DC Council Game 62: Wizards 121 vs Bucks 112: Nothing Menacin' About Venison | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 62: Wizards 121 vs Bucks 112: Nothing Menacin' About Venison

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Updated: April 19, 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 62 contributors: Dan Diamond (@ddiamond), Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend).]

Score

Washington Wizards 121 vs. Milwaukee Bucks 112 [box score]

Stat of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

According to Hoopdata.com, the Milwaukee Bucks had an assist percentage of 62.51 coming into the game, better than all but one team in the NBA this season, the Boston Celtics (67.24). The Bucks also ranked first in the NBA in assists per game with 23.87. The Wizards, meanwhile, were tied for 27th in both categories, recording an assist percentage of 51.82 while averaging 18.7 assists per game. Last night, the Wizards proved that sharing is caring, out-assisting the Bucks, 23-22, and may have even knocked them out of the playoffs; the Bucks are now two and a half games out of playoff position with five games to play — all on the road.

Scene of the Game

w/ John Converse Townsend

Monta Ellis’ 31 points…

…because the tape reveals Washington’s ongoing struggles
in defending screen action and the pick-and-roll:

“That last shot by Crawford came from Baltimore!”

—Wizards broadcaster Phil Chenier reacting to J-Craw’s 26-foot 3-pointer:

D.C. Flag 3-Star Ratings

w/ Dan Diamond, Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend

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

John Wall

John Wall

DAN DIAMOND: When a team gets a win, the lead guard has to get some credit. And while this wasn’t Wall’s strongest game (14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, 10 assists, no steals, and 4 TOs), he did more than enough. I think I got a cavity from his reverse layup with about two minutes to go—it was so sweet. It was also interesting to watch the matchup of Wall and Brandon Jennings (25 points on 8-19 shooting). They’re young, fast, charismatic guards … who have very questionable shooting form… and aren’t exactly lock-down defenders. Either could become an All-Star; both need to develop a reliable jumper, first.
2 Stars (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: John had a sloppy beginning and the diminishing confidence in shooting his jumper is still an eyesore. He bounced back and controlled the game in the deciding third quarter with various slashes to the basket.
2 Stars
   
TOWNSEND: Wall gave his all-white kicks a workout in the win, having tried to get behind the Milwaukee defense just about every time touched had the ball. When he succeeded, Wall threw up a number of ambitious layups (5-for-9), which I suppose is preferable to watching him settle for off-balance jumpers (0-for-4). To his credit, Wall did lead the Wizards to their second-highest scoring output of the season (121), three points shy of the season high reached in the 124-109 deconstruction of the Portland Trail Blazers back in February.
1.75 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.75 out of 9 stars

   

Jordan Crawford

Jordan Crawford

ADAM McGINNIS: Jordan’s game has mystified followers of this team all season. I have labeled him an enigma because he is a willing passer with great vision, which is the opposite your stereotypical NBA gunners, but he takes unbelievable poor shots and they go in more than they really should. It is almost like he fakes himself out when he should drive, dribble or shoot. Who knew it would take a sprained ankle suffered in a win over Chicago to a control Jordan Crawford? Coach Wittman, Mo Evans and James Singleton all brought up his bad wheel as a reason he played so under control and one-upped Monta Ellis in their shooting guard battle. J-Craw was electric with 32 points (11-17 FG, 9-12 FT), four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and his 26-foot dagger 3-pointer with 51 seconds sealed the victory. Every time Milwaukee made a run, East Detroit had an answer, and considering how he limped around in the locker room afterwards with serious pain, I would nominate this as his best performance of the season.
3 Stars (out of 3)
   
DIAMOND: ESPN stat-head John Hollinger wouldn’t believe it—heck, I watched it happen and still don’t buy it—but when Crawford scores 32 points, he always does it efficiently. (On February 22, it took him 12 of 19 shooting.)
2.75 Stars
   
TOWNSEND: There are few things in Wizards Land right now better than seeing Jordan Crawford turn down questionable 3-point attempts in favor of higher percentage looks in the paint. Crawford attempted a career-high 12 free throw attempts en route to a 32 points, tying his best scoring output this season. The kid is putting the pieces together.
2.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 8.25 out of 9 stars

   

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Chris Singleton had his best first quarter in recent memory: five points (2-for-3 from the field), three boards, some decent defense on Carlos Delfino, and an alley-oop from Jordan Crawford off a baseline cut. Spacing is still one of Singleton’s biggest positives–you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?–which helps him find space on the perimeter, a crucial part of his offensive game considering he doesn’t have a great handles. That awareness gave him time to knock down both of his open 3-pointers (he missed a difficult Iso-attempt on the wing). At the final whistle, Singleton had 10 points, five rebounds, a game-high two steals, and a Steve Buckhantz “DAGGER!” call. A good game or a sign of things to come? Consider this: Singleton is shooting .421 from 3-point land in the month of April.
2 Stars
   
DIAMOND: He scored early (four points in the first four minutes) and late (a dunk with 12 seconds to go), and you can’t quibble with his production in just 17 minutes.
2 Stars
   
McGINNIS: 10 points and five boards is not bad for the rookie, and his shaky defense was unnoticeable, so that is always a plus.
1.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

   

Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely

JOHN CONVERSE TOWNSEND: Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic’s PER last season, as an NBA rookie: 11.2. This season: 20.9. That stat prompted ESPN TrueHooper Noam Schiller to tweet, “Basically: everybody, ignore bad rookie Euro seasons.”Wizards rookie Jan Vesely has a 10.34 PER this season, and the way he’s been playing lately, I wouldn’t be shocked by a huge jump in efficiency next season. Vesely has grabbed nine or more boards in four of his last six games, including 10 in last night’s meeting with the Bucks. Airwolf also went 4-for-6 from the field for eight points (he’s averaging 7.9 points per game this month), which is nice because the Wizards don’t run plays for the big man. He gets his off cuts and offensive rebounds.
2.25 Stars
   
DIAMOND: The rookie looked like a veteran tonight. (Not to mention, a player worthy of the #6 pick.) Vesely seemed like he was everywhere in the third quarter, when he had five rebounds and three assists.
3 Stars
   
McGINNIS: It shows through on TV, but to get a true sense of Jan Vesely’s positive impact, you have to watch him in person. He is always around the ball, makes correct rotations, possesses active hands in passing lanes, his tap outs are hardly wasted, is always around the rim, and Vesely has a knack for finding the open man with quick dishes. He did all of these against the Bucks. The Wizards scouting department deserves kudos for nailing his high basketball IQ.
2.5 Stars
   
 

TOTAL: 7.75 out of 9 stars

   

Kevin Seraphin

Kevin Seraphin

DAN DIAMOND: The bulk of Seraphin’s 14 points came during the third quarter, on a pair of hook shots and two jumpers. He had an ear-to-ear grin in the locker room after the victory, and who can blame him? The kid’s stretch of breakout NBA games continues. Take note that tonight was a relatively quiet performance—and it still would’ve been a career night, one year ago. But as Townsend pointed out on Twitter, the Bucks picked on Seraphin in the pick-and-roll. (And as TAI readers know, this is a sore spot; Seraphin’s been weak against the PNR for years.) He also was quiet on the glass, with just five rebounds, especially as the Bucks’ Ersan Ilysaova and Drew Gooden muscled him inside for 13 first-half points.
2 Stars (out of 3)
   
McGINNIS: Kevin struggled controlling the interior as Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova both ate him in the first half. He regrouped and even fooled Gooden for a turnover with his patterned pull the chair post defense. Seraphin lets the game come to him by knowing what he is good at and sticking to it within the flow of the offense.
2 Stars
   
TOWNSEND: Kevin Seraphin again started in place of Hologram Nenê and scored in double figures for the 12th consecutive game. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that his pick-and-roll “defense” needs work. Bucks SG Monta Ellis scored 31 points on 14-of-25 shooting, and much of that damage was done in the two-man game, with Seraphin as the help defender.
1.5 stars
   
 

TOTAL: 5.5 out of 9 stars

   

The Bench

The Bench

ADAM McGINNIS: When a stud like Nenê makes his triumphant return off the bench, the Bucks reserves had no shot: the Wizards bench outscored them 43-17. It took Nenê a little bit to shake the rust before going to work on Ekpe Udoh. He bulled him over on his post moves, splashed jumpers in his face and threw Udoh’s shot out of bounds. Big Game James is solidifying his case to be offered a contract with ferocious rebounding and huge buckets down the stretch. The guy is fearless and his tough attitude is contagious. Cartier Martin and Evans both contributed solid burn with key 3 balls. Mack’s six assists were crucial and Evans gave him props for running the team solidly in the fourth quarter. Morris Almond returned to the NBA was highlighted by rattling in his only shot attempt. The bench extending the lead during their second-half run was a major reason the Wizards pulled off the upset.
3 Stars (out of 3)
  Sub Man of the Game: Nenê
   
DIAMOND: So: 43 points from the bench mob tonight. I seem to remember when the entire Wizards team struggled to score 43 points in three quarters. Nenê will get the headlines, but Mo Almond gets the props. A former first-round draft pick who was playing in the Ukraine just three months ago, Almond has been an D-League superstar for years but hasn’t scored an NBA point since February 2009. Correction: Hadn’t. Let his sweet stroke and two points tonight be an inspiration to us all.
3 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Mo Almond
   
TOWNSEND: Milwaukee Bench:17 points (8-19 FG), 16 rebounds, four assists, no steals, and three blocks. Net Plus/Minus: -5. Washington Bench: 43 points (19-34 FG), 14 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks. Net Plus/Minus: plus-6.
3 Stars
  Sub Man of the Game: Nenê
   
 

BENCH TOTAL: 9 out of 9 stars

   

The Coach: Randy Wittman

The Coach: Randy Wittman

DAN DIAMOND: It wasn’t a perfect game for the Wizards—they gave up 112 points and had to stave off a (half-hearted) Bucks rally in the fourth quarter.But a win is a win is a win, especially when you only have 15 entering the night. On the offensive side, it seemed like every button that Wittman pushed worked out well. On the defensive side? Eh…One coaching move that paid dividends: Making sure that Nene would be available down the stretch. The center was on a 20-minute limit, coming back from 10 games off due to plantar fasciitis. So Wittman sat Nene in the third quarter, in order to summon his “veteran presence” in the game’s final minutes, the coach said in the post-game presser.
2.75 Stars
   
McGINNIS: Back-to-back wins over the first place Bulls and playoff chasing Bucks is impressive for any coach, let alone an interim one who’s team is playing out the string. Wittman pointed to Wizards clamping down on defense in the second quarter in limiting Bucks to 19 points after they scored 62 in first half as main reason Washington came out victorious and going back to Nenê with 3:50 left to close it out proved to be a wise decision.
3 Stars
   
TOWNSEND: Wittman kept his players from falling off the wagon in this one. He limited Seraphin (and his questionable pick-and-roll defense) to just four fourth-quarter minutes, choosing to roll with some atypical albeit seasoned lineups to close the game.
2.75 Stars
   
 

COACH TOTAL: 8.5 out of 9 stars

   

Seen on the Scene

w/ Adam McGinnis

Wednesday’s game was Military Appreciation Night where the Wizards honored the armed services. New Marines were inducted before the game, U.S. Army Chorus sang the National Anthem and Army Drill Team marched at half time. Video messages from various active troops stationed overseas played throughout on the Jumbotron.

Kevin Seraphin spent Tuesday evening at the National Zoo with his girlfriend and his favorite part was checking out the reptile section, which makes sense since he is a snake owner. He wants to go back to see the Pandas because the exhibit was closed.

Atop the Bucks Dry Erase Board  in locker room before game read “Beat ‘Em with a Stick” in big letters. Giving up 121 points in defeat to NBA’s second-worst team while fighting for your playoff life means that stick ended up somewhere else.

Jan Vesely confirmed to me that he will not be getting his license because he does not need it and he can walk everywhere, which has to make him one of few professional athletes in America that does not drive around in an expensive ride. Now, I just need to find out if he has figured out the Metro system and I hope he doesn’t have my reaction when finding out the Red Line’s Dupont South exit is closed for eight months.

James Singleton said the two players he idolized growing up were Scottie Pippen and Tracy McGrady.

Before the contest, Carlas Black of Basic Hope almost broke down in tears when discussing the work of his organization. Basic Hope educates parents and children on cybersafety, social media networking and the prevention of cyberbullying.

As media members gathered around Nenê for post game comment, he informed everyone to make it quick because he had dinner plans. After a few short questions, I asked him about Crawford’s stellar night. Nene replied: “30 points, bad ankle, I want to be him.”  And then he abruptly jammed out.  Seraphin observed Nenê’s Media Walk Off, responding: “So, you decide when it is over?”

Here is video of the hilarious exchange:

End Scene

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

Jordan has been big for us. He has a gift of being able to put the ball in the basket. I think the ankle injury helped him because, as of late, he has slowed down and taken his time. —Mo Evans (via Wizards Insider)



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