DC Council Preseason Game 4: Wizards 88 at Nets 98: New Digs, New-New Dray: Nets Win in Brooklyn | Truth About It.net

DC Council Preseason Game 4: Wizards 88 at Nets 98: New Digs, New-New Dray: Nets Win in Brooklyn

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Updated: October 16, 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. 4, Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets; contributors: Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and  Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), all via television.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets, former Washington Wizard

Look, it’s ‘what’s his name’ … You know, that guy…

Washington Wizards 88 at Brooklyn Nets 98 [box score]

Stat of the Game: It comes down to play creators and shot makers — Brooklyn shot 39-for-78 (50%) on 22 assists with 58 points in the paint. Washington shot 32-for-82 on 15 assists with 38 points in the paint.

Player of the Game: Emeka Okafor, in his debut, had 12 points on some surprising post moves, but we’re giving this to Martell Webster for scoring 18 points while going just 3-for-10 from the field — two of his makes were 3-pointers and he went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council


Not Terrible, More to Come…

Andray Blatche did most of his damage against Shavlik Randolph and Earl Barron … the Nets have back-to-back preseason dates against Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics on Tuesday and Thursday. So, yea…

Otherwise, with the 20-point discrepancy in points-in-the-paint, it’s painfully obvious that the Wizards are missing John Wall and other bigs who are constantly attacking the painted area. It’s also clear that, without John Wall, Ernie Grunfeld never truly had a Plan B. Shelvin Mack had another nice game, but let’s be honest about who he is. And A.J. Price and Jannero Pargo? Please. It’s hard to make plans to be without your franchise player, but it seems backup options for Wall need to be taken more seriously over the next three-plus seasons. Otherwise, the Wizards didn’t look that bad, considering that they were without Wall, Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and Chris Singleton, while Brooklyn had most of their players available. Being a Wizards/DC sports fan is tough enough; having a very narrow scope for judgement only increases angst. Patience, grasshopper. Patience.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

 

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Jannero Pargo
Jannero Pargo is a lot of things, but he’s not the answer. Five points, 2-for-5 on FGs, three rebounds, three assists, and one turnover in 18 minutes is some kind of answer, but if it’s the best on Ernie Grunfeld can come up with, the NBA Roulette-o’-Veterans in his office needs to be re-calibrated. Pargo’s passes to teammates are off and his teammates often look like they’re sure he’s not going to pass it. The miscommunication between players (guards in particular), in turn, led to several near-turnovers throughout the game. In other news, A.J. Price didn’t impress and Shelvin Mack played well again. Mack and Beal seem like the next obvious starting combination for Randy Wittman.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
For three quarters Beal effectively let the game come to him. He shot picture perfect jumpers off screens and he demonstrated a willingness to make the extra pass rather than forcing shots (like Jordan Crawford did on several occasions). And when the Wizards went down 58-48 early in the third quarter, Beal (with help from Okafor) took charge and helped cut the deficit to one. First, he absorbed contact and made a tough layup in the lane off of a Wizards timeout. Then Beal grabbed two rebounds and got the team into the offense on the other end of the floor (perhaps he can temporarily solve the Wizards point guard woes). Beal struggled to follow Joe Johnson through screens, and he couldn’t handle the 6-foot-8 guard in the post, but there is no shame in a rookie struggling against a six-time All-Star. Beal also allowed Kris Humphries to absolutely eviscerate his layup/dunk attempt on a fast break in the second quarter. And unfortunately in the fourth quarter, when it became desperation time for the Wizards, Beal did break character and take a few bad shots. However, he continues to demonstrate a calm maturity beyond his 19 years, and that can only improve once the Wizards get a credible point guard back in the lineup.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Webster hit the floor in his second start looking to score. His first shot was an all-too-familiar midrange fadeaway and his last was a made free throw, one of a perfect ten on the night. Wittman’s game plan to free Webster, if you will, worked for the most part (nice screens early); Webster finished with a game-high 18 points. His aggressiveness, especially in transition, helped the Wizards stay competitive throughout the game. And though he didn’t shoot well from the floor (going just 3-for-10), he did sink a third of his 3-pointers—and he could have easily shot better than 50 percent with some of the looks he had. As a bonus, Phil Chenier boldly compared Webster to Joe Johnson.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
For the most part, some people — “those people” (such as me) — have been very patient with Jan Vesely. Some of that lost its innocence with just under five minutes left in Monday night’s game. Late in the possession, A.J. Price broke the defense down on his way to the hoop and softly dropped the ball off to Jan Vesely in the right short corner. And Jan barely caught rim/backboard on a jumper from within 10 feet. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) It was just a sad display of offensive prowess. When ESPN’s John Hollinger writes that Vesely has no feel or that he doesn’t have a clue, part of me realizes that Hollinger clearly hasn’t paid attention to the details, such as Vesely’s pick-and-roll defense. Part of me also realizes that Hollinger is talking about plays like this, as well another one against Brooklyn where Vesely blew a point-blank shot on what would’ve been a nice assist by Brad Beal. Vesely’s confidence, or lack thereof, could be a top five concern for the Wizards.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier, at two different points in the first quarter, mentioned that Okafor lost 12 pounds and some of his strength during his recent bout with food poisoning. But to Okafor’s credit against the Nets, he showed no signs of being a weakened player. He started the game with two strong dunks: one coming courtesy of a sharp pass form Jan Vesely and the other from an aggressive spin move in the post against an overmatched Joe Johnson. On the defensive side of things, Okafor didn’t block any shots, but he played solid position defense against the taller Brook Lopez (who scored 18), and he added six rebounds in 28 minutes (five defensive). He didn’t convince anyone that he could shoot, as he mentioned during Media Day, and he missed all four of his free throws. But between his solid inside play (which will only improve with the presence of Nene) and his willingness to play the occasional two-man game with Bradley Beal, there’s reason to be encouraged about Okafor as he gets his weight back up — so to speak.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
For a few minutes there, basketball fans in Brooklyn got a taste of the Jordan Crawford Experience. His internal monologue probably sounds something like this. Good? Bad? It didn’t really matter. Crawford delivered, shooting 5-for-10 from the field (0-for-2 from 3-point range, but remember he’s a .279 shooter from deep) to finish with 12 points. Crawford also dusted off his passing point guard and was able to turn a few possessions (and a no-look pass) into points. John Wall gave Crawford some love in a previously recorded interview with CSN. “Jordan knows the game a little,” Wall said, and added that Crawford—along with Ariza and Webster—has served as a bit of a mentor to Bradley Beal. Take tips, but play your game, Rookie.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Ariza should look to pass a bit more. And it’s not just because he was 1-for-6 from outside the paint (4-for-10 from the field), but because there were times when he could have made the extra pass but hesitated, denying the Wizards a chance at points. (That spot-up J is ugly.) He did OK on the defensive side, but looked slow to regain position when trailing the ball in the half court. Hard to make a case for a bump up in the rotation with uneven games like this, especially on a night when Martell Webster was the best small forward in town.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

TOTAL: 1 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council


Randy Wittman…

This had to have been a night of mixed emotions for Wittman and his coaching staff. The good? Okafor demonstrated that he will be a legitimate post player on both ends of the floor, Beal continues to play and look better with each passing minute, and Shelvin Mack is playing smart, confident basketball. But there was no more good to be had on this night from a coaching perspective. Jan Vesely — save for a brilliant first-quarter pass to Okafor and a few tap outs to keep possessions alive — was virtually invisible with zero points and five fouls. Trevor Ariza showed small signs of waking up from his preseason slumber, especially on defense, but he still played sluggish. Jordan Crawford and Martell Webster took quick shots out of the flow of the offense, and Jannero Pargo and A.J. Price clearly are not the answer at the point guard position. The uninspired play, combined with the injuries that have sidelined Wall, Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton, all have hindered Wittman’s ability to truly see what he has on this roster, and Monday night’s game was another prime example of that.

But on top of that, Wittman had to sit on the Wizards bench and watch his former player (the one he supposedly refused to coach any further), Mr. Andray Blatche, play an inspired 23 minutes of basketball in which he scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked a shot, communicated on defense, and managed to use his favorite, stepback crossover dribble just once. So not only was Wittman unable to coach his best players due to injury, but he was forced to watch his former player (who he also cannot coach) play the type of game that he (and probably Flip Saunders) wanted him to play every night in a Wizards uniform. Someone get that man a cigarette.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

 

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

TOP TWEET:

“The Wizards are all about running Beal off of curls to get spot-up jumpers. This is a great idea.”

@talkhoops — National pundit Zach Harper on Bradley Beal and the Wizards using him in all the right ways.

Jan Vesely, Washington Wizards

You’ve got a long way to go, Honza.