DC Council Preseason Game 2: Wizards 101 vs Knicks 108: Wiz 'Shocked' by Novak | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Preseason Game 2: Wizards 101 vs Knicks 108: Wiz 'Shocked' by Novak

Updated: October 12, 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. Preseason Game No. 2, Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Washington Wizards 101 vs. New York Knicks 108 [box score]

Stat of the Game: The Knicks shot 18-for-33 (54.5%) from the 3-point line. Steve Novak led the way by going 7-for-7.

Player of the Game: Bradley Beal — 15 points (4-9 FGs, 6-7 FTs), 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 turnover in 25 minutes.

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Make it a game? Make it a beginning.

The narrative after the loss according to Randy Wittman was that the Wizards “gotta get better at starting the game, obviously.” After one quarter Washington was down, 38-21, to New York and Carmelo Anthony (12 points in the period) had given birth to a brand-new baby boy, whom he named Trevor Anthony Ariza (Yes, Trevor Ariza’s middle name really is ‘Anthony’). J.R. Smith out-sized Jordan Crawford with nine points off the bench in the quarter and Novak out-white boy’d Jan Vesely by hitting three 3-pointers.

Then the Wizards went on a 22-0 run to start the second quarter, mostly behind a bench mob of Jannero Pargo, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, and Brian Cook. And, yes, they mostly played against Pablo Prigioni, Raymond Felton, Steve Novak, John Shurna, and some guy named Chris Copeland. Exactly.

Nonetheless, the Wizards made a preseason score respectable for the rest of the night and hopefully learned something along the way.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

AJ Price
After the game A.J. Price said he felt comfortable, and he stressed that everyone on the team needed to trust each other a bit more. But Price did not look comfortable running the offense, and after the first quarter (he played 9 of the 12 minutes), the Wizards had only scored 21 points. The offense lacked fluidity with Price (and Pargo, too, to be fair), and Price’s teammates (mostly Crawford and Ariza) were forced to take end-of-the-shot-clock attempts. A backup point guard can get away with that type of spotty play in limited minutes, but a player whose job is to replace John Wall can ill afford to be that inefficient.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.2 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
At first glance, Jordan Crawford had an above average game. He scored 17 points, he shot for 6-for-13, and he only turned the ball over twice. But without John Wall, the Wizards’ team offense was a bit disjointed with Jannero Pargo and A.J. Price at the helm, so Crawford may have been compelled to force the issue — just as he did last year when Wall wasn’t on the floor. But when Bradley Beal came in the game under those same difficult circumstances, and scored, rebounded, assisted and got to the free throw line, it highlighted the disparity in their games. Crawford’s game is better suited off the bench (much like Knicks guard J.R. Smith), while Beal is a starter-in-the-making. But as the starting shooting guard on this night against the Knicks, Crawford wasn’t that bad.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Mike Prada (of the new and improved Bullets Forever) was so baffled by Trevor Ariza’s sluggish performance that during the game that he proclaimed, “Trevor must be hurt!” Coach Wittman wasn’t that impressed with Ariza’s game, either, and he observed after the game: “He’s determining plays in his mind no matter what the defense is doing, and he can’t do that.” It wasn’t just that Ariza took bad shots (1-for-7), and dribbled excessively at times, but on defense he reached instead of moving his feet, and he looked two steps slow against Carmelo Anthony (who is admittedly a tough cover, but defense is supposed to Ariza’s specialty). His sluggish play in the second preseason game isn’t cause for concern, yet. But just as Jordan Crawford’s spot could be threatened by Beal’s strong play, Martell Webster scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and played more inspired defense at that same small forward position Ariza played. Even old school Randy Wittman cannot ignore that disparity for too long.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Weight Room. Weight Room. Weight Room. Look, Jan Vesely is a young kid — 22 years — and is still growing into his body. But when he takes it to the basket you wince, because you know Vesely is thinking ‘I hope I score’ as he double-clutches around Tyson Chandler’s arms. Jan should be confidently thinking POWER! (Me, rim, go.) He missed a couple shots at point-blank range (once throwing his towel down and kicking air as the Wizards headed into a subsequent timeout). He was responsible for Steve Novak getting hot early. And while it’s understandable that Carmelo Anthony at one point bodied Jan en route to the hoop, seeing ‘Melo later move Vesely several feet with a simple back-screen chuck means those Czech muscles have a long way to go. [Worth noting: Vesely did commit a hard flagrant foul on Tyson Chandler, which resulted in a reaction and a technical foul from Chandler.]

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.4 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
There have been countless moments over the last two seasons when Kevin Seraphin’s strength and size (even more than his raw ability) allowed him to maneuver to a favorable spot in the post. Against the Knicks, Seraphin went up against Kurt Thomas (6-foot-9, 240 lbs), who on paper (and in person, he just turned 40) looked ill-equipped to handle a player the size of the 6-foot-9, 285 lbs Frenchman. But when Seraphin tried to establish position in the post, Thomas would stand him up straight and force him to take a bad shot or give the ball up completely. It is no coincidence that six of Seraphin’s 10 points came during the fourth quarter when Thomas was on the bench. In fairness to Seraphin, there were two or three occasions when he did have good position in the paint, but his teammates (Ariza twice and Price once) simply chose not to feed the big man.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.3 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Go ahead, Wizards fans, get excited about Bradley Beal. It’s OK, you’re in a safe place now. Don’t be scared. OK, wait… It’s funny to tell you to get excited about Beal when his game is so cool, so calm. He plays within himself to the joy of the content basketball-watching heart. He does the little things… that you notice, so maybe they’re not so little. Beal can be a presence on offense, when he wants to, but he also knows his ‘want’ takes a backseat to the team. If anything, Beal isn’t aggressive enough with the ball (although six of his 15 points did come from the free throw line.) But the aggressiveness will come; the Wizards don’t stand much to gain by Beal asserting himself too frequently in the early going. Let’s have Jannero Pargo tell it:

“You would think he would be out there moving 100 miles an hour on both ends of the court, but he’s not. He’s playing under control, within himself, and being aggressive at the same time. It’s refreshing.”

Refreshing, indeed.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.1 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Webster is supposed to be a shooter, and he did go 1-for-2 from deep, but he did a lot of other things that makes his 12 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench impressive. Ariza better not be looking in the rear-view mirror, because Martell is closer than he thinks. Webster dove for rebounds, he made pretty up-and-unders, and he played within the flow of the game, himself and his teammates. Webster is one new Wizard who is making the integration process easy instead of hard. His one assist resulted in the prettiest play of the night. As the Wizards pushed forward on the break early in the second, Webster just knew his teammate Bradley Beal was behind him to receive a blind bounce pass for the trey ball. But certainly the coaches want to see Webster build on these performances before just handing him minutes. Three will be a trend.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

TOTAL: 1.8 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Randy Wittman on The Starting Lineup:

“We’re going to mix and match here moving forward and look at different guys.

After Saturday when somebody that has started that hasn’t [before] craps his pants, then you’re going to ask me, ‘Maybe he’s better at coming… [off the bench].’

You don’t know what’s going to happen moving forward, so let’s see.”

Wittman on Steve Novak:

“We did go over personnel. We know one thing Novak can do is shoot, and we looked ‘shocked’ when he made some. I mean, looked like, ‘Are you kidding me? He made a shot?’

And that’s a little discerning to me, because that was the thing that we did talk about in terms personnel, that you make him put it on the floor.”

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council


“39-year-old Jason Kidd is guarding Bradley Beal. Kidd is entering his 19th NBA season. Beal is 19 years old. #Wizards”

@Ben Standing


“He says he wants to compare himself to Ray Allen, but he’s a little bit more flashy than Ray Allen. I say he’s got a little bit of the ‘Flash’ in him — D-Wade in him. He’s a slasher, he can put the ball on the floor, and make contact. And that’s big.”

—Martell Webster on Bradley Beal

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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.