DC Council Game 26: Wizards 84 vs Cavaliers 87: Shelvin Mack Back, But He's No Irving | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 26: Wizards 84 vs Cavaliers 87: Shelvin Mack Back, But He's No Irving

Updated: December 27, 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. 26, Washington Wizards vs Cleveland Cavaliers; contributors: Dan Diamond, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie from behind the television screen.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Who Dat?

During the television broadcast, Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz joked that he thought this was Ernie Grunfeld for a second. Perhaps the lady next to him thought so, too.

Washington Wizards 84 vs Cleveland Cavaliers 87 [box score]

MVP: Nene finished with a plus-25 in plus/minus over his 26 minutes on the court while the Wizards lost by three points. His stat line: 16 points (6-10 FGs, 4-5 FTs), seven rebounds, four assists, four turnovers, and two blocks.

Stat of the Game: Maybe they are just kids, maybe Wizards player development is just a mirage. Whatever the reason, Kevin Seraphin (minus-15 in 12 minutes), Jan Vesely (minus-11 in 21 minutes), Jordan Crawford (minus-8 in 27 minutes), and Chris Singleton (minus-6 in 6.5 minutes), just aren’t cutting it. Otherwise, the Wizards starting five (Mack, Beal, Webster, Nene and Okafor) finished plus-12 in their 10 minutes on the court together, making 13 of their 17 attempted field goals (76.5%). Twenty other 5-man units were used by Randy Wittman against the Cavs and they shot a combined 22-59 (37.3%) from the floor.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Minor Details.

There were so many moments that felt like a turning point for Washington—a Luke Walton 3-pointer that rattled in and out halfway through the fourth quarter, immediately followed by an off-balance Jordan Crawford shot that somehow went down—had the Wizards ended up winning. But the game slipped away with about 25 seconds left, when Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson was able to convert a driving … something … that turned into a three-point play, giving Cleveland a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Shelvin Mack
In the first minute of Shelvin Mack’s return to the NBA, the more traditional point guard (Mack played more 2 in college but has always been groomed as an NBA point) showed the Wizards what they were missing. An alley-oop to Martell Webster was the first of Mack’s seven assists, and to that total he added six points and six rebounds. But the second-year point guard had difficulty executing on some basic plays in the second half, as SB Nation’s Mike Prada noted after an ugly Mack pass was intercepted for an easy Alonzo Gee dunk. And a minute later, with the game tied at 79, Mack turned the ball over on a drive where he also hurt his groin and needed to be removed. Welcome back to the Wizards, Shelvin.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
<picks up broken record labeled “Bradley Beal,” plays it anyway/> Minor details: Bradley Beal played fewer than three minutes in the second half—three insignificant minutes that produced a single assist, his fourth of the game. Then, Beal was replaced by Jordan Crawford, never to be seen nor heard from again. The rookie finished with two points earned at the free throw line, went 0-for-5 from the field and grabbed two rebounds. He was eager to get out in transition, which was nice to see for two reasons: it puts pressure on the defense and creates space for ball handlers. And, if you’re inclined to look far into the future, it means he’ll do just fine running with John Wall.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster did his part on the glass, pulling down 10 rebounds in 34 minutes (meanwhile, Kevin Seraphin couldn’t manage a single rebound in his 12 minutes off the bench). Webster also scored 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting (2-for-3 from deep) and added two assists (but four turnovers). In thinking about the future (yes, already), I like Webster as a “glue guy” on the Wizards. Perhaps not always starting (although, he should keep the job over Trevor Ariza when he returns), but certainly, as he’s proven this season in being healthy, Webster is a solid NBA rotation player.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

As usual, the big Brazilian seemed to be on the court whenever the Wizards made a run—and his plus-minus stats (plus-25) on Wednesday bear that out. His 16 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes were the latest indicator that he’s been one of the most effective players in the league … when he’s been able to suit up. Nene’s PER of 23.71 ranks 7th in the Association, but he’s played about one-third as many minutes as the players ahead of him in the top ten.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Once again, it was evident that playing next to an established big like Nene really affects Emeka Okafor’s presence and value. The duo spent 15 minutes on the court together to the tune of plus-21 in plus/minus. Of course, Nene spent 18 minutes on the court with Martell Webster to the tune of plus-23, and the Brazilian also spent 14 minutes on the court with Shelvin Mack to the tune of plus-21. So, Nene can make just about anyone look good. But, Emeka turned in another solid individual effort, especially on the boards in finishing with 10 rebounds to go with his 17 points and four blocks in 30.5 minutes. Late in the game with the score tied, Okafor was slow to rotate, allowing a Dion Waiters 3-pointer, and on the next play, he committed an offense foul (arm hook) against Cleveland’s Tyler Zeller. He did later hit a jump hook over Zeller but also missed a key free throw with 46 seconds left.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
For the first time in two weeks, Crawford came off the bench … although that didn’t stop him from hoisting a team-high 15 shots from the field. To his credit, Crawford made a number of difficult, off-balance shots in the fourth quarter to give the Wizards a slight lead, but he also missed all four of his attempts in the last five minutes, including a look before of the buzzer that would have tied the game.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
“The game came down to the final possesion, really, and there were some unusual players on the court there,” said CSN’s Tony Limarzi in the postgame broadcast. Limarzi was talking about (and I quote) “Garrett—what’s the new guy?—Garrett Temple, just picked up from the D-League.” The “New Guy” played 19 minutes, dunked over Tristan Thompson for his only points of the game, grabbed three boards, dished out two assists, picked Tyler Zeller’s pocket, and committed one turnover. Like Thompson, Temple finished with a minus-10 plus/minus. But Thompson had season-high 15 and 12 to show for it, a clutch three-point play late and a big role in the win. Temple drew a comparison in physique to Shaun Livingston, now of the Cleveland Cavaliers (DNP – Coach’s Decision) from Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhtanz. So, Wizards…

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

How many games left?

After the first half, SB Nation’s Conrad Kaczmarek tweeted: “The Cavs are trailing the Wizards in virtually every statistic except for two: points and number of Kyrie Irving’s on the roster.” Perhaps Wittman saw that re-tweeted somewhere, got pissed and delivered an inspired locker room speech—the Wiz started the second half down, 43-45, but found themselves ahead by nine with 7:03 to play in the third.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter.

Wittman’s roster, assembled from a lost and found bin, scored five points in the final 6:18; the Cavaliers scored 14.

What could Wittman have done? Not all that much, really. The starting frontcourt of Martell Webster, Nene and Emeka Okafor were in. Jordan Crawford and Garrett Temple, playing in place of the injured Mack, joined them…

Chalk this up as another winnable game lost in another lost season, coach. Your team’s playoff odds as low as statistically possible. And the talent pool on the roster isn’t much higher—Luke Walton outplayed both Jan Vesely *and* Kevin Seraphin.

56 games to play.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Oh, hey Shaun.

Ex-Wizard Shaun Livingston, now a Cleveland Cavalier.

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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.