DC Council Game 20: Wizards 96 vs Lakers 102: Kobe Gets the Calls, Wiz Kids Take A(nother) Fall | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 20: Wizards 96 vs Lakers 102: Kobe Gets the Calls, Wiz Kids Take A(nother) Fall

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Updated: December 15, 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. 20, Washington Wizards vs Los Angeles Lakers in D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Days Like This.

Bradley Beal grimaces after a tough travelling call was made against him late in the game.

Washington Wizards 96 vs Los Angeles Lakers 102 [box score]

MVP: Guess we have to give it to Kobe. The refs would probably agree, and Randy Wittman certainly would not argue. “I thought there was some questionable calls down the stretch … those things tend to go their way,” said the grizzled, journeyman coach.

In any case, Kobe popped off over 35 percent of his team’s field goal attempts, made nine field goals in his 43:36 on the court (1-for-9 on 3s), went 11-for-13 at the free throw line, and propelled to Lakers to a 2-11 record when he scores at least 30 points. MVP, everyone.

Stat of the Game: The 19 turnovers from Washington came in some of the worst, out of focus ways — they led to 26 Laker points. Some of them standout: Ron Artest hounding Chris Singleton into a goofy ball-handling turnover early in the first quarter; Kevin Seraphin bumbling the ball away when he didn’t see Kobe lurking for a steal in the backcourt; Seraphin telegraphing a cross-court pass out the double team; Beal getting called for a pushing off charge against Chris Duhon in transition; Beal jumping to shoot when he didn’t realize Ron Artest was there to consume him and travelling; Etc.

Jordan Crawford led the way with four, but it was a team effort. Martell Webster, Beal, Seraphin, and Nene all had three turnovers each.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Haves and Have-Nots.

The Wizards started the fourth quarter down 16 points, and they slowly whittled the deficit away. A Cartier Martin 3 here, back-to-back buckets from Nene there (a jumper and a dunk, both assisted by Jordan Crawford); the Wizards cut LA’s lead to nine points 2:45 into the period. A wild Crawford lob to Martell Webster soon got the Wizards within seven points — Randy Wittman didn’t seem to like the pass, but it worked. When Nene’s two free throws got the Wizards within three points with over five minutes left, you thought they had a chance. But Dwight Howard hit a tough bucket against a double team, Crawford started playing pop-a-shot, and Kobe was granted free throw after free throw.

The Lakers are playing poorly right now, and certainly not much better than the Wizards, if even better at all. But the divide between the haves and the have-nots; those who can get by as necessary on offense when they need to, and those whose offensive confidence dwindles in crunch time, every time. Someday experiences like this might payoff for the Wizards, just not now.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Jordan Crawford
Jordan Crawford definitely suffered from a steez complex last night.  On one side, there was the player with a scorer’s mentality who despite not having the hot hand (5-for-17 from the field), was determined to keep shooting (hey Kobe did it too by shooting 9-for-29).  But unfortunately, Crawford was also responsible for running team from the point guard position, which compromised his ability to score with a free and clean conscience.  Three of Crawford’s passes resulting in easy dunks for his teammates (one for Seraphin, one for Nene, and a picture-perfect lob to Martell Webster in the fourth quarter), and at times he seemed to be on board to run the team.  Unfortunately, there were some bad shots, that seemed to find their mark in recent games, but not last night.  Perhaps he was saving it for Miami tonight.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
If the 19-year old rookie has not had his “welcome to the NBA” moment yet, Kobe Bryant provided it on Friday night. Afterward, Beal admitted that early in the game, Kobe drove, grabbed one of Bradley’s arms, then failed in the air, picking up a two-shot foul. It was a savvy veteran move that a 30,000-point scorer has mastered and hopefully Beal can take something away from the schooling by the “Black Mamba.” Otherwise, it was a forgettable game for Beal, he finished with four points, 2-for-7 FGs, 0-for-3 3Ps, four rebounds, one steal, one assist, and three turnovers. He was mired with foul trouble all evening and Beal answered “no comment” when asked about an iffy offensive foul on a fast break opportunity. One bad miscue came late in the game with the Wizards down six. Beal caught a pass in the corner and inexplicably jumped up in the air, landing with the ball for a travel — he wanted to shoot, but didn’t realize how close Metta World Peace was. Beal later then failed to box out Kobe on a free throw, who’s tip in basically sealed the Lakers win. These growing pains are going to transpire as the youngster learns the ropes, but they sure are are hard to swallow in such crucial moments for a three win team.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster (and Nene) set the tone for the Wizards with thier aggressive play in the first quarter. He didn’t hesitate to take the 3-point shot when he was open, and when that wasn’t available, he headed to the basket for easy layups or trips to the foul line, where he was a perfect 5-for-5. Unfortunately for Webster, he was occasionally tasked with guarding Kobe Bryant as well. He and teammate Bradley Beal definitely made Kobe work by forcing him take 29 shots to score 30 points. But Webster also fouled Kobe as he shot a three-pointer (a debatable call at best), and Kobe hit all three fouls shots to stretch the Lakers’ lead from five to eight with four minutes left. The Wizards never got closer than five after that. Given the circumstances, Webster gave a valiant effort, but in the end–much like the Wizards’ season overall–it was not enough.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
Chris Singleton was active early with a few tip-ins, but overall was a non-factor and he only played three minutes in the second half. He tallied four points and five boards in 15 minutes. Singleton has found a role this season as a stretch four and due to injuries, landed a spot in the starting lineup. He has made tremendous strides from his rocky rookie campaign, yet, there are still glaring weaknesses in his game that keep popping up. It is a positive that he’s taking the ball to the hoop more and is avoiding being a one-dimensional 3-point shooter (as seemed to be the case during his rookie year), but the problem is that his handles are atrocious. I cringe when Singleton dribbles because there is a high likelihood of a turnover or the offense deteriorating. And if he is able to draw a foul, he’s shooting 56 percent from the free-throw line, which means that isn’t really an advantageous outcome either. Chris has now scored a total of six points in the last three games combined and for the NBA’s worst offense. That is not going to cut it.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Allow me to dazzle you with all three of Emeka Okafor’s highlights. There was a 20-second stretch halfway through the first quarter when he personally accounted for a 5-0 Wizards run. First, he hit a short turnaround jumper over Dwight Howard, and on the very next offensive possession, he found a wide open Martell Webster for a 3-pointer.  Later, in the third quarter, he had a devasting block of Devin Ebanks, and that basically concluded Okafor’s effectiveness. In the first three minutes of the third quarter, Okafor missed three shots in the post, all within 11 feet, and he was part of the reason the Lakers were able to stretch their lead from three to 10. Scoring 17 points in your hometown is nice and even encouraging. But coming up small against the Lakers, and the man who was drafted ahead of you in 2004 in Dwight Howard, is not nice and even more disappointing.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Nene
Okafor continues to start at center while Nene’s minutes are carefully parsed out due to plantar fasciitis. But against the Lakers, Nene was able to effectively influence the game in just 22 minutes of play (as opposed to Okafor, who did nothing in 17 minutes). Nene established deep post position at times, and turned that into easy baskets or trips to the foul line, where he hit 9-of-12 shots. Nene (and Seraphin) also played physical defense against Dwight Howard, and did not allow him to find a rhythm in the post. When you combine those factors with his eight rebounds (four offensive), it feels like Nene should be starting once again.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Cartier Martin
The sold out Verizon crowd all came for the Jodie Meeks versus Cartier Martin battle, right? This is how the game was shaping up as Martin came out firing away with 15 points, three 3-pointers, and two successful And-Ones through the first two quarters. Meeks fueled the Lakers offense with 14 first half points. Cartier cooled off considerably in the second half (2-for-9 FGs), and his repeated misfires from the right wing in the fourth quarter were momentum killers. Martin poured in a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds, two steals and one assist. He still tends to get lost on both offense and defense, but the Wizards stayed in this game due his high scoring output.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Coaching Moments.

Assistant Coach Don Zierden and Kevin Seraphin.

There’s also this tweet from Rashad Mobley:

Post-Game: Randy Wittman

Coach Wittman’s quote after the Golden State’s loss continues to resonate:

“Hey, there are going to be days like that, as Mama used to say.”

It feels like this response applies to every close Wizards loss. At this point, these “moral victories” are no longer worth counting and a record of 3-17 speaks for itself.
The final stat sheet is almost equal and Randy referenced his team’s 12 first half turnovers as a deciding factor in the game, allowing L.A. many easy opportunities. These mistakes, 19 total turnovers, kept Washington from pulling out the victory.

“We have to give them [Lakers] some credit on that. We had six turnovers at the half from our bigs because they were trapping them and we couldn’t handle that very well,” Wittman stated. “We had the ball stolen out of the traps a couple of times and when that happens, our big men would make long passes that would get intercepted. We shot well in the first half and then the second half we shot 34 percent. That’s what I think hurt us.”

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

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From the Other Side: Mike D’Antoni

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Prior to the game, D’Antoni provided an explanation of how he thought this Lakers offense should run versus how the Lakers have been running it during their then four-game losing streak:

During the Wizards game, the Lakers (kind of) abandoned the lets-watch-Kobe-do-it-all approach that had been on display the previous night against the Knicks, and they kept the ball poppin, as Mike Miller would say. Kobe still shot the ball 29 times and scored 30 points, and the ball was in his hands a tremendous amount. But when the Lakers were at their best, the ball would go into Dwight Howard, and then he’d kick it out to Jodie Meeks, Chris Duhon, and even Metta World Peace. Howard never established an effective post game, and he only had two assists, but he was perfectly amenable to running the offense from the inside and back out to the perimeter.

As a result, Jodie Meeks had 24 points, and he made the Wizards pay for doubling Howard and overly focusing on Kobe. After the game, the Lakers talked about the importance of sharing the ball ,and playing with rhythm, but they (they meaning Mike D’Antoni) made it clear, there is work to be done.

[videos via Rashad Mobley]

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Cartier Martin Hustle.

vs. lil’ ole Dwight Howard

Cartier Martin muscles the ball and draws a foul on Dwight Howard.

 


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