DC Council Game 51: Wizards 97 vs Sixers 76: Keep Your Brooms, Philadelphia | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 51: Wizards 97 vs Sixers 76: Keep Your Brooms, Philadelphia

Updated: March 31, 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 51 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), and Arish Narayen.]


Washington Wizards 97 vs Philadelphia 76ers 76 [box score]

>> The Wiz avoid getting swept in the regular season (and two preseason games) by the Sixers to the north.

Stat of the Game

w/ Rashad Mobley

John Wall’s second half line:  0-for-5 from the field, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and ZERO points

There are two ways of looking at a stat line like that. Apologists will focus on Wall’s ability to contribute to the Wizards’ victory in other ways besides scoring, which is true. Pessimists will continue to be alarmed at Wall’s seemingly stagnant play on offense of late. Either way, Wizards’ victories have been scarce this year, so there’s no need to get overly negative after an encouraging team victory, but Wall’s second-half numbers are a bit alarming.

Scene of the Game

A Happy Post-Game Wizards Locker Room.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Arish Narayen 

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

John Wall

John Wall

ADAM McGINNIS: Defenders of John Wall have argued all season that he is a pass-first point guard who needs shooters surrounding him and a low post scoring threat to lend a helping hand. Enter Cartier Martin’s long-range marksmanship and Nene’s inside offensive punch. But Wall still had a mundane stat line, which, however, isn’t as glaring in a blowout victory: nine points (4-for-12 FGs), six rebounds, six assists, three blocks, one steal, and three turnovers. Wall turned up the ball pressure on 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday, making this win seem more personal to him after Philadelphia embarrassed the Wizards in all of their previous meetings.
2 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: The Wizards are playing great defense, which is making up for their shortcomings and poor spacing on offense, which makes John Wall the basketball version of Joe Flacco. There were great plays, like his three blocks in the fourth quarter, as well as an assist or a dunk here and there. But to start the game, Wall could not get Wizards in any kind of offense; Cartier Martin and a lethargic opponent like the Sixers won’t be there to bail him out every night.
1.5 Stars
NARAYEN: An atypical, low usage game for Wall, as he scored zero points in the second half. He still showed his propensity to race under the opposing basket in transition and then make a bad decision. Wall played passable D on the Sixers’ guards that had torched him in earlier games, and generally deferred to the deadly inside-out combination of Kevin Seraphin and Cartier Martin. Wait, what?
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 5 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

ARISH NARAYEN: Jordan Crawford made seven buckets Friday night, and only one of them was assisted. He attempted nine shots from 16-plus feet, and made two of them. J-Craw finished with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals. This is the Rich Man’s Nick Young, people. An alley-oop to Wall midway through the first quarter, a nice bounce pass to Wall on the baseline for an easy dunk late in the second quarter … these are encouraging plays from the lone ‘shot creator’ on the Wizards. Even if it comes at the expense of Randy Wittman rolling his eyes several times a game, Washington desperately needs Crawford to play well when the offense is sputtering.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Jordan’s 20 point streak came to end; ironically, the only terrible shots he took went in … that’s just how J-Craw rolls. His three steals led to several fast break buckets, and his body control to finish in the open court is an outstanding aspect of his game.
2 Stars
MOBLEY: When Jordan Crawford has the basketball, all I have to do is watch Coach Wittman’s body language, and I’ll learn all I need to know. Crawford can score, and he can shoot (as in taking a lot of low-percentage shots); he can make a slick pass, but he can mismanage key possessions. Still, the Wizards need his scoring, so his ill-advised jacks are tolerated.
1.5 Stars

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

RASHAD MOBLEY: Before the game, Chris Singleton posted on Twitter that he had purchased $10,000 worth of lottery tickets so he could get rich and “change the world for the better.” If he doesn’t start having more of an impact as a starter, he may have plenty of time to do that and more. Cartier Martin is shooting the lights out, and Jan Vesely, while still flawed offensively, is finding ways to impact the game on defense; both could be better options. Singleton was semi-active on the boards (he had six), but he continues to miss the wide open shots. Andre Iguodala was able to sag off of Singleton, which clogged the lane for Wall, and which contributed to the Wizards’ poor spacing on offense.
0.5 Star (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Chris shows flashes that he is incrementally improving with two athletic finishes at the rim and not settling only for long range shots. The Welcome Back Cartier Express has quickly turned into the Start Cartier Movement, which will come at the expense of Singleton. Benching Chris is justified since he earned the spot by default and has had no real competition up to this point.
0.5 Star
NARAYEN: He scored six points and grabbed six boards, but still cannot space the floor because teams do not respect his outside shot. Though injuries to Booker and Nene certainly played a part, Chris played less than both Jan Vesely and Cartier ’10-Day’ Martin. Not a good sign for Chris’s spot in the starting rotation going forward.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 1.75 out of 9 stars

Trevor Booker

Trevor Booker

ARISH NARAYEN: Hard to grade Booker’s performance after he left the game hobbling with plantar fascitis halfway through the first quarter. Since the Wizards aren’t exactly competing for a playoff spot, shutting Booker down for the rest of the season appears to be a reasonable possibility.
Stars: N/A (out of 3)
McGINNIS: Trevor blew a tire early with a bad foot and never returned. It could be time to seriously consider shutting him down for the remainder of the season, as there is no reason to risk any long term damage.
Stars: incomplete
MOBLEY: Booker gave his all for 6:22 of the first quarter before limping to the locker room wit plantar fascia in his left foot. He’s a warrior, and he rarely complains (about his injuries), but it may be time for the Wittman or Grunfeld to save him from himself, so he doesn’t do permanent damage.
Stars: incomplete




RASHAD MOBLEY: There are players who make plays that don’t show up in the box score, and then there are players who accrue lots of meaningful stats. Nene did both against the Sixers. He was physical against Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes, and he had four assists and at least two hockey assists. In the third quarter, when Evan Turner tried to single-handedly lead a Sixers comeback, Nene answered with a series of 15-18 feet jump shots. He continues to be a dependable presence inside. In the Sixers’ locker room after the game, just about every player spoke of how different this Wizards team is — Nene’s a big reason for that.  The only negative seems to be his nagging back injury.
2 Stars (out of 3)
McGINNIS: A direct correlation to the Wizards’ recent lock-down D has been the interior presence of Nene. He pushes his man away from far away from the post and gives the team a formidable help defender to protect the rim. His hot shooting to begin the second half thwarted any chance for the 76ers to mount a sustained comeback.
2.5 Stars
NARAYEN: Nene showed off the whole portfolio last night — draining 18-footers when left open, scoring with a variety of moves in the post, and shutting down Elton Brand after Brand came out scoring in the first quarter. He was dominant in the third quarter, scoring ten points and walling off the paint from Philly’s frontcourt players. It is certainly refreshing to see a post player who can score in more than one way, and Friday night’s game showed just how skilled Nene is offensively.
2.5 Stars

TOTAL: 7 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

ARISH NARAYEN: The bench scored 47 of the team’s 97 points, and generally provided everything Washington needed when Booker and Nene became unavailable. Kevin Seraphin put in work while spelling Booker, scoring with both hands and even offering a glimpse of some mid-range touch. Seraphin finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. However, the story of the game has to be Cartier Martin’s unconscious 3-point shooting. Though Roger Mason hit consecutive threes to put Washington up by 17 in the second quarter, it was Cartier Martin’s sustained aerial assault on the basket that had the Sixers reeling. Martin went 2-for-2 on 16-23 footers, and 4-for-7 on 3-point shots, finishing with a team-high 20 points. Whenever Philadelphia tried to make a run to cut the lead, the bench was there to answer with a bucket.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Cartier Martin
McGINNIS: Martin was the leading star, draining numerous momentum changing shots, but every man on the second unit played a major role in disposing the 76ers. The bench jumped on the 76ers early in the second quarter and increased the lead to an insurmountable advantage. When Booker and Nene went down, the Wizards never missed a beat with the outstanding play of Seraphin and Vesely. Seraphin’s confidence continues to beam, and Vesely showcased his athletic, high basketball IQ with tip outs and rebounds that had many raving about his potential during last year’s draft. Mason buried two 3-pointers.
3 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Cartier Martin
MOBLEY: The bench was a one-stop shop against the Sixers. You need a replacement player for Trevor Booker? Kevin Seraphin can step in and give you 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. You need rebounds? Jan Vesely can grab 11 of those for you. Timely 3-point shooting? Enter Roger Mason. And last and certainly not least, if you need sustained scoring to bail out a sputtering offense, there is Cartier F. Martin to the rescue with 20 points (4-for-7 from the 3-point line).
3 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Cartier Martin

BENCH TOTAL: 8.5 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

ADAM McGINNIS: In their last game, Philadelphia crushed the Wizards; Flip Saunders was fired afterward. Coach Wittman mentioned that the team has extra motivation because counting preseason games, the 76ers had won all five of their meetings this season, with majority of them being embarrassing defeats for the Wizards. Washington’s defense is the best it has been in years, and the coaching staff deserves credit for getting a new mix of players to buy into a system on the fly. Unlike in the Indiana game where Wittman benched Martin for Singleton during the fourth quarter, Randy stuck with Cartier, and it turned out to be a wise decision.
2.5 Stars (out of 3)
MOBLEY: The offense is sputtering a bit, so that’s a concern for Wittman, but his team — lead by Nene — is embracing physical defense, which is finally giving the Wizards a bit of an identity. And unlike the previous night in Indiana, when he prematurely took Cartier Martin out of the game, Wittman showed confidence in him; Martin’s shooting kept the Sixers at bay in the end.
2.5 Stars
NARAYEN: Whether it is warranted or not, I have to give credit to Randy Wittman for the post-trade emphasis on defense. The Wizards are getting after people, and can actually switch on a pick-and-roll without embarrassing themselves now. Related stat: for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, the 76ers made ZERO field goals, scoring only via free throws.
2.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 7.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

The Cartier Affair.

I asked Martin about what it was like living in China:

“It was definitely a culture shock. It was a lot different than living here in the US … You think that you would go over there and the Chinese food would be even better, but hey, I am going to tell you right now, we got the best Chinese food in America, man. America got the best Chinese food in the world.”

Cartier was able to get some sightseeing in:

“I got a chance to see the Great Wall of China, I took some pictures. It was great. I got a chance to see Beijing, Shanghai … do a little shopping. It was cool. I loved it.”

Jamming with Kevin Seraphin, I learned that his snake, named “Snakey” was purchased at Petco, lives at his friends house and eats mice for food. It is not a boa constrictor, and Seraphin told me the type of snake, but I was unable to make it through his thick French accent. Currently, Snakey fits in his hand and when he gets a big house someday, he wants to get another snake. His bird lives with him at his crib.

The topic of the Mega Millions came up, and Seraphin was completely unaware of it, so I explained to him how a lottery works. His eyes lit up when he found out the jackpot was $650 million. Obviously, his teammates Booker and Singleton are slacking in this educational gambling department.

I informed Roger Mason that his analysis of Robert Griffin III was a big hit online with Redskins fans, and due to recent scuttle but, how he foreshadowed the Colts maybe picking RG3 over Andrew Luck. Mason told me that when the team was in Indiana, he talked to some Colts people about what was going down, and now he gets the sense that they will likely draft Luck.

Miles Rawls was in attendance at his usual spot across from the Wizards bench and was wearing an all white track suit with a matching ball cap.

Coach Wittman exited the post game press conference, walked up to his waiting wife, and gave her a big hug and kiss. Happy Times on Friday night for the Wittman family.

Top Tweets

@KevinHineWoA: No chance the Wizards blow this lead. If they do, don’t look back for this tweet, I’ll have deleted it.

@mattkremnitzer: Another reason to like Nene: He doesn’t fall for every pump fake.

@joeyohmygod: I could be wrong, but that may be @WashWizards first W on the season against a playoff team in the East. #WIZARDSWIN

@llttlewayne: I take a lot of heat/jokes for being a wiz fan its all good though im with them no matter what.

End Scene

Quote of the Night:

“…About at half time too, when we was up 20, and [Randy Wittman] said, you know, step on their throats, and that’s what we wanted to do.”
-Jordan Crawford

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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.