DC Council Game 45: Wizards 108 at Nets 89: The Opposite of An Upside Down Smile | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 45: Wizards 108 at Nets 89: The Opposite of An Upside Down Smile

Updated: March 22, 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 45 contributors: Markus Allen, Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend).]


Washington Wizards 108 at New Jersey Nets 89 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Markus Allen

First Meeting (Dec. 26, 2011):

New Jersey: 39.5-percent from the field, 23.1-percent from 3-point land.
Washington: 42-percent from the field, 14-percent from 3-point land, and 62-percent on free-throws.

Second Meeting:

New Jersey: 36.9-percent from the field, 30-percent from 3-point land.
Washington: 48.2-percent from the field, 35.3-percent from 3-point land, and 76-percent on free-throws.

The Wizards, as you can see, have played decent defense against the Nets in their two match-ups this season, but the key to last night’s game was Washington’s effectiveness on the offensive side of the ball, as well as on the defensive side of the ball. Wonder what happened.

Scene of the Game

Deron Williams vs. John Wall.

{I’ll trade my blazing dunk for your crafty move.}

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Rashad Mobley and
John Converse Townsend 

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

John Wall

John Wall

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: John Wall could learn a lot from Deron Williams, from creating separation in tight spaces to exploiting the weaknesses of opponents. When Wall gave Williams an inch — whether by mistiming a steal attempt or rotating just a step too slow — the Nets’ All-Star guard took a mile. The Game Changer met this challenge with a level head, though, and used his court vision to find cutting bigs (Seraphin, Nene) for easy buckets. With or without the ball, John Wall, like some of the all-time greats, seems to have a feel for where the ball needs to go; a quick redirect here, a skip pass there, and all of a sudden, the Wizards are having fun. Wall finished the game with 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds, one block, one steal, and three turnovers.
2.25 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Wall had a decent game, as he didn’t have to be the primary scoring option and was allowed to facilitate the ball to teammates who had the hot hand. John Wall executing pick-and-rolls with Nene made the future look a lot more bright.
1.25 Stars
MOBLEY: His numbers weren’t all that flashy (12 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds), and he certainly had his hands full trying to guard Deron Williams (no shame there), but Wall played a solid game. With Nene and Crawford doing the scoring, Wall just needed to pepper in a basket or an assist here or there — Deron’s third quarter ejection certainly helped matters as well.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

MARKUS ALLEN: Jordan Crawford went 7-for-13 on FGs (8-for-10 on FTs), for 23 points. He was efficient with his outside shots, and even looked better driving the lane. Crawford had an acrobatic layup and a huge SportsCenter dunk on Gerald Wallace. He also added three steals and high levels of defensive activity to go with four rebounds.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: Crawford played like a more efficient Nick Young tonight. He was aggressive without gunning, he got to the free throw line, he grabbed three steals, and he even got to sit out the entire fourth quarter. He may revert to gunning tonight against the Pacers, but last night he was just what the Wizards needed.
2.5 Stars
TOWNSEND: Jordan Crawford averaged 11 points per game between December and January. But in February, Crawford increased his offensive output to 15.3 points per game. Is that a sign of real progress, or the simple result of taking 3.4 additional shots per game?
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 6.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

RASHAD MOBLEY: The frustrating part about Chris Singleton’s play lately has been his inability to affect the game. He’ll play 20-25 minutes, and he’ll barely score, he doesn’t grab rebounds or make significant assists, and his defensive play is average at best. This would be sufficient if he were the seventh or eighth man off the bench, but as a starter, it is simply poor. Last night, Singleton’s shot was still off, although he did manage to finally hit a couple of open one. But the encouraging news was that Singleton played aggressively on both ends of the floor. He grabbed rebounds (7), had a few assists (3), a few steals (2), and he seemed to be everywhere on the floor. He still shouldn’t be starting, but at least he took baby steps towards justifying his presence on the floor.
1.25 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Singleton shot 2-for-10 from the field, and on a night where everyone was shooting well, he decided he would try his hand too. He hit a nice 3-pointer, and although he didn’t have the best offensive night, it was nice to see him attempt to get involved.
1 Star
TOWNSEND: Three-quarters of the way through the season, Chris Singleton is on the cusp of becoming a legitimate starter — he’s so, so close. Singleton will race to space, make the right play, but come up just short. That’s part of the NBA learning curve. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a strong finish to the last month of the season. If it’s more of the same, Wizards fans can still look forward to Chris Singleton 2.0, the improved product of a full offseason.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Booker made a handful of hustle plays against the New Jersey Nets, flying over and around defenders on his way to nine boards, five of which were offensive rebounds. He only took six shots, perhaps settling for the jump shot too often and finished the game with just six points. Booker is at his best when he’s in the paint, using both his strength and quickness to find room around the rim. The numbers tell the story: Booker is now putting up an effective field goal percentage of 81.3 at the rim (up from the low 70s from beginning of the year). His handles and passing ability are underrated skills — more proof that hard work pays off.
1.75 Star (out of 3)
ALLEN: Booker didn’t produce much offense, but he had five offensive rebounds and provided a lot of energy. With Seraphin and Nene scoring well, the Wizards weren’t as dependent on him to be a scoring resource in the paint, and Booker was allowed to focus on other things such as rebounding and defense.
1 Star
MOBLEY: There comes a time when hustle and strength simply get trumped by height and more strength. Booker experienced this last night going up against the taller, stronger Kris Humphries on both ends of the floor. Plus, he complained to the refs one too many times, and on a couple of plays he didn’t flash that legendary speed to get back on defense. But considering how hard Booker plays in general, he deserves a mulligan.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars



RASHAD MOBLEY: Even though Nene is a ten-year veteran, I can readily admit I had set the bar low for his game as a member of the Washington Wizards. If you throw all the factors in the pot — new city, new team, new conference, new system, new coach, the expectations of being a mature player replacing an immature player — Nene had quite a daunting task. Fifteen seconds into the game, he took all that pressure off by driving to the basket (under control, I might add) for an easy layup.  From that point on, it was as if Nene said to Wizards fans, coaches and players, “How am I not like JaVale McGee? Let me count the ways!”  He would catch the ball in the post, draw a double team, and make the right pass.  And if Nene drove to the basket, it was, again, under control (I did enjoy McGee’s finishing dunks, however). Nene boxed out his man on both ends of the floor, he set solid picks, and he played as advertised. Granted, he did this against Shelden Williams and Johan Petro, not Brook Lopez, but on THIS night, he produced amidst unknown expectations, and perhaps set some high ones going forward.
3 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: What a debut for Nene; just having him on the floor gave the Wizards a different type of energy. He started his career in Washington with an excellent game, going for 22 points and 10 rebounds.
3 Stars
TOWNSEND: Nene was just what the doctored ordered. His first outing in a Wizards uniform was special; it wasn’t so much about his double-double, but rather about his perfect fit with this rebuilding team: he’s tough, smart, unselfish and does all the little things (sealing the lane, boxing out, tipping offensive boards to teammates). Nene spent his time on the bench coaching up all the young’uns, who responded with respect, soaking up his wisdom like sponges. It felt like Nene had been in D.C. for years, and I’m happy he will be.
3 Stars

TOTAL: 9 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

MARKUS ALLEN: Roger Mason and Kevin Seraphin were amazing off the bench. Having Nene on the team just further motivates Kevin Seraphin to play well, as he went 6-for-7 for 12 points. Roger Mason went 4-for-9 from 3-point range, and ended up with 16 points; two of those 3-pointers came in the fourth quarter and essentially closed out the game. Edwin Ubiles was decent, logging 16 minutes of playing time and showing a little bit of what he can do. He had four points, four rebounds and a steal, but we need a further look to see if he can be nice project that the Wizards can develop.
2 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason
MOBLEY: If Deron Williams and Avery Johnson had not been ejected, it is quite possible that the Nets would have won last night’s game, and the poor play of the Wizards’ bench in the second quarter would have been magnified. But Avery and Deron were ejected, and the Wizards put the game away in the third, which allowed the bench to get extended garbage time in the fourth quarter.
1 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason
TOWNSEND: Seraphin was averaging 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in four starts this season. On this night, the big man had a really nice offensive game off the bench, scoring 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting (his only miss was an elbow jumper). Seraphin was a bit reckless on defense, racking up five fouls, including two in the first quarter, but he gave the Nets frontcourt fits at times. Roger Mason’s shooting touch from 3-point range continues to be a boon for the Wizards offense, in the half court and in transition.
1.75 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Kevin Seraphin

BENCH TOTAL: 4.75 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: The Wizards couldn’t get it together in the second quarter, having missed nine of their 11 shot attempts in the period. Randy Wittman put the starting lineup back in — John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, and Nene — which was so effective in the first quarter. Washington’s starters answered New Jersey’s 11-2 run with a 13-5 run of their own to finish the first half with a 56-53 lead. The Wizards never looked back, helped, of course, by the ejections of Deron Williams and Nets Head Coach Avery Johnson in the third quarter. Wittman seemed to have the game under control from start to finish; his decision-making from the bench led to decisive Wizards runs of 6-0, 10-0 and 11-0 in the second half. The Nene-Seraphin big man duo, a nice rotation innovation from Wittman, finished the game with a plus-9 plus/minus, along with a combined 34 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Wittman managed the game very well, allowing all the bench players to get minutes (everyone had at least 13), and the Wizards looked like a vastly more disciplined team without McGee and Young. With the high level his team played throughout the game, Wittman probably thought he’d entered a time-warp into an alternative coaching universe.
2.5 Stars
MOBLEY: Wittman gets kudos for unveiling the Seraphin/Nene/Booker frontline, which really did not perform badly. However, he stayed with the second unit a little too long in that dreadful second quarter. The coach still needs time to get comfortable with his new toys.
1.75 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 6.75 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

w/ Rashad Mobley

Breaking With John Wall.

Sam Smith of the Bulls.com, in his weekly appearance on Tony Kornheiser’s radio show, has said many times that John Wall is a one-man fastbreak, a 100-meter runner, but not a good basketball player.  Wall does have great speed — there are times when that results in a spectacular finish of a one-man break, and there are other times when he runs right into a turnover or a bad shot.

Against New Jersey, John Wall demonstrated that he can run a fastbreak from the trailer position, and still produce an equally spectacular play. With 4:16 left in the first quarter, Wall grabbed the rebound off Anthony Morrow’s missed 3-pointer. His teammates, including Seraphin and Nene, sprinted down the floor, which left Wall as furthest man back. Instead of sprinting with reckless abandon, Wall slowed down a bit, surveyed the floor, and hit Seraphin in stride for a dunk.  Take THAT Sam Smith.

Top Tweets

@wzzntzz: Wall-Jcraw-Nene-Booker-sumbodyelse is a core we’ll be happy 2 lose w/ 4years 2 come. Happy 2 win w/ too, but we not askin 4 moon

@gheorghetheblog: Wiz fans, do you remember that guy who played center before Nene? All together now: #CANTSAYIDO

@daCSmith: Vesely’s offensive game is non existent.. but his overall basketball insticts are really good. he’s going to improve.

@tjackson85: So I am assuming Chenier and Buckhantz are both being stubborn with their completely different pronunciations of Nene.

@ConorDDirks: Ghost of Gilbert Arenas tells Trevor Booker where buried treasure is located after trip on Gerald Wallace.

End Scene


“I thought that was probably our most complete game as a team this year … Everybody contributed. Sometimes people say the team wins; this truly was a team effort. Everybody that played tonight was positive out there, and that is fun.
-Randy Wittman, interim coach

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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.