DC Council Game 53: Wizards 98 vs Bucks 112: Barely Enough Pixels To Play | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 53: Wizards 98 vs Bucks 112: Barely Enough Pixels To Play

Updated: April 4, 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 53 contributors: Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) with on-hand coverage at the Verizon Center and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from behind the television screen.]


Washington Wizards 98 vs Milwaukee Bucks 112 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

From The Personnel Dept.

The starting lineup of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin played 10 total minutes together, went 8-for-17 from the field, 7-for-7 on free throws and achieved a plus/minus of minus-1. The second most active unit, seven minutes from Wall, Roger Mason, Cartier Martin, Vesely and Seraphin, contributed an even zero in the plus/minus department, shooting 6-for-12 on FGs, 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and 0-for-1 on FTs. Even the third most used Wizards five-man lineup of Wall, Crawford, Cartier, Vesely and Seraphin contributed a plus-6 with 5-for-9 on FGs, 2-for-2 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 on FTs.

The Wizards lost by 14 points… What gives? 

Two lineups: four minutes and a minus-8 from Shelvin Mack, Crawford, Singleton, Vesely and Seraphin — five turnovers and 1-for-7 shooting really threw this unit out of wack; and three minutes and a minus-8 from Wall, Mason, Crawford, Vesely and Seraphin. The Bucks have a lot of length, and against that smaller unit of the Wizards, they picked up three offensive rebounds and six points in the paint in three minutes.

Scene of the Game

Shaun Livingston’s Dunk.

First, John Wall is just careless with the ball. Second, you’ve surely seen Shaun Livingston’s knee injury video — no need to watch it again — could you ever imagine him coming back to the NBA and doing this? Sure, he’s had other post-injury dunks, but still.

Speaking of Livingston… Michael Katz (@KatzM) checked in with him after the game.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

MOBLEY: Bullets Forever’s Mike Prada asked John Wall if uncalled fouls were the reason he missed so many point-blank shots at the rim against the Bucks. Wall joked, “I’m not going to say I was getting fouled, so I get fined!” He doesn’t have to say anything about the fouls, it was clear he was bothered by the lack of calls. Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings were able to get in the lane with ease, and once they did, the result was either a score or a trip to the foul line. Wall picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter, and never was as aggressive after that. It was yet another putrid second half performance from Wall — meanwhile the man he was guarding (Brandon Jennings) dropped 17 points in the game-deciding third quarter.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
WEIDIE: Wall finished with 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting and 6-for-6 on FTs. He had nine assists, four turnovers and six rebounds in 36 minutes. At this point, I just hope the bad things we see him do on the court — such as not making an effort to get around a really high ball screen for Brandon Jennings and depending upon Brian Cook… BRIAN COOK! too much for the help defense — are more the result of him learning and growing, and not the development of bad habits. It also feels like the offense built around Wall is so simplified, it’s sometimes hard to tell if his decision-making is to blame for ineptitude, or if teams like the Bucks know exactly what the Wizards are running; blaming the lack of talent around him is getting old. Or maybe it’s the frustrating environment that makes Wall appear to just be running through basic sets without a full investment in the game. His PER jumping to 17.6 this season from 15.8 last year indicates improvement, but we all know this is a sophomore slump.
1.25 Star

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 6 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

MOBLEY: Crawford scored 15 points in the first half (he was the only Wizards player in double figures in the half), to help keep the Wizards deficit to only eight points. At times, he showed how complete of a basketball player he can be with pinpoint passing. But as has been the trend for Crawford lately, he was unable to put together a complete game. He broke the offense by taking bad shots, and caused Randy Wittman to shake his head in disgust countless times.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
WEIDIE: Jordan Crawford’s shooting numbers weren’t that bad — 23 points on 8-for-17 shooting, 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 on free-throws is basically your 1992-93 Mitch Richmond. Dude made some nice shots against Milwaukee, but he also played like shit, pardon the expression. I’m still waiting for an answer from the league office on if Crawford’s jacked brick off the backboard which led to Brandon Jennings transition points will count as an assist. But, whatever, Crawford’s missed shots would be one thing if he didn’t disrupt ball screening attempts by his teammates by not waiting for them to get set or playing with the ball behind the screen, or if he didn’t get caught watching the action as Monta Ellis snuck to the corner for a 3-pointer. In other environments, other lives, you do a better job of digesting the good and bad of Jordan Crawford, but on this team that can be like gulping cod liver oil.
1 Star

TOTAL: 2.5 out of 6 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

MOBLEY: Both John Wall and Jordan Crawford had instances where they penetrated and kicked the ball to a wide open Singleton, who then missed the shot. This included one time when he missed the basket completely. Singleton was active on defense, but contributed little else, and he botched a potential last-second shot at the end of the first quarter by dribbling out the clock.
1 Star (out of 3)
WEIDIE: It was Singleton’s great help defense that led to John Wall’s nice alley-oop to Jan Vesely to start the game. Minutes later he was losing a battle in the post to Luc Mbah a Moute as he tried to front him, but got pushed away from the basket; points from the Prince. Singleton also had an off night shooting, going 1-for-5 from the field and missing all three of his 3-point attempts. His rookie numbers are shaping up to be pretty ugly, and at this point, I don’t think any team regrets passing on him in the draft. No where to go but up.
0.75 Stars

TOTAL: 1.75 out of 6 stars

Jan Vesely

Trevor Booker

MOBLEY: In his postgame press conference, Randy Wittman mentioned that versatile players who can play multiple positions are a favorite of coaches. Vesely played the small and power forward positions against the Bucks (he, Kevin Seraphin, Brian Cook and Chris Singleton were the Wizards’ only “bigs” available), and he did a serviceable job at both positions. There were defensive and rebounding lapses, but on a night when the overall team seemed completely out of it, Vesely was a bright spot with his career-high 14 points (and seven rebounds)
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
WEIDIE: Janny-boy hustled his way around to a career-high 14 points on 6-for-9 field goals, one of the misses being a jumper that looked nice in theory. Vesely has all the tools, just wait. Days when people and teammates alike are wholly appreciating and taking advantage of Vesely’s infectious energy, either from the start of games or coming off the bench, are certainly part of the Wizards’ future plans… we just don’t know when the calendar of those days begins. In terms of this game, it was good for Vesely to get exposure to a player like Ersan Ilyasova in an NBA setting.
2 Stars

TOTAL: 3.5 out of 6 stars

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

MOBLEY:Nene was out with a back, and the Bucks front line of Drew Gooden, Ersah Illyasova, and Luc Mbah a Moute did not exactly conjure up visions of Bird, McHale and Parish; all of this technically should have equaled a big game from Kevin Seraphin. He held up his end of the bargain on offense with 15 points, but he didn’t always jump out on Drew Gooden’s 15-foot jumpers, and Seraphin had just three rebounds.
1 Star (out of 3)
WEIDIE: I’m continuing to like just about everything I’m seeing out of Seraphin these days, especially the part about him being less and less of a team defensive liability. The more he plays, the more confidence he gets, and since the trade when he’s had to come off the bench because Nene’s healthy enough to play, he has maintained that confidence. For one, I really never knew Seraphin had such a soft shooting touch around the basket, but he’s also seems to have had some passing instinct inside him the whole time. NBA teams are going to start doubling Seraphin more soon, and he’ll have to adjust. Now if Wittman could just get him to focus on defensive rebounding.
1.75 Stars

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 6 stars

The Bench

The Bench

MOBLEY: There was no magic to be had off the bench on this night. Roger Mason scored 11 points, but they all came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. Brian Cook hit some big shots and had a pretty assist to Jan Vesely, but on a night when the Wizards were out rebounded 48-35, they needed the 6-foot-10 forward to grab rebounds too. And Cartier Martin was unable to have the impact he had last Friday night when he scored 20 points against Philly.  But the bulk of the bench criticism is reserved for Shelvin Mack. Mack entered the game at the 5:22 mark of the first quarter, after John Wall picked up two fouls.  Mack proceeded to tally three turnovers, a foul, no points and no assists, and the Wizards went from being up one to down nine. Meanwhile, Bucks’ backup Shaun Livingston took full advantage when his number was called, by scoring eight third quarter points. When starters are injured or saddled with fouls, the bench has to step up, and they didn’t tonight.
0.25 Star (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Brian Cook
WEIDIE: You know, as popular and as fun it is to make fun of Brian Cook, it’s not always that bad to watch him, if anything for the sideshow entertainment of an interesting, flat-shot specimen such as Cook. You can tell he knows all the veteran tricks, but the most amazing thing is that he was Washington’s only available big man off the bench against Milwaukee. #NeverForget I feel like Cartier Martin has gotten better at driving to the basket, but still get the sense that limited quickness, on both ends of the floor, keeps a ceiling on his game. Money Mase led the way with 11 points on nine shots and three made 3-pointers. Meanwhile, the Bucks got 17 points from Mike Dunleavy, 15 points from Ekpe Udoh (who I predicted would have a good game) and 10 points from Shaun Livingston off their bench.
0.75 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Roger Mason Jr.

BENCH TOTAL: 1.75 out of 6 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

MOBLEY: Coach Wittman took his time coming out to meet reporters after the game, and when asked about it, he initially blamed the Wizards PR staff, then he said, “I forgot about you guys.” That’s the kind of night it was Wittman. It was the second night of a back-to-back, Nene and Trevor Booker — two aggressive post players — were out with injuries, and Wall was on the bench with two fouls halfway through the second quarter. Wittman remarked that it felt like another trade had happened, with so many players in so many unfamiliar roles. And to add insult to injury, on at least three occasions, a bad Jordan Crawford shot sent Wittman to the bench shaking his head. Not a good night to be the Wizards coach.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
WEIDIE: For all those who go through tough times in life’s work dealing with unavoidable challenges, feel Randy’s pain. I know I do. The Bucks are a long team, as evidenced by their dominance of the 3-guard lineup that often works best for Wittman. Even if the coach simply had Trevor Booker and – gasp – Rashard Lewis, much less Nene, then things might be easier for him. So here we are.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 3 out of 6 stars

Seen on the Screen

John Wall contemplates…


(or something else, who knows…)

End Scene

Quote of the Night:

“You get in this situation, you’re playing guys out of position again and trying to teach them on the go what this play call is and what’s that. It’s almost like we made another trade.”
-Randy Wittman, via Bullets Forever

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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.