DC Council Game 10: Wizards 100 at Hawks 101: Heart-Breaker in Hotlanta | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 10: Wizards 100 at Hawks 101: Heart-Breaker in Hotlanta

Updated: November 22, 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. 10, Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks; contributors: Adam McGinnisRashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council


It was a heart-breaker—it really was. And everyone really wanted to see a happy #WittmanFace—they really did. As described in the previous post, the Wizards thought they had an overtime game-winner from Kevin Seraphin until Kyle Korver answered. Then the Wizards ran off the court, thinking they won via a last-second tip-in by Martell Webster, but his fingers were still touching the ball when the light went off. No dice. So Randy Wittman and the Wizards move on to the next one.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Washington Wizards 100 at Atlanta Hawks 101 [box score]

Stat of the Game: The Wizards grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds (39 offensive, 19 offensive) and scored 40 points in the paint. The knee-jerk reaction is to attribute that number to Nene, but he only had one rebound and eight of this 12 points came from the free throw line, not the paint. Trevor Ariza (15 rebounds) and Kevin Seraphin (21 points, 10 rebounds) led the way.

Player of the Game: Trevor Ariza: 12 points, 15 rebounds (nine in the fourth quarter) and 3 steals in 39 minutes of play.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

As close as a rebound.

After two straight Kyle Korver 3 balls, Atlanta’s lead increased to 66-55 with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter. This is where many Wizards teams of the past five years would have folded. (Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz even went so far as to call one of Korver’s 3s a “back-breaker”—in the third quarter.) But this current squad has a different attitude. Nene entered the game and Wizards immediately went on a 11-2 run to close out the period. The game was a back-and-forth battle from there on out. Nene’s highly effective time on the court, fueling multiple Wizards mini-comebacks, was by far the key moment of this game until late when Washington’s poor rebounding allowed Atlanta the opportunity to steal one. The Wizards were up four points with 1:05 remaining in overtime, and Al Horford was at the line to shoot two. He clanged both of them, but DeShawn Stevenson scooped up the miss, and Jeff Teague put in a bucket. After an errant Seraphin jumper on a bad offensive possession, Horford was again sent to the charity stripe with 22 second lefts, Hawks down two. He missed both again and the loose ball rebound went out of bounds, off the Wizards. Larry Drew then called a play and his team ran it to perfection, getting Horford points right under the basket and tying the game (Horford was 1-for-10 from the free throw line on the night, maybe they should have fouled him again). If Wizards grab just one of those two rebound chances, the season-opening losing streak would likely be over.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston was inserted into the starting lineup for A.J. Price in just his third game with the team, and it never seemed like he got a feel for the night. Washington got down 10 points, 21-11, eight minutes into the game before Livingston helped get Kevin Seraphin going with an assist, but the Wizards mostly caught up, finishing the first period down 26-24, because of Nene and doses of A.J. Price, who played well off the bench. Livingston finished with two points on 1-for-5 shooting with one rebound, one block, four assists and one turnover. He also had the second worst plus/minus with minus-13. However, Wittman’s new starters of Livingston, Crawford, Beal, Vesely, and Seraphin did finish just minus-4 in their seven minutes on the floor together, which isn’t too bad, considering Josh Smith abused Vesely in the early going (maybe Jan shouldn’t start). If anything, Livingston did a decent job checking Jeff Teague when he played (and could’ve used more help from his bigs in pick-and-roll defense). Wittman should continue to give Livingston a chance to start at the point, as his presence on the court seems to be somewhat conducive to less long jumpers for the Wizards.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
Unlike most outings this season, when Jordan Crawford was able to influence games with his shooting and passing flair, he did not factor into the outcome against his former team in Atlanta. Crawford went out in the first quarter and scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, but only scored one basket the remainder of the game. He didn’t necessarily play badly, it’s just that Martell Webster, A.J. Price and Trevor Ariza played much better. Crawford’s stat line: 9 points, 4-for-8 FGs, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, team-worst minus-14 in plus/minus.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Thrust back into the starting lineup, this time at the 3 and matched-up against Kyle Korver, Bradley Beal continued to struggle. His final stat line: 26 minutes, 2 points, 3-for-8 FGs, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 turnovers, and 6 fouls. Beal had a tough time keeping up with Korver in off-ball movement early in the game, but at the same time, I thought the Wizards should’ve run more plays for Beal to take advantage of Korver’s defense. Beal’s sixth foul came about 30 seconds into overtime—he missed an open 3, Seraphin got the board but missed the dunk, the ball bounced out to Beal, and he committed a charging violation against Jeff Teague. The rookie is now shooting 33.7 percent from the field; not very Ray Allen-like at all, as Allen shot 42.9 percent from the field in his first 10 games as a rook.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Jan Vesely earned his second straight start but was overall ineffective. He started the game in earnest against Josh Smith, but mostly got abused. He turned the ball over on the first possession of the second half, got called for his fourth foul moments later, and was subbed out, never to return. Honza is back to picking up fouls at a quicker rate than D.C. traffic cameras give out tickets. If there is one player who needs John Wall back at the point, it is Vesely. Those two developed a sound chemistry on lob plays in the open court, and Jan’s confidence on the offensive end always grew after throwing down a few dunks. It is doubtful that Vesely has really earned these continued starts, but his presence in the lineup is not really holding this team back, so we could see Jan get another shot on Saturday night.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

0 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
A coachable player like Kevin Seraphin provides coaches with the satisfaction that drives their intense passion for the profession. Against the Hawks, he feel asleep on defensive rotations, allowed a few offensive boards, set a moving screen, and blew an easy wide-open dunk. Randy Wittman tears into him for his mental lapses, and Seraphin takes the tough love (along with improving his English in the process). The player clearly wants to remedy his coach’s anger. Especially late in the game, Serpahin was active around the hoop with tip outs and two blocks, and he used his big body to grab a season-high 10 rebounds. Seraphin’s smooth post- and mid-range game continues to be a lethal weapon for the Wizards. He finished 10-for-21 from the field with 21 points and was the go-to-man in crunch time. Korver’s game deciding 3-pointer (thanks Ariza, nice D!) erased Seraphin’s pinnacle NBA moment in a potential game-winning shot he calmly buried with seven seconds left in OT. Moving forward, it will be fun to watch how Nene’s presence on court benefits Seraphin’s game.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Tuesday night on NBATV, Greg Anthony had the following quote which brilliantly summarized the Wizards season without Nene and John Wall: “Bad teams don’t necessarily always get blown out, sometimes they play well for 45 minutes, and then blow it in the last three minutes.” Anthony went on to say that good teams figure out ways to win, while bad teams are one or two players short of figuring out. Nene had the potential to bridge that gap and lead the Wizards to victory, and, for awhile it appeared as if he was going to do just that. He didn’t have the greatest shooting night (2-of-5 FGs), and he only grabbed one rebound in 19 minutes of play, but Nene was a presence in the paint and went to the foul line 10 times, sinking eight. He also re-introduced Wizards fans to his ability to dish the ball out of the post with at least two great bounce passes to cutting teammates (they did not convert, but that was not Nene’s fault). In the last three minutes of the game, Nene stole the ball from Josh Smith and almost went full court for a layup, but missed; he also played solid inside defense and committed an offensive foul as the Wizards were able to push the game into overtime, where they eventually lost. But if Nene’s mere presence in the first game can lead to a close overtime loss, perhaps on Saturday night at home against Charlotte, he’ll finally lead the Wizards to victory.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
I know my colleague Mr. Rashad Mobley handed Trevor Ariza the game’s MVPs—and he was all over the place with those career-high 15 rebounds—but it was the most undeserved game MVP in the history of game MVPs. For one, Ariza shot 3-for-14 from the field. One of those was a big 3 in overtime, but many were just bad shots or simply derps at the rim, such as an air-balled layup with the Wizards up 87-86 that led to a shot clock violation with two minutes left in the game. For two, Ariza travels way too much to be an NBA player. I know the whole ‘all NBA players travel’ thing, but Ariza’s violations are just careless, as if the connections from his feet to his head go out like shoddy Wi-Fi. And finally, Ariza left Kyle Korver (5-for-12 on the night from 3-point land—Korver only shot 3s) too much space and subsequently wide-open for the game-winning shot. Ariza was trying on the court most of the night, considering he was demoted to the bench in favor of Randy Wittman’s new starting lineup, but I can’t help but associate the “Trevor Ariza Wizards Experience” with one term: Brain Fart.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

AJ Price
Maybe it was the fact that Shaun Livingston outplayed A.J. Price on Monday night against the Pacers and then took his starting job for at least one night in Atlanta. Or maybe Coach Wittman realized that Livingston could not stay in front of Jeff Teague, Devin Harris or Kyle Korver, and Price realized he had opportunity to shine. Whatever it was, Price did a solid job of managing the game against the Hawks in his role off the bench. As Phil Chenier mentioned during the broadcast, Price finally made it his business to break his man down off the dribble and get into the lane. Once he got in the lane, Price made the right decision, whether it was finding the open man or shooting short floaters in the lane. On the defensive side of the ball, he didn’t completely shut down Jeff Teague, but he was instrumental in holding Teague to a 6-for-18 shooting performance. Perhaps he earned his (temporary) starting job back in the process. Price finished with 12 points (6-for-11 FGs), seven assists and one turnover in over 31 minutes.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

 Excuse me sir, may I have another?

Gimme another damn drink!

Everyone needs to lay off Randy Wittman, as the man is coaching his ass off and pulled a masterful performance versus the Hawks. The Wizards did not come up short because they were out maneuvered. Randy rolled out a completely new starting lineup of Livingston, Beal, Crawford, Vesely and Seraphin. While this group didn’t necessarily set the world on fire, Wittman kept tweaking his rotations until he found a combination that worked. He found effective spots to use Nene, the team used the foul to give correctly at end of regulation, worked the refs furiously all game, and drew up a nice play for Seraphin’s jumper that should have been game winner in OT. Wittman has been transparent about his moves and shown a flexibility to give anyone a chance, even benching veterans in the process. The Wizards may have several issues, but coaching is not one of them. I hope Randy has a nice Thanksgiving dinner and smokes a fat cigar. He deserves it.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

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One Comment

  1. AjFromTheDMV

    November 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Trevor Ariza is garbage!

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