DC Council Game 47: Wizards 92 vs Hawks 95: From Team To Shot Jackers In No Time | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 47: Wizards 92 vs Hawks 95: From Team To Shot Jackers In No Time

Updated: March 25, 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 47 contributors: John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) on-hand from the Verizon Center… and YOU, the reader, who gets to be the third voter in the DC Council star ratings.]


Washington Wizards 92 at Atlanta Hawks 95 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

STAT:  Not much in the clutch, as defined as the last five minutes of regulation (or overtime) with no team leading by more than five points.

WSH: 5 (2-7 FG)
ATL: 12 (4-8 FG)

WSH: 2
ATL: 11 (5 offensive)

Scene of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

With 3:17 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Wizards were hanging onto what was left of the 16-point lead they had built: two points and, oddly, a growing sense of desperation. Vlad Rad held the ball in the corner, closed out quickly by Jordan Crawford. Radmonovic swung the ball to Kirk Hinrich, but with Wall in perfect defensive position, Hinrich dished the rock to Josh Smith. J-Smoove took a half step forward and swished a difficult 22-foot jump shot over Trevor Booker. The ball wasn’t even halfway to the rim before Smith began backpedaling toward halfcourt, his shooting hand still flexing a perfect release. SWISH! That jumper tied the game at 90, and signaled the end of the Wizards, who scored just one basket in the game’s final few minutes.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ John Converse Townsend and
Kyle Weidie (and your vote)…

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

John Wall

John Wall

KYLE WEIDIE: The worst part about Wall’s 1-for-10 shooting night (6-for-6 on FTs) was that he still thought he deserved the hero fadeaway jumper in the end. No, I’m not talking about the 3-pointer he took in an attempt to tie the game at the buzzer — that was the only option after several passes, as Randy Wittman said after the game — rather it was his attempt from 19 feet out with 1:29 left (14 seconds on the shot clock) and the Wizards up 92-90. Why can’t Wall earn the hero free throw attempts? He needs to make the refs blow a whistle, or not, with a drive to the rim over risking a contested fadeaway — his FT shooting is more trustworthy. Otherwise, Wall was pretty nonexistent with eight points, three assists, two turnovers, two steals and two rebounds in 32 minutes, but did a fair job managing the game. And guess what… it looks like Wall’s body language is improving, because the only thing I noticed from my perch was him cheering his teammates during a spell on the bench in the fourth. Still, an overall disappointing performance from Wall; his counterpart, Jeff Teague, had nine points (4-for-10 FGs), nine assists, one steal, five fouls, three turnovers, and several more instances of team spark than John. It’s good that Wall’s able to take this time to improve his offensive game, but he’s got to train himself on better decisions.
0.5 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSENDJohn Wall was a relative non-factor against the Hawks. While the Wizards score the second-most points in transition, averaging 18.8 per game, they managed to score just 14 fast break points against Atlanta. Josh Smith and the rest of the Hawks refused to let Wall race past them, and as a result, the offense went in a different direction, and Wall was relegated to the role of spectator.
0.25 Stars
YOU VOTE… How many stars for John Wall?

TOTAL: 0.75 out of 6 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Those familiar with the Wizards know that Hoardin’ Jordan Crawford has a tendency to look for his own shot, and, sometimes, that’s a huge boon for the home team. But Crawford also has a tendency to make the game much harder than it needs to be. Against the Atlanta Hawks, for example, even with screen action run to free Crawford for shots, the Wizards guard didn’t have the patience to wait for his teammates to get set. Instead, Crawford, as the ball handler, would dribble into space and pull-up for an off-balanced jumper, never daring to make a play in the paint. That sort of offense, despite its high degree of difficulty, worked for Crawford through three quarters — he scored 20 points on 9-for-16 shooting — but he went scoreless in the fourth quarter. The second-year gunner also contributed three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
WEIDIE: You live by the Crawfish and you die by the Crawfish, and against the Hawks, Jordan over-boiled the Wizards with his fire. We can’t help but compare Crawford to Nick Young… Jordan is not the high-flier that Nick is, but his degree of difficult in shots (and makes) can be more astounding than a Young dunk. It’s just Crawford’s shot selection right now that’s equally astounding, but in a bad away. Still, Crawfish > Swaggy P. Doesn’t mean all is puppy dogs and ice cream with JC. I leave you with this late-game dribble GIF… Hoardin’ Indeed:
1.25 Stars
YOU VOTE… How many stars for Jordan Crawford? 

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 6 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

KYLE WEIDIE: Singleton got physical with a semi-hobbled Joe Johnson (he missed the first four games in March due to knee tendinitis), and as John C. Townsend and I noted in our Wizards-Hawks game reaction, the rookie got the best of the All-Star, for a while. Eventually his rookie tendencies lost out. I still can’t get over Singleton biting on that prolonged jab-step freeze Johnson doled out against him, with a made jumper on top, at the 3:35 mark of the fourth. Singleton will learn through these matchups, especially with five fouls in 30 minutes; he added nine points, 4-for-11 FGs, 1-for-6 on 3-pointers, one rebound, one assist and one turnover to his totals. After shooting 40.9-percent from three in February (9-for-22), he’s down to 30-percent in March (9-for-30). Singleton’s feet continue to be clunky on offense, but overall I give him credit for battling with Johnson. Singleton is not, however, at that juncture where he’s a defensive nuisance to opponents. Perhaps he’s got to go through the rookie doldrums to get to that point first.
1 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Chris Singleton had a tough task on Saturday night: trying to defend six-time All-Star Joe Johnson. But to his credit, Singleton made things tough for the One Hundred Million Dollar Man, holding him to just three made baskets and seven points through three quarters. In the closing minutes, however, Johnson took advantage of the rookie in both isolation situations, a familiar setting in which he found his scoring touch, or in the pick-and-roll, where Johnson forced switches, which ultimately led to points.
1.25 Stars
YOU VOTE… How many stars for Chris Singleton? 

TOTAL: 2.25 out of 6 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

KYLE WEIDIE: For whatever is bothering Booker’s foot, he came out nasty on the glass… and no, not like some old Sir Mix-a-lot video that used to appear on Video Jukebox in the mid-1990s (NSFW). I’m talking about rebounds, man. The Cook Book just finds ways to get big rebounds in crucial moments; these are the things you can’t teach “talents” like Andray Blatche. Booker has a long way to progress, but if his type of attitude for this franchise doesn’t scream ‘Keeper!’ then I don’t know what on earth would qualify. Trevor pulled down 14 rebounds, five offensive, in 32.5 minutes to go with eight points, 4-for-8 FGs, three assists, five fouls and three turnovers. One of his assists was a nice swing pass to Roger Mason on the opposite side for a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Trevor, Josh Smith (20 points, 8-for-17 FGs) hit a couple tough jumpers on him. Book was close enough to contest and make it difficult, but sometimes when a guy like Smith gets rise and has confidence, there’s no stopping him.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Expecting Trevor Booker to have a great scoring night against Josh Smith would be asking too much, especially when the Wizards forward was also forced to contend with plantar fasciitis; Booker vs. Smith may have been the least favorable match-up in the contest. You have to love Booker’s interior passing skills, though. Booker finished with a team-high three assists, a nice complement to his game-high 14 rebounds.
1.5 Stars
YOU VOTE… How many stars for Trevor Booker?

TOTAL: 3.25 out of 6 stars



JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Nene recorded his 80th career double-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists in just over 33 minutes of action, proving himself to be the best player on the court. Nene did everything that could have been asked of him: he scored the most points in the game, finished And-1s, defended, rebounded, and was a steadying force in a Wizards offense that, at times, can’t kick it’s gravitation toward hero ball.
2.75 Star (out of 3)
WEIDIE: Nene had a very nice bounce-back game after getting dominated by Roy Hibbert last Thursday. He was active from the tip, was unselfish as usual (sometimes too unselfish — I’d rather Nene shoot with two minutes left and about 5-6 seconds on the shot clock rather than him pass is out to Chris Singleton on the perimeter), and ended the night as the game’s MVP. Nene still does some curious things on defense — twice he left Zaza Pachulia wiiiide open for jumpers in the third quarter, and he nailed them. He left Zaza open again with the Hawks down two and 1:41 left in the game, this time he missed, but as Nene watched Zaza pull the trigger from under the rim, he almost let Vladimir Radmanovic get an offensive rebound. Still, Nene makes this Wizards team so, so much better. How many times are Wizards fans used to seeing the center command a double-team and pass the ball out the post, with composure, to a cutting guard going toward the basket? It happened twice at the end of the first half when Nene found John Wall in both instances; expect it to happen a lot more in the future.
2.5 Stars
YOU VOTE… How many stars for Nene? 

TOTAL: 5.25 out of 6 stars

The Bench

The Bench

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: The biggest surprise off the bench was 10-day contractor Edwin Ubiles. Before the game, Ubiles worked with Sam Cassell on two things: a pump fake and a 15-foot pull-up jumper. Ubiles flashed both against the Hawks on his way to 10 points on eight shots, while also doing a respectable job defending the bigger, faster and stronger Marvin Williams. … It was more of the same from sixth overall selection Jan Vesely, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. … Seraphin showed that he’s still very much a project, looking most comfortable taking spot-up jumpers, which simply won’t get it done. … Backup guards Shelvin Mack and Roger Mason didn’t make much of splash in limited minutes.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
WEIDIE: Edwin Ubilies scored a career-high 10 points on 4-for-8 FGs in 18 minutes… I imagine the Wizards, who signed him to a 10-day contract on March 18, will sign him to a second one for an extended look. However, Ubilies has not been that impressive. I was least impressed by the crazy, contested 3-pointer he hit early in the fourth quarter; this was after he nearly dribbled the shot clock away and lost the ball. Ubilies also got abused by Marvin Williams a couples times, losing him completely for points not long before Ubilies hit that crazy three. Still, his contributions were needed, and otherwise, the bench play was slightly less than solid. They contributed 26 points on 11-for-24 shooting (Shelvin Mack had a rough one, going 1-for-6 on FGs); Atlanta’s bench, however, scored 27 points on 10-for-22 FGs. I kind of thought Kevin Seraphin could’ve used more time — four points, 2-for-5 FGs, three rebounds, three fouls in 15 minutes — but I understand if Wittman was searching high (and lower) for more offense. Jan Vesely probably had the sequence of the night, getting a steal and breakaway dunk midway through the second quarter, and then drawing a charge versus Kirk Hinrich on the other end.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Jan Vesely
YOU VOTE… How many stars for the Wizards bench? 

Sub Man of the Game? YOU VOTE…

BENCH TOTAL: 3.5 out of 6 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: Wall didn’t have it, and Wittman didn’t play him a ton (31:34 of action). You don’t exactly hear rumblings about Wall playing too many minutes any more (or people questioning his durability — going into the Hawks game, Wall was just one of 34 NBA players to start in all games this season). Plus… with people calling for Shelvin Mack’s development? Over 16 minutes is nice for a backup point guard, I’d say (Mack is averaging 13.8 minutes per in March). Otherwise, Wittman is like Baltimore PO-lice… he’s trying to do a lot more with less. Still, he gets blamed when trouble brews on one of his corners, and horrible late-game possessions by his guards displayed his lack of institutional control.
0.75 Star (out of 3)
TOWNSEND: Wittman’s Wizards have given up leads of 22 and 16 points in consecutive games. Some attribute these collapses to the Curse O’ Les Boulez, but I see this as a sign of progress. In consecutive games, see, Wittman’s Wizards, a roster with raw talent and plenty to learn, have built sizable leads against playoff opponents. The head ball coach is motivating his players to execute with better precision, and they’re coming around  — slowly. Remember, John Wall is the longest tenured player on the team, a team that has gone through its share of personnel shakeups this season. Progress is learning how to defend double-digit leads, when film study and practice during the first few months of the season had been dedicating to remaining competitive.
1.25 Star
YOU VOTE… How many stars for Randy Wittman? 

COACH TOTAL: 2 out of 6 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Kyle Weidie

>>With a small window of a glimpse of a Wizards team featuring Nick Young, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee, former Wizard and current Atlanta Hawk Kirk Hinrich took the time before Saturday’s game to get introspective on the Young/McGee trade for Nene and what it means for the Washington organization he briefly knew:

“I don’t know. I’m sure the organization did what they felt was best for the organization, so … they made their move and I’m sure they did their due diligence on it, and did what they felt was best.”

>> Josh Smith and Jerry Stackhouse enjoyed the musical stylings of Anthony Hamilton in the Hawks’ locker room before the game, specifically the song “Charlene” from Hamilton’s 2003 album Coming Where I’m From. Yes, they were singing. And yes, Jeff Teague unfortunately tried to get in on the action.

>> After the game, Stan Love, former Baltimore Bullet and father of Kevin Love, sat in the Wizards’ locker room, next to John Wall while he was getting dressed, shooting the breeze and relaxing with a glass of white wine. Love is in town this weekend to take part in the festivities by the excellent Wizards/Bullets alumni program run by the team. Love cheerfully spoke with Wall about an array of things while the media waited for Wall to speak. Love himself was amused by the press scrum, and he even took time to stand and take several pictures of the whole scene with his own camera.

>> There was also this, the worst pro basketball halftime show ever… Jazzercise.

Top Tweets

@DCWIZ: Jan is watching the Dunkin’ Donuts race while #Wizards huddle. Uh oh. #Wizards #Hawks

@NotRandyWittman: We gave Dray a treadmill so he can work out at home…2 hours later he calls asking which direction to run…..HELP

@KevinHineWoA: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. No one does it better than the Wizards.

End Scene


“Once they started coming back, everybody was like, ‘Oh, here we go again.’ I think it might have caused some frustration, it might’ve led to other things.
-Trevor Booker

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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.