DC Council Game 61: Wizards 87 at Bulls 84: A Basketball Game Without Millions and Millions of Dollars In NBA Players | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 61: Wizards 87 at Bulls 84: A Basketball Game Without Millions and Millions of Dollars In NBA Players

Updated: April 18, 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 61 contributors: Markus Allen, Arish Narayen, and Kyle Weidie (@truth_about_it).]


Washington Wizards 87 at Chicago Bulls 84 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ Arish Narayen

Hustle, Hard.

The Wizards converted 17 Bulls’ turnovers into 27 points and outscored Chicago on fastbreaks 20 to 2.

Dollars Don’t Make NBA Sense

Derrick Rose – $7 million; Luol Deng – $13.4 million; Rashard Lewis – $21.1 million; Andray Blatche – $6.4 million; Nene – $13 million; Trevor Booker – $1.3 million. All these guys got paid not to play.

Scene of the Game

w/ Kyle Weidie

John Wall, Learned.

Not all is bad with John Wall’s jump shot and not all is positively entrench in his speed.

Actually, this out of bounds play was rather nice. With Wizards set up at the four corners, John Wall is taking the ball left side out of bounds. Cartier Martin, guarded by Richard Hamilton, from the left block steps up to receive the ball and hand it right back to Wall. Martin then decoys a ball screen for Wall, but then slowly cuts through as Kevin Seraphin comes from the left elbow to set a ball screen for Wall. Joakim Noah steps down low toward the baseline to help off Seraphin and on Wall as Martin cuts through (while Hamilton sags), and Crawford goes from the right block across to potentially set a back-screen for Wall on Noah. But with the help focused toward Wall baseline (Hamilton included), Wall sees Seraphin in rhythm inside the elbow. As Crawford goes through to shield Noah from recovering on Seraphin, Kevin jab steps to back the defense up and then pops the short, soft jumper. It was all very nice, in GIF form.

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Markus Allen, Arish Narayen
and Kyle Weidie

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

John Wall

John Wall

ARISH NARAYEN: The Good: with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Wall dished two beautiful dimes to Kevin Seraphin and James Singleton. The pass to Singleton was especially nice — John was going full speed towards the basket in transition, and three Bulls defenders were ready to contest an out-of-control attempt at the rim. Instead of forcing the issue himself, Wall rewarded Singleton for running the floor (Boozer was trailing the play), setting him up for an easy dunk. Further, John showcased his ridiculous speed on more than one occasion, getting several easy attempts at the rim (4-for-5 FGs). The Bad: despite finishing the game with 16 points, two rebounds, five assists, a steal, two blocks, and only one turnover Wall’s shot continues to be a work in progress. And ‘work in progress’ is being kind — in some ways, John has regressed. The mid-range shooting remains inconsistent, as shown by opposing defenders’ continued willingness to go under every ball screen. In this game, Wall was 1-for-10 on shots from 3-plus feet (source: HoopData). In his rookie season, Wall shot 29.6-percent from behind the arc, attempting 1.7 threes per game; this season, Wall attempts 0.7 threes per game, making a horrific 7.9-percent of those attempts (he was 0-for-2 against the Bulls). Evil pixels detailing his fluctuating shooting mechanics abound, form has to be an area of concern for John over the summer. My suggestion for the Washington brass: kidnap the German dude who taught Dirk his robotic demeanor/shooting touch.
1.75 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: The Bulls constantly left Wall open at mid-range, as most teams do, and as often is the case, he failed to convert. However, the Wizards were aggressive in the transition, much thanks to Wall’s constant pushing of the ball. The result: the Wizards scored 14 fast break points in the first half (20 for the game to just two fastbreak points for the Bulls). Ultimately, Wall found a way to help his team win with free throws and a few key assists. What else could you ask for?
1.25 Stars
WEIDIE: Crappy, uncomfortable jump shot to watch notwithstanding, at least Wall hits his free throws, for the most part. Wall went 3-for-4 in the final 76 seconds against Chicago and 5-for-6 on the night. For the season, Wall’s FT% is up to .795 from .766 during his rookie campaign. So, positive pixels. However, also note that when Wall was subbed out for Shelvin Mack with 10:34 left in the game, the Wizards were down 68-59; when Wall checked back in at the 4:35 left, replacing Jordan Crawford to play with Mack, the Wizards held a 75-73 lead. What made Mack’s ability to lead the team so successful over Wall’s efforts? Hard to say, but in its entirety, Wall’s sophomore effort has been rather negligible in determining if he truly has the potential to be a franchise player, or if he’s just some guy who’s really speedy with the basketball, but lacks much else when it comes to substance.
1.25 Stars

TOTAL: 4.25 out of 9 stars

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

MARKUS ALLEN: Jordan Crawford struggled shooting the ball from the field as well as when attacking the rim. A night after D-Rose complained about not getting foul calls, what made Jordan Crawford believe he would get what D-Rose would not? When his jumper wasn’t sinking and he did try to penetrate the lane, Crawford had no counter to the defense of Joakim Noah, who had five blocks on the night. The Bulls looked to be careful about not giving out easy fouls at the rim, so Crawford finished 2-for-13 from the field, 5-6 from the line and scored just nine points in 31 minutes with six assists and four turnovers.
1 Star (out of 3)
NARAYEN: Crawford missed 11 of his 13 shot attempts, was on the receiving end of a hard Joakim Noah foul and went to the bench after shooting free throws. Clearly, it was not Jordan Crawford’s night. But there’s a reason why Crawford struggles to shoot better than 40-percent — he loves contested 2s, and too often settles for jumpers when he could be dribbling past guys that are trying to get into his feet.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Joakim Noah got weak-side dunks twice early in the game because Crawford failed to sink into help position on defense as Kevin Seraphin had to help on dribble penetration. These types of failures will become increasingly unacceptable. Otherwise, people like to talk about how Crawford is capable of making the tough shots he takes. Yes, this is true. However, he is also shooting 40-percent from the field this season… No excuse makes that number less crappy.
0.75 Star

TOTAL: 2.25 out of 9 stars

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

ARISH NARAYEN: Four rebounds, one block, and three fouls in 16 minutes of burn. Zero shot attempts. Yep, just another Ryan Holli– I mean, Chris Singleton, stat line. Is he a defensive stopper? Chris had trouble keeping up with Rip Hamilton in the first half. Further, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the coaching staff views his offensive limitations as a liability in close games (Chris played the same number of minutes as Shelvin Mack and James Singleton). As a first round pick and nominal starter, losing minutes to guys who were recently on 10-day contracts has got to be a cause for concern. Still, Chris is a rookie in a lockout shortened season, so he’ll continue to get a pass.
0.5 Star
ALLEN: Chris Singleton was just over-aggressive on defense, and the fashion in which he earned his third foul pretty much summed it up. In the third, he lost space to Hamilton, trailed catching up to him off a screen, and instead of giving a good contest, he fouled Rip on the arm, sending him to the line. Still, Singleton played decent defense on Rip Hamilton’s 3-point attempt at the end of the game, even though he came damn close to being called for a foul.
0.5 Star
WEIDIE: Two things: Chris Singleton had a ton of trouble keeping up with the 34-year old Richard Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton is still spry, and many-an-NBA player would have trouble keeping up with a guy who’s made a career on perpetual motion. Still, Singleton looked terrible. Second thing: Chris Singleton has started about 75-percent of the Wizards’ games this season (46 starts, 61 games), which would translate to 61.5 starts in a regular 82-game schedule. Singleton’s current PER of 8.0 puts him on track to be the absolute worst amongst all 53 NBA rookies in the past 11 seasons who have started at least 75-percent their team’s games. That is historical crappiness. [source: basketball-reference.com]
0.25 Star

TOTAL: 1.25 out of 9 stars

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely

MARKUS ALLEN: Jan Vesely went 3-for-8 with six points, four rebounds, and four fouls in 22 minutes of play. He was impressive in the times that he attacked the lane, but was also met by Joakim Noah on a night where his strength was tested more than normal. He was punished by Boozer on the inside, and couldn’t hold him on defense, or back him down on offense. He got in transition a couple times, was somewhat explosive at the rim and had two nice dunks. Overall he did well, but simply was overpowered by the Bulls more often than not.
1 Star
NARAYEN: After scoring all six of his points in the first two quarters, getting victimized by Carlos Boozer’s rain of mid-range abuse, and Joakim Noah blocking him twice on bunnies at the rim, Vesely gave way to the hot shooting Maurice Evans (no, seriously) in the second half. Obviously, from a development standpoint, Vesely has a long way to go. In a recent ESPN Insider article, David Thorpe advocated that Vesely model his game after Gerald Wallace — an energy guy who maximizes his talents and minimizes his weaknesses via effort; the jack of all trades, master of none. Vesely has shown some handle, along with a willingness to do the little things (see: giving up his body on a Ronnie Brewer drive that probably should have been called a charge). Dumb fouls and his shooting stroke are still a concern, though.
0.75 Star
WEIDIE: Carlos Boozer resolved the drool oozing his mouth at the sight of Jan Vesely guarding him on the very first play of the game: a step-back rainbow jumper from the left wing made the net splash in such a nice way. Boozer later gave Jan some physical abuse in the post; Joakim Noah also emphatically rejected Jan twice early. Still, none of this really discouraged the Czech rook from throwing down a dunk rolling off a screen when Chicago left him open; nor from getting a steal, gathering the ball with a dribble, and getting another dunk off a give-and-go with Jordan Crawford; nor from finding Cartier Martin for 3 with a nice assist. We all know Vesely has two main things to work on: strength and confidence in his jumper. Hopefully in the next Jan Vesely Diaries he does some more recognizing of the former.
1 Star

TOTAL: 2.75 out of 9 stars

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

KYLE WEIDIE: Kevin continues to operate cooler than the other side of the pillow and is hotter than being wrapped in an electric blanket while being hungover outside in Vegas. OK, let’s chill… Kevin showed a lot en route to a line of 21 points (10-for-19 FGs), 13 rebounds (eight offensive) and a career-high five blocks. 1) Remember when he used to foul a bunch (7.1 per 36 minutes last season, 4.1 this season)? Yea, much improvement. 2) I probably had the most fun watching Seraphin absolutely and easily shove Omer Asik and his Judge Reinhold looking ass out of the way while rebounding a free throw as a defensive player late in the first quarter. Yea, I’m a Wizards fan… I take joy out of such.
2.75 Stars (out of 3)
ALLEN: Seraphin did well defending against Carlos Boozer when Jan Vesely was in foul trouble, and he had another great night finishing with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. He had hook shots and layups, but was most impressive was his eight offensive rebounds.
2.5 Stars
NARAYEN: Make it eleven consecutive games of double digit scoring for the man in the middle. It’s pretty clear that Seraphin is the Wizards’ most consistent offensive option at this point in the season, and one has to be encouraged by Kevin’s scoring ability and increasing understanding of defensive positioning. Leading the team in scoring and minutes, a double-double, five blocks, and no GIF worthy plays? Wizards’ fans should be ecstatic.
2.25 stars

TOTAL: 7.5 out of 9 stars

The Bench

The Bench

MARKUS ALLEN: The bench stepped up, especially Mo Evans in crunch time. Evans hit a 3-pointer, and Brian Cook followed up with a 3-pointer, to tie the game at 68. Then with three minutes left, Evans converted a foul and hit a free throw to take the lead at 78-75. James Singleton picked up four fouls in his defense of Carlos Boozer, but was the best body that the Wizards could put in front of him. Cartier Martin wasn’t that impressive, in a night where the Wizards needed him to score, going 2-for-10 for 5 points. Overall the play of Mo Evans, and James Singleton sealed the Wizards win.
1.5 Stars (out of 3)
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
NARAYEN: Down by four, Washington’s lineup to start the second quarter: Shelvin Mack, Cartier Martin, Mo Evans, Jan Vesely, and James Singleton. As I was mentally preparing myself for the pain of stabbing myself in the eyes, I started to notice that this lineup was keeping the game close. Though Kevin Seraphin was the story of the game, the Wizards’ bench performed well against the Bulls’ deep rotation. In particular, Mo Evans came through with some timely mid-range shots in the second half, and I’m intrigued by a John Wall / Shelvin Mack backcourt when Jordan Crawford is doing Jordan Crawford-esque things.
2 Stars
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans
WEIDIE: You really have to appreciate the bag of tricks the Wizards have been over the past couple of years — Earl Boykins! D-League Players! Yi Jianlian! Josh “Natty Anthem” Howard! The one of the few NBA players who got penalized for steroids! Brian Cook! The Dumbest Player Alive Who Has Dunked In Two Baskets At Once! The Star of ‘Second Chance Season’! Paul ‘Millionaire Matchmaker/Could Be Dumber Than JaVale McGee’ Davis! Shaun Livingston! Mike James! Abe Lincoln’s Human Neck Tattoo Place-Holder! — I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this other to say that Mo Evans scored 14 points and hit the game-winning free-throws after playing his second game in about 20 days and his 19th game all season.
1.75 Star
Sub Man of the Game: Mo Evans

BENCH TOTAL: 5.25 out of 9 stars

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

KYLE WEIDIE: Ye Olde Wittman Voodoo: Randy’s starting lineup of Wall, Crawford, Singleton, Vesely & Seraphin played 12 minutes, finished with a minus-7. Mack, Crawford, Evans, Cook & Seraphin played six minutes with a plus-13. Wall, Martin, Evans, Cook & Seraphin = five minutes, minus-7. Mack, Martin, Evans, Vesely, Singleton = 5 minutes, plus-7. Go figure, Stats. (stats via NBA.com/stats)
1 Star
ALLEN: Wittman did a great job keeping the Wizards agressive for the entire game, minus the third quarter. The Wizards played stifling defense and covered the 3-point line well. Kyle Korver went 0-for-4 from deep, the Bulls 4-for-14 as a team.
2 Stars
NARAYEN: I liked the decision to yank Crawford out of the game late in the fourth quarter, though that could have been due to Noah hacking the crap out of him. More Wall-Mack, please. But I did chuckle when the Wizards got called for a five second inbounds violation COMING OUT OF A TV TIMEOUT in the first quarter.
1.5 Stars

COACH TOTAL: 4.5 out of 9 stars

Seen on the Screen

And an additional one.

Post-Game Randy.

Post-Game John.

Post-Game Mo.

[videos via YouTube/eharris1908]

End Scene


“It’s as if he’s shooting from 8-feet, but it’s a long, long way away.”
-Comcast Washington’s Steve Buckhantz on Brian Cook’s jump shot after a 3-pointer was made to bring the Wizards within 61-57 with about a minute left in the 3rd quater.

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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.