DC Council Game 33: Wizards 101 vs Thunder 99: Taking Care of Business | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 33: Wizards 101 vs Thunder 99: Taking Care of Business

Updated: January 8, 2013

[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. 33, Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Rashad Mobley from the Verizon Center and John Converse Townsend from the couch (instant replays, yo!).]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council


Washington Wizards 101 vs Oklahoma City Thunder 99 [box score]

MVP: Even Bill Raftery would have to take the time to admire Bradley Beal’s onions.  He played 44 minutes and shot just 7-for-17 from the field, but an impressive 5-for-7 from the 3-point line, en route to 22 points… And in hitting the game-winning shot last night, he eluded both the 6-foot-7 Thabo Sefolosha and the 6-foot-11 Kendrick Perkins—two players known for their defensive prowess. Not bad for a 19-year old rookie.

Stat of the Game: The Wizards shot 10-for-18 (55%) from the 3-point line. Bradley Beal and Martell Webster led the way by shooting a combined 9-for-13 (69%). Conversely, Oklahoma City shot just 6-for-25 from deep (24%).

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Much in the Clutch.

On Sunday afternoon, Martell Webster’s favorite football team (the Seahawks) beat up and stuck it to Kevin Durant’s squad (the Redskins) in the NFC Wild Card game. The very next day, Webster decided to rub additional salt in K.D.’s wound.

With 5:09 left in the fourth quarter, Webster hit a 17-foot jumper to put the Wizards up 92-83. Predictably, the Thunder went on an 11-3 run and cut the Wizards’ lead to 95-94. The Thunder’s 94th point was scored on an emphatic Durant dunk that brought the Verizon Center to is feet and provoked a demonstrative, defiant facial expression out of Durant. It appeared as if the Thunder had the momentum and were poised to put the Wizards away. But Webster went down on the very next possession, hit a tough 3-pointer, and got fouled by Russell Westbrook—he later hit the free throw to put the Wizards up five points with 1:43 left. If the Wizards had failed to convert, the Thunder would have surely stolen the momentum from the Wizards, who watched Miami and Brooklyn do just that on Friday and Sunday nights, respectively. Martell Webster’s big basket kept the Wizards in the game, kept OKC playing from behind, and set up Bradley Beal’s game-ending exploits.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Garrett Temple
At 6-foot-3, few NBA point guards have an edge on Russell Westbrook size-wise, but Temple does, standing 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan. The former D-Leaguer gave Westbrook space around the perimeter, tempting him to take jump shots all the while knowing he could recover to contest, and the strategy worked: Westbrook shot 4-for-17 from the field (12 attempts coming outside the paint), and had it not been for 10 attempts at the free throw line, Westbrook’s stat line would have looked just half as good.Temple closed the night with nine points, four rebounds, three assists (three turnovers), one steal, one block, and a team-high plus/minus of plus-7. And, more importantly, Temple became the fourth different point guard to lead the Wizards to victory this season.(Something to keep in mind: When attacking the basket, it helps to recognize the help defense waiting in the background—it’s often a more important indicator of success than being able to blow by the man in front of the ball. There were a few times when Temple would make a strong move, but get stuck in traffic… He’ll learn.)

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
A while back when Beal was struggling, some of us at TAI were wondering if the third overall pick would even be selected to the NBA Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star weekend. That now seems like a foregone conclusion, as the reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month’s repeated outstanding performances as of late have propelled him into legitimate discussions for Rookie of the Year. Bradley’ signature rookie moment up to this point was his game tying 3-ball in overtime versus the Nets on Friday, which Wizards lost in heartbreaking fashion. Now, there is a new moment to add in his game winning leaner over the defending Western Conference champs. Beal will be deservedly lauded for his pressure shot-making ability, but legging out almost 45 minutes to assist his undermanned Wizards roster was just as valuable in the upset victory. Beal finished with 22 points (7-17 FGs, 5-7 3Ps), five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two turnovers. The teenager is growing up before our very eyes, and it sure is fun to watch. BEAL WITH IT!

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

3 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
How’s Kevin Durant for a tough assignment? Not only is K.D. the NBA’s reigning scoring champ, but this season he’s evolved into one of those weird hoopers who shoots better than 90 percent from the free throw line, 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land. But Webster didn’t back down. Early in the first, he hit a couple of corner 3s—lax defense from Durant made it easy (Durant himself said the Thunder didn’t take the Wizards seriously enough), but Webster made them pay. And he continued to look for his shot as the game went on, winning a team-high five free throws and converting on four attempts. (Yes, getting to the stripe is still a problem for the Wiz, but it helps when players like Webster succeed—he’s holds the 11th-best free throw percentage in the NBA this season, .880.)There was also a bit of heroic defending from No. 9 with fewer than three minutes left in the game, Wiz up 95-90. Webster forced Durant into two consecutive misses, the first coming just five feet from the basket and the second from the top of the 3-point arc—Webster had been knocked down on Durant’s first attempt, but somehow recovered in time to contest the deep ball. Unfortunately, a second straight offensive board from Serge Ibaka won Durant and the Thunder a third try for points, and the star found them from at free throw line after drawing a foul on Webster.

Webster finished the game tied for a team-high with 22 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, and a message to all playoff teams: While our offense is the worst in the league, we try really hard and our defense turns out OK, sometimes.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2.5 out of 3 stars

There were moments on Monday night when Seraphin seemed to have his way in the post with Serge Ibaka, Hasheem Thabeet and Kendrick Perkins, and the move was always the same. Two power dribbles, a spin, and then a jump hook of sorts.  Unfortunately, Seraphin only hit eight of his 20 shots, and 40 percent is not acceptable for a big man. And for Seraphin to shoot the ball 20 times and only have four trips to the free throw line (and grabbing just four rebounds), is not enough on a night when Ibaka went for 26 points and 11 rebounds, and Perkins grabbed 11 rebounds as well. Seraphin has the post moves down, now he needs to do dirty work good big men do. Still, he was a presence in Nene’s absence, and he deserves praise for that. Seraphin has also attempted 10 free throws over the past three games (almost 29 percent of his season total FTAs in 32 games) and has made nine of the ten. Charity Stripe Progress.

Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
The veteran big man continued his recent high level-output with another double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds. Emeka Okafor had a ferocious block of a Kevin Durant dunk attempt, although he wanted no part of Durantula’s response: a one-handed highlight dunk. Okafor still allowed too many offensive rebounds, especially down the stretch. But considering his rocky play during the first part of season where he would sit out large stretches at the end of games, Wizards fans should be happy with this solid production.

Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
It is possible that Trevor Ariza thought of some new offensive moves during his 17-game hiatus due to a strained calf. It is also possible that he felt some obligation to score more due to Jordan Crawford’s absence against the Thunder. But whatever it was that compelled Ariza to take a series of bad shots which disrupted the flow of the Wizards’ offense, he needs to put that line of thinking away. Ariza’s game is defense and slashing to the basket in the flow of the offense, and he did neither particularly well in Monday night’s victory. This is just Ariza’s first game back, and he will get better, but the old cliche’ of “letting the game come to you” applies.

Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Shelvin Mack
Jan Vesely, super-sub, scored double-digit points for the first time this season (the 11th time in his NBA career), grabbed seven rebounds (four offensive), and added one assist and one block in 20 minutes. He had a plus/minus of minus-13 in the second quarter, but picked up his play in the second half, going plus-10 and playing a role in the Wizards’ 10-3 run in the fourth quarter.Notable moments from the win: He surprised the defending Kevin Durant with a quick jump hook at the rim, he threw down a transition slam in traffic, he forced Thabo Sefolosha into a 24-second violation (long arms!), and he pestered Ibaka into a turnover (traveling). There was all that, plus offensive putbacks, at least one tip-slam and enough hustle to make Rick Ross proud.

Say it with me now: “Free Airwolf!”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Coach’s Clipboard

The Wizards were down to seven healthy players and had to add two more newly healthy in Ariza and Price to make nine. After the game, Wittman made sure to emphasize that the doctors had cleared Ariza and Price… to the constant chuckle of the gathered sports media who have been living in a RG3 injury melodrama over the past 24 hours. With such a depleted roster, it is shocking that Wizards were able to stay competitive against one of the NBA’s best teams, let alone triumph. The whole coaching staff deserves much credit and afterwards, Coach Wittman commended his team’s resolve:

“Well, first off, win or lose, I couldn’t have been more proud of the guys. After how the game ended last night in Miami, and flying back, I was really proud. I told the guys before we took the floor that the nine we put out there were going to play hard. I knew that. I knew those nine were going to go out and give everything they had.”

If the Wizards would have lost this game, I would have likely spent these paragraphs criticizing Wittman’s terrible decision to pull out an effective Temple in favor of Price in the final two minutes. A.J. went hero ball and, of course, that did not end well and almost cost the Wizards a chance at victory. However, Randy did draw up the final play for Beal and during the huddle beforehand, he made sure to inform his squad that another snake-bitten defeat was not going to transpire this go around.

“I just said at the timeout to the guys, ‘How many times have we been in this spot?’  We’re going to get the last shot. If we make it we win. It’s time for us to be on the other end, to have someone step up and make a play.’

“Bradley (Beal) made a hell of a shot, a hell of a play with a pump fake to get (Kendrick) Perkins to go for it, he kind of dipped down underneath him. He made a hell of a shot.”

Agreed, coach.

Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Mr. Big Shot, for one night.

Two straight losses to the Wizards hurts.

New-Look #WittmanFace? Nahhhh.

Screenshots courtesy of @recordsANDradio 

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.