, and he made little impact in the loss. Booker and Seraphin are developing a nice chemistry in the post and continue to find one another on nifty interior passes. However, when Booker’s dishes go bad, they go in spectacular fashion.
1 Star

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 9 stars

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

ADAM McGINNIS: A really solid double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds) for the young French Guiana big man. Serpahin held his own in the paint versus Marc Gasol. On one outstanding play, he forced the Memphis’ All-Star center into a turnover by sliding out of the way as Gasol tried to back him down in the post. It was heady move that we rarely see with a team routinely mocked for its dumbness, aka “Wizardy,”  by national media and the NBA blogosphere. As another Wizards season slides down the losing tubes, the progression of Seraphin has been a welcome surprise, and much credit should be given to the staff for rounding him into credible force.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Who needs Nene when we have a younger version of him? He had a double-double, and it was really exciting to see what can happen when he logs major minutes. A Seraphin/Nene front court? Looks promising.
2 Stars
WEIDIE: Yea, yea… Kevin got yacked on by the 6-foot-2 Jeremy Pargo… but hey!… He battled against big Marc Gasol! Seraphin had his first career double-double! Kevin couldn’t keep up with Gasol the whole game, but you can’t be anything but impressed with Seraphin’s abilities against some of the league’s biggest bodies as a one-on-one defender. Now just keep him in the film sessions about pick-and-roll defense.
2.25 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

MARKUS ALLEN: The bench was about the debut of Brian Cook, who went 1-for-4 with three points, and Maurice Evans, who provided energy with exciting plays. Maurice Evans hit a 3-pointer and had a nice slam in 14 minutes of play. It’d be nice to see him get more along the lines of 20 minutes per game, because Evans is a legit threat from the arc, and can really inspire the rest off the bench players. Shelvin Mack remains consistent, doing what he can do off the bench, piling up seven points, four rebounds and three assists in 14 minutes. Meanwhile, Andray Blatche and Jan Vesely combined for 12 minutes of downtime (two points and four rebounds between the two). Blatche and Vesely must provide an impact when Nene debuts, otherwise Booker and Seraphin will continue to log major minutes.
1 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
McGINNIS: Brian Cook’s Washington debut began with a dubious shot decision and him giving up two offensive boards before line driving home a 3-pointer. There was one atrocious shot by Andray Blatche, an air ball special that left Wizards announcer Steve Buckhantz gasping at the awfulness. Jan Vesely’s stat line has its own twitter account, which contains many zeros. Steady Shelvin Mack continues to think and play positive. Vets Mo Evans and Roger Mason Jr have been more than solid since the All-Star break.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack
WEIDIE: Roger Mason didn’t have it (2-for-9 FGs); Memphis played like they scouted his recent hot steak and tightened up the D accordingly. He’s really the type of player who uses space rather than is able create it. Mo Evans had seven points in 14 minutes, but nothing else—no rebounds, steals, assists, blocks. Evans did get himself a couple of dunks, but also missed a point-blank shot and was guilty of a jump-to-pass turnover. Jan Vesely had a great follow slam in the fourth and some other bouts of activeness in just seven minutes against a bigger, tougher team; Brian Cook made his Wizards debut, AND SCORED!; Andray Blatche was terrible (we’ll get to him). Finally, Shelvin Mack—the player most associated with the word “steady” ever—packed a punch with back-to-back drives for layups early in the fourth en route to seven quick points in the period. He also pitched in three assists, four rebounds (but two turnovers)… He’s going to be like the Wizards’ version of Bobby Jackson, except more, you know, steady.
1.5 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Shelvin Mack

BENCH TOTAL: 4 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: You could give all the credit in the world to Wittman for only playing Andray Blatche for five minutes that were plagued by bouts of lazy basketball. You could credit Wittman for that, but it was easy for him to do. 1) Blatche made it easy. One in five of his offensive plays against an opposing second teamer works, but this is only after he dribbles several seconds away on the shot clock. He may think he’s trying to improve his trade value. Maybe. Who knows. But he looks terrible. So Wittman doesn’t play him; 2) Blatche is running out of excuses. Boos, post play, Flip Saunders, injury (he’s had six weeks to recover); a “calf injury that didn’t allow him to keep his wind while out” (again, six weeks to recover)… Blatche is of age and he is running out of excuses (although we don’t doubt that he or Ted Leonsis could fabricate more excuses from pixels out of thin air). So Wittman doesn’t play him; and, 3) Blatche’s contract, because of the amnesty clause, is not an albatross… ‘You are paying him, why aren’t you playing him?!?!?!’ — Well, he’ll be gone soon, potentially. So Wittman is empowered to not play Andray Blatche, because of all of this. So you see, it’s rather easy for the coach to do. Will the coach play Blatche more this season? Will he give him a chance or two? Sure, no coach is going to leave his player stranded on Alcatraz. But Blatche has to help himself more than just brief glimpses of trying to run after the fast-breaking ball after a turnover. And if Wittman gives Blatche chances at home in Washington, nothing of his play on this road trip has given hope to the helpless fact that Wizards fans will not appreciate his presence.So, as you can imagine, it’s not easy for Wittman at all, but at least he has a choice. You may think this blurb is about Blatche, but it’s really all about how Wittman and the team will handle him going forward.
2 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Wittman managed the game well; the starters got major playing time, and it will be interesting to see how the minutes are distributed to the forwards when Nene debuts. Blatche and Vesely combined for 12 minutes of playing time, and their roles may be diminished even more when Nene arrives due to the great play of Booker and Seraphin. Anyway, there’s not much Wittman could have done, the Wizards shot 47-percent to the Grizzlies’ 40-percent, but the game was lost off turnovers and poor shooting from the free throw line.
1 Star
MCGINNIS: The coach rewarded Singleton with additional minutes due to his gutty, all-around performance, and he sat Blatche for the whole second half. These are moves you have to respect which Wizards fans will look favorably on when they reflect on Randy’s interim role.
2 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Markus Allen

Turnovers off the wall.

Wall had seven turnovers, which may have cost the Wizards the game, and this below screenshot basically sums up how he had to feel:

Breakdown of Wall’s Turnovers:

Q1 – One turnover that led to two Memphis points;
Q2 – Two turnovers for four points;
Q3 – One turnover for two points;
Q4 – Three turnovers for four points.
Total: Seven turnovers, 12 points
Wall had two bad passes, lost control of the ball three times, and had two violations (stepping out of bounds, and a lane violation). He turned the ball over in basically every way possible, with the most costly coming in the fourth, where he had three turnovers while the game was close. In a game where Wall was scoring at a nice rate (10-for-16, 25 points), he had to be frustrated that he had seven turnovers to just six assists.

Top Tweets

@IcedTeaFlipFlop: An opening alley oop play actually working is a symbol of how much the team is progressing #wizards

@KevinHineWoA: Even though he’s being put on a poster as we speak, ‘Keveen’ is having himself a nice game.

@kayyybelita: That Brian Cook jumper looks like my BP form, just chuck it at the target

@malitzd: Once Rashard Lewis gets ‘healthy’ him and Brian Cook can have some serious No-Arc Shooting Contests

@JKCove: @adammcginnis just saw the Globetrotters on Man Vs Food. Pretty sure Dray would fit right in

@AGRBasketball: This is that Grizz defense that makes them a contender. And this is the Wiz offense that makes them a bottom-feeder

End Scene


“You know there this is going… Oh, he [Jordan Crawford] PASSED IT!!!… [Kevin] Seraphin!!… at the buzzer, 24-second violation.
Steve Buckhantz, expressing assumption as Jordan Crawford drove baseline with the shot clock running down, and then surprise as Crawford actually passed it to a teammate under the basket, Kevin Seraphin. Kevin ended up missing a close shot, likely got fouled, but since Seraphin’s attempt did not connect with rim, it was a 24-second shot clock violation. Credit Crawford for the willingness and Seraphin for the relative preparedness, I guess. It’s OK, they’ll convert next time, as long as the sharing continues to be relatively contagious.

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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.

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