DC Council Game 5: Wizards 85 at Pacers 89: Continued Lessons in Losing for Wiz Kids | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 5: Wizards 85 at Pacers 89: Continued Lessons in Losing for Wiz Kids

Updated: November 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. Game No. 5, Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

 It usually starts with #WittmanFace

Coach Randy Wittman can be seen here making a barrage of “Wittman Faces” after Martell Webster attempted a lob pass to Kevin Seraphin that went sailing out of bounds. Seraphin isn’t exactly the kind of quick jumper you throw lobs to, BTW. Subsequently, Tyler Hansbrough started doing his thing (described below) and the Wizards continued to wilt away from there en route to 0-5.

Washington Wizards 85 at Indiana Pacers 89
[box score]

Stat of the Game: The Wizards went a measly 5-for-7 from the free throw line and average a league-worst 14.6 FT attempts per game.

Player of the Game: A.J. Price — 12 points, 5-for-12 FGs (although 2-for-7 on 3-pointers), 14 assists, zero turnovers.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Psycho T

Thought Indiana’s Roy Hibbert would get on track after an early season slump against a Wizards frontline susceptible to size? Nope. Hibbert finished 3-for-15 from the field and a Pacers team-worst minus-10 in plus-minus. He was also content watching Emeka Okafor nail jumper after jumper, no contest.

No, the Wizards were susceptible to someone who played at another level of intensity and passion. Yep, Tyler Hansbrough. Here’s a weird stat, Hansbrough alone made one fewer free throw than the Wizards, but attempted five more than them — he went 4-for-12 from the line. Six of Hansbrough’s attempts came in the fourth quarter, he only made one of them. Even Psycho T’s overall stat line looks underwhelming — six points, two shots, six rebounds, and two steals in 20 minutes — but what’s telling is his game-high plus-14.

A Jordan Crawford 3-pointers that put the Wizards up, 78-70, barely 30 seconds into the fourth quarter must’ve been what set Hansbrough off. At the 10:30 mark, as Chris Singleton held the ball at the 3-point line with his back to the basket, Hansbrough simply reached around, poked it away, and went barreling down the court, earning a trip to the line, where he made one of two. On the very next possession, he jumped in to help when Martell Webster wasn’t paying attention, knocked the ball away, and streaked down the court for a dunk, tying the game at 75. And that’s all the Pacers needed to find a spark, and the victory.

—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
A.J. Price put up a damn fine effort in his first game against his former team, and more importantly, he took care of the ball. His finally tally: 14 assists, zero turnovers and 12-points — Price is certainly punching above his weight. Now you hope that he lives a bit more in reality. Again, hard to knock such a great game, but Price’s shot selection should always lie within reason. For instance, early in the third, Booker slipped and faded a ball screen for Price, the defense sagged off big time, and A.J. confidently hit a wide-open 3-pointer with about 15 seconds on the shot clock. Good attempt, good make. On defense, Trevor Ariza got his hands on a deflection and the Wizards got a turnover. Instead of putting pressure on the D, perhaps earning a precious trip to the FT line, Price pulled up for a wing three with 20 seconds on the shot clock and missed. Probably best to let that possession ride. Also, when the Wizards do find themselves in possessions where the shot clock is running down, the ball really should be in Bradley Beal’s hands more to create, and it’s part of Price’s job to make sure that happens.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
This “Real Deal” Beal version sure is a treat to watch, isn’t it? The rookie poured in 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting, 3-for-3 from downtown, with six rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal. Beal is putting the whole “aggressive” debate to rest as quickly as his smooth release seems to be. Another positive sign is how assertive Beal is with attacking off pick-and-rolls, no longer picking up his dribble prematurely like he was in his first three dud performances. He has also already learned how the extra pass is a key ingredient to creating an open look in the NBA. Beal did get two fourth quarter travels called against him, as NBA refs are paying extra attention to his pivot foot. Beal does have a knack to draw contact, so the Wizards staff needs to find a way to get him more looks when his shot is falling like it was on Saturday night.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
We have officially moved out of Trevor Ariza’s early season sulking act to some weird parody of him being a total wild card on the court. Trevor was active in the passing lanes for four steals and ripped down key rebounds, but often totally lost his man (Paul George) on defense and blew easy offensive transitions opportunities with bizarre decision-making. He dribbles around aimlessly, often blatantly shuffles his feet, but then out of nowhere, Ariza will make a beautiful dish to Trevor Booker for a slam. JaVale McGee used to drive Wiz fans crazy with his nightly sporadic highlight or bonehead outputs, now it appears that Ariza wants to take on that cardiac attack-inducing mantle from alter ego Pierre. However, at least Ariza is finally acting like he wants to be on the court.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
How did Trevor Booker work on his jump shot over the summer? “I just shot until I got tired,” he told me on media day. So far it’s paying off. Booker had made defenses pay by going 5-for-7 (71.4%) from 15-to-19 feet; he shot 15-for-35 (42.9%) from that range all last season. Problem is, starting all five games this season at the 4 spot has exposed Booker as … well, not really a starter. The most glaring issue is Booker’s Rebound Percentage (the percentage of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor) has plummeted from 14.5% last season to just 9.8% this season. This problem isn’t for lack of effort, but that he’s better providing a spark of energy off the bench. Booker finished with 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting with five rebounds and three fouls in 31 minutes against the Pacers, which is slightly underwhelming, but not as underwhelming as the three free throws Booker has attempted in 124 total minutes. He had a decent look to tie the game at 87 with three seconds left via a baby left-hand hook from about four feet away, but the ball slightly slipped out of Booker’s hands and the shot came up short, just like the Wizards.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
At first glance, Emeka’s line of 17 points and eight rebounds is quite commendable. When you peer inside the numbers, 18 shots and zero assists makes him a high-volume chucker (even if Roy Hibbert was giving him plenty of space). Of those 18 shots, only two were in the paint. Okafor went 6-for-14 from outside 10 feet. Why is the Wizards’ 6-foot-10 center taking 15 shots outside the paint? Why is he taking so many jumpers from long range? Is this really the purpose of Wittman’s offense? If you are wondering why Wizards only had seven trips to the free throw line, Okafor’s shot chart is a good place to start. Emeka was still a presence on the defensive end, helping limit Pacers All-Star Center Roy Hibbert to just seven points.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
Jordan Crawford’s stat line once again appeared relatively under control — 14 minutes off the bench, nine points (all via 3-for-6 on mostly deep 3-point shots), four rebounds, two assists, and one turnover. Problem is, is just takes one out-of-control shot to stick in people’s memories, and likely his coach’s craw. With the Pacers on a 7-0 run early in the fourth, thanks to Tyler Hansbrough, Crawford jacked this long 3-point attempt captured by @MikePradaSBN. Only one possession, but certainly a cultivator of how the Wizards went away from winning basketball in the end.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
Kevin Seraphin is still showing signs of hangover from Celtics double-teams in Boston last Wednesday night. Following up a bad outing against Milwaukee on Friday, Seraphin was completely off again, finishing with four points (2-for-7 from the field), two rebounds, and a team-low minus-12 in plus-minus. His jumper was short and his usual superb footwork was non-existent. Seraphin even threw in an Andray Blatche-like errant fade away to almost give Comcast play-by-play man Steve Buckhantz an aneurysm. It was not just his offensive game that was struggling, but his slow defensive rotations are starting to become a glaring issue. Coach Wittman laid into Seraphin after he didn’t help off his man, allowing an open jumper for Gerald Green. Let’s hope that this is just a hiccup for Seraphin and that teams have not figured out a recipe to neutralize him.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

TOTAL: 0 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council


The ol’ ball coach muttered something about free throws in his post-game press conference as seen on the Comcast broadcast:

“We’re learning. We’re making progress, but it’s tough, to be in five games and fight and battle the way we do, and, you know, benefit of the calls… Seven free-throws again tonight… But, I don’t know, I don’t understand the respect thing. But, we gotta keep going.”

And Ted Leonsis’ post-game diagnosis via his blog:

“We do need to get to the foul line more by going directly to the basket.”

Indeed, as mentioned, Washington attempts a league-low 14.6 free throws per game. Sure, John Wall, who averaged 6.1 FTAs per game last season, will help. But this team clearly has a lot more growing up to do.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


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 currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.