DC Council Game 1: Wizards 84 at Cavs 94: Tough Loss, Glasses On or Off, John Wall | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 1: Wizards 84 at Cavs 94: Tough Loss, Glasses On or Off, John Wall

Updated: October 31, 2012

[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 1, Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers; contributors: Adam McGinnnis, Rashad Mobley, and Kyle Weidie.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

How do you like your John Wall?… With glasses?

Or without?

Washington Wizards 84 at Cleveland Cavaliers 94
[box score]

Stat of the Game: The Cavs jumped out to a 16-2 advantage in points-in-the-paint and finished up 42-32 for the game. Cleveland also out-rebounded Washington 54-39. Both those stats provide a telling story, and the Wizards are without Nene and Kevin Seraphin, but those two aren’t exactly glass-cleaning big men, either.

Player of the Game: Anderson Varejao — 23 rebounds (career high), 9 points and 9 assists. Hate to give it to Varejao with his spastic tendencies and all (also gave the Cavalier the ‘MVP’ on ESPN’s Daily Dime), but he really helped set a tough tone for Cleveland that the Wizards struggled to overcome.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Simply Kyrie.

From the 25.8 second mark of the third quarter to the 7:52 mark of the fourth quarter, the Washington Wizards went on a 16-0 run–mainly because of their role players. Earl Barron seemed to grab every offensive and defensive rebound, Chris Singleton and Jannero Pargo shook off otherwise pedestrian shooting nights to hit timely shots, and Jordan Crawford dropped some big assists and key buckets. Pargo hit a big 3-pointer from the corner and the Wizards went up 76-74. Then Kyrie Irving subbed into the game for Donald Sloan and showed the Wizards that role players are nice, but superstars win games, and win them decisively.

During the last 7:52 seconds of the fourth quarter, Irving had four points, four rebounds and an assist, but more importantly he controlled the tempo and snatched the momentum away from the Wizards. One time he broke Trevor Ariza down off the dribble to get Tristan Thompson an easy basket, another time he went one-on-five and maneuvered his way to the basket for a layup. And when his team needed a rebound, Irving out-hustled the Wizards front line to get those, too. The Wizards fought hard and played together as a unit, but in the end, there was way too much Irving.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

Rating five Wizards starters & two key subs on a three-star scale.

AJ Price
A.J. Price did have six assists to just one turnover in his 30 minutes of starting time, but he also shot 2-for-13 from the field — including an unfathomable nine attempts from the 3-point line (two makes) — and went 1-for-1 on FTs to score seven total points. Price clearly didn’t help the Wizards establish much offense early, as the Wizards shot 9-for-25 in the first quarter while Kyrie Irving dropped 12 points. Price’s quick trigger was especially painful to watch, specifically two 3-pointers he missed in a span of three seconds with the Wizards down two points and four minutes left in the game. Sure, Price was open on some shots, and he shot well in the preseason, but when you miss as badly as he did against Cleveland, it’s called “hero ball.” Price had a plus/minus of minus-11 while Jannero Pargo had a plus-7; let the great, ‘so Wizards’ debate at point guard begin! (/Shaun Livingston Watch)

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
The rookie’s professional debut began strong with two nice, fluid 3-pointers in the first quarter. Then he pretty much disappeared due to lack of playing time and being passive on offense when he did get burn. Beal also struggled on defense by allowing his man to easily blow by him several times. He finished with only eight points (2-8 FGs), three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes of game action. Beal’s minus-16 plus/minus rating was a Wizards team low. Meanwhile, Cavs rookie Dion Waiters got the best of the lottery pick guard match-up, pouring in 17 points. This game can only serve as a learning experience for Beal, who really needs to start being more aggressive on offense since the Wizards are short-handed in the scoring department.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Take away the shooting (3-8 FGs), and Trevor Ariza did smart Trevor Ariza things. He made the extra pass in possessions to get teammates open shots, he had assists of his own (including a pretty assist to Emeka Okafor early in the first quarter), he got his hands in the passing lanes (three steals), and he tried to guard Kyrie Irving late in the fourth quarter. But after hitting the Wizards’ first shot of the 2012-2013 season (a three-pointer), Ariza kept shooting and missing outside shots instead of slashing to the basket, where he could have drawn fouls or kicked it to the Wizards shooters (yes that seemed to be an oxymoron on this night, but still). Without Wall and Nene, all of the Wizards will be forced out of their respective offensive comfort zones, and when graded on that curve, Ariza didn’t do TOO badly.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
From the opening tip, Trevor Booker looked like pitcher who simply could not find the strike zone. He missed layups and point-blank shots, he made bad passes out of double teams, and at the 3:48 mark in the first quarter after A.J.Price committed a turnover, Booker seemed to jog (ignoring that world-class speed of his) back on defense. In the second quarter, during in a three-minute span, Booker committed two offensive fouls, one bad pass, one missed layup, and made a short hook shot. Aside from one customary Booker post up which resulted in an easy layup at the start of the third quarter, Booker looked horribly out-of-sync and devoid of any energy–usually the strong suit of his game. Luckily for the Wizards, Earl Barron picked up the slack, which may impact Booker’s playing time if he doesn’t watch out.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Oh my GOSH did Emeka Okafor get killed on the boards by Anderson Varejao! The floppy-haired Brazilian is good, but Okafor essentially provided him with a nice and shiny silver platter with Ben Wallace’s reflection in it — and as we’ve seen, Okafor knows how to properly hold a platter. Varejao didn’t do all his damage — a career-high 23 rebounds — against Okafor, to be fair. But it’s no coincidence that he had 21 boards through three quarters, and Okafor sat the entire fourth — Randy Wittman opted for Earl Barron and Chris Singleton instead of Emeka and Trevor Booker, who also had a hand in the Wizards getting cleaned on the glass. Okafor did do other things, FWIW, and his offense was palpable, if not a necessary evil. He had 10 points (4-10 FGs), seven rebounds and four blocks in 24.5 minutes, but I suspect Okafor may ultimately be better coming off the bench in favor of Nene and Seraphin.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Earl Barron
Everyone anticipated Earl Barron being a key contributor in the season opener, right? The backup center, who barely made the 15 man roster over Brian Cook on Sunday, was an instrumental spark plug in Washington’s second half comeback attempt. Barron showcased a smooth jumper and soft touch around the rim. He was a beast on the glass and was just about the only one Wizard who kept Varejaro from gobbling up every rebound. Barron’s final stat line was eight points, (4-6 FGs), eight rebounds, one steal, and one block in 16 minutes. He was a pleasant surprise and might have earned himself a future spot in the rotation, for the time being.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
Could have gone a lot of ways with the final bench player assessment — Jan Vesely played inspired defense but still needs to adjust to the speed of the game; Martell Webster might be the ideal 6th man, especially when the Wizards are healthy; and Jannero Pargo did things. But let’s give some props to Jordan Crawford, mostly for not being Nick Young, and I cannot stress how under-appreciated this fact is. Crawford, aka “Crawfish” to past internet trolls presumed to be related to Nick Young, hit tough, timely shots, and more importantly, found teammates, building trust with five assists. He shot 4-for-13 en route to 11 points in 29 bench minutes, but unfortunately went 0-for-6 from the 3-point line. And that’s the crux of it, Crawford is no where nearly as  incorrigible as the aforementioned Young — Crawford’s biggest assists came in crunch-time, after all — but if he can’t hit from long range, his future value could be severely limited.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

TOTAL: 2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council 

The Wizards had no answer for Kyrie Irving or Anderson Varejao, and it was the difference in the contest. Without Wall or Nene, containing those two is going to be a monumental task for any coach, especially when remaining players (A.J. Price, Emeka Okafor) are not up to the challenge. Coach Wittman’s handling of Bradley Beal’s minutes also seemed bizarre. Beal came out with two minutes remaining in the second quarter and did not return until four minute mark of second quarter. After Beal was stripped by Dion Waiters, leading to a fast break dunk, Wittman had some choice words for the rookie and yanked him during the next dead ball just under four minutes into the second half. Beal did not re-enter the game until there were four minutes left in the game. The Wizards invested highly in Beal and the team’s potential success is tied to his development, not guys like Webster or Pargo, so to see him sit for long stretches is concerning. But maybe it was a “teaching moment” for the coach, and it’s only game one. Otherwise, it was commendable of Wittman to use Earl Barron and leave the unit that fueled the third quarter comeback in for the fourth quarter. Using Chris Singleton at the power forward spot also seems to have made him a more effective player.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)


Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council





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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • http://nk2l Michael

    I dont know what game you watched in regards to crawford. His defense was just flat out lazy and he was burned numerous times off the bounce. He shot a bad percent from the field that consisted of selfish shots (like usual). HE MADE FOUR SHOTS! He doesnt understand his limitations and has a low basketball IQ. He showed me nothing but a few good passes which i guess is an improvement. He just doesnt have it, hopefully it doesnt take management as long as it did with Young to find that out.