DC Council Game 15: Wizards 105 vs Heat 101: Positive Pixels & Post-Game Steez, Win No. 2 Against Miami's Big 3 | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 15: Wizards 105 vs Heat 101: Positive Pixels & Post-Game Steez, Win No. 2 Against Miami's Big 3

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Updated: December 5, 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. 15, Washington Wizards vs Miami Heat; contributors: John Converse Townsend and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Pre-Game Steez.

[photo via Adam McGinnis]

Post-Game Steez.

[photo via instragram]

Washington Wizards 105 vs Miami Heat 101
[box score]

Stat of the Game: 31 assists for the Wizards (on 38 made field goals) shatters the previous season-high in team assists of 26 (achieved twice). This instance of efficient, pass-receiving offense—30 or more assists combined with 40 or less made buckets—occurred for just the sixth time all season in the NBA on Tuesday night.

Player of the Game: Jordan Crawford likes to cook when he smells the popcorn, and Miami always brings the popcorn. Crawfish tallied 22 points on 16 shots, 6 assists, 1 turnover, and a team-leading plus-7 in plus/minus off the bench.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Don’t sleep on key free throws.

The game was chock-full of key moments. Most key was the Wizards punching first, defensively, and then always holding off Miami’s pushes to come back and take the reins. It’s as if continued losing slowly built a wall for the Wizard kids, and on this night, under the right circumstances, they were able to keep the enemy on the other side of that wall. The Heat missed a lot of open 3s amongst other good attempts, that’s for sure. Offensively, they seemed to be in a fog for most of the night. The Washington Wizards won that game, 105-101, but Miami had, at most, 49 percent of the share in losing it.

The sunshine comes in that the Wiz Kids were refreshingly unselfish in controlling the ball (per the aforementioned team assist total of 31), but the satisfaction may come in that they won the battle of wills at the free throw line. With about 10 seconds left and the Wizards holding on to a two point lead, Jordan Crawford missed the first of two at the line. Thankfully, he held strong and made the second one, even if it did take LeBron a blink of an eye to score after a timeout. Crawford didn’t care. He went back to the line to make two more free throws, putting the Wizards 104-101 with six seconds left and effectively ending the game.

It also was a pro move when Crawford had words for LeBron prior to the Heat star missing two key free throws with 2:30 left.

—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 got off to a hot start, keeping his dribble alive, pushing the tempo and rifling passes around the perimeter to keep the Heat on their heels. He even managed to weave through the Miami defense and around LeBron James before banking home an unexpected layup. That energy carried over into the second half, more precisely, his four-assist, five-point run to begin the third quarter. Then Shaun Livingston checked in,  and he ended up playing the final 16 minutes, pushing enough of the right buttons to complete Washington’s second win of the season. Still, Price played as well as anyone could have expected. He finished with 14 points (5-for-7 from the field), four assists and one rebound in 23 minutes.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal finished with 10 points, three assists, two rebounds and one block. He was benched early after picking up two quick fouls and struggled guarding Wade, who schooled the teenager on several drives to the hoop. Nothing unexpected for a rookie trying to learn the ropes of the NBA against an All-Star. A positive was watching Beal stay into the game from the bench with his teammates instead of moping because he did not play during crunch time. Beal’s team-first unselfishness will serve him well as finds his way in this league.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
We criticized Trevor Ariza in the season’s early going, along with a lot of people, but now we’ll be one of the first to say that losing him for an extended period of time could hurt. Ariza started the game with a strip of LeBron James, a recovery and push in transition, sealing the deal with a pass to Bradley Beal for a dunk. The play would epitomize what Washington needed to do all night to win, which was surprise the Heat with good defense (the unfocused manner that defined Miami’s approach to the game certainly helped). Ariza played with active hands and found teammates for five assists, along with two points, four rebounds (2-for-6 FGs), and zero turnovers in 16 limited minutes. Ariza picked up his third steal of the night around three and a half minutes into the third quarter and immediately pulled up limping. He would go to the locker room and later be declared out for the game with a left calf strain. Status: to be determined…

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
I’ve been critical of Singleton, but he did it all like a Swiss Army knife against the defending NBA champs. Wittman was wise enough to give Singleton the start at the 4 in place of Kevin Seraphin, and he justified his coach’s decision by outrebounding LeBron through three quarters, defending players of all shapes and sizes, protecting the paint and even getting to the free throw line—something the Wizards haven’t been able to do all season. This second-year project produced as a starter, earning a team-high 35 minutes, along with nine points, nine boards, three assists (one turnover), and one block.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Due to Miami going small, the contributions of Emeka Okafor went mostly unnoticed, and he once again sat out the entire fourth quarter. In his 12 minutes on the court, he scored four points and grabbed five rebounds. Since Seraphin’s scoring is a more valuable commodity than Okafor’s defensive-oriented skill set, and Kevin plays better with Nene and Singleton, this makes Emeka the odd man out. The former UConn star’s services will be more essential against Atlanta’s formidable front line.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
Hours before the Wizards vs. Heat game, ESPN’s (Insider) Bradford Doolittle called Jordan Crawford “Washington’s most tradable player because of his explosive scoring ability off the bench and rookie contract.” (He also called for Ernie Grunfeld’s head.) Crawford again led the Wizards in scoring with 22 points on 16 shots (faders, triples and scoop layups), but proved his worth with a team-high six assists (three in the fourth quarter). He played every second in the final frame and went 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the last 10 seconds to seal the “W.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster drew some tough defensive assignments and didn’t always succeed. A buck-down by LeBron here, a 3 on him by Mike Miller there, a cross-up by Dwyane Wade all over the place. But Webster hung in there, and he always hustled, doing more than his part to set an overall team tone on defense. His 3-for-9 shooting doesn’t look great, but most of those misses were aggressive misses. Webster got to the free throw line for five attempts and made all of them. He also went 2-for-4 from long range, continuing to prove his value in being able to stretch the floor. Webster added three rebounds, one assist, one turnover, and one foul to his totals; five of his points came in the fourth quarter.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

More rest for the weary.

[photos via Adam McGinnis]

When you are the head coach of a 1-13 team, there is naturally going to be loud detractors. From the outside looking in, there would appear to be a strong case that perhaps Randy Wittman should be on the hot seat. Those following this team closely know that he has been coaching his ass off, witnessing Wittman bench veteran starters, show a willingness to be flexible in his lineups and search for any answer to the season-opening slump.TAI’s John Converse Townsend caught up with Dwyane Wade, who gave props to Wittman. “They run some great sets,” Wade said. “When we were going through shoot-around today, we knew that they ran some great sets, a lot of movement—the coach has done a good job with that. It was challenging, defensively.”

Wittman tweaked the starters Tuesday night versus the Heat by inserting Chris Singleton at the 4 for Kevin Seraphin (Miami starts LeBron and Rashard Lewis at the 3/4 combo), and Wittman’s decision paid dividends. The coach controlled the board with the help of four bench players—Crawford, Webster, Seraphin and Livingston (along with Singleton)—in the final quarter to victory.

In the locker room before the contest, Wittman instilled an “us against the world” confidence in his players. He relayed what he told them to the media afterwards, “We need to have a statement game, we haven’t had a statement game … what better way to play in front of the fans that we knew were going to be here and to beat this team. And they took it to heart.”

The coach professed that he can finally get some rest after the big win. Sleep well, coach, you deserve it.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

The Locals.

[Outside of Lou's City Bar in Columbia Heights, via Adam McGinnis]

[photo via Adam McGinnis]

[photo via Adam McGinnis]


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