DC Council Game 37: Wizards 112 at Nuggets 108: Wall's Mile-High Free Throw Redemption | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 37: Wizards 112 at Nuggets 108: Wall's Mile-High Free Throw Redemption

Updated: January 19, 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. 37, Washington Wizards at Denver Nuggets; contributor: Kyle WeidieAdam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend from behind the television screen.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Jimmy Wall’s Game-Saving Block.

Washington Wizards 112 at Denver Nuggets 108 [box score]

MVP: John Wall scored 14 points on nine shots, went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and hit the FT two that counted the most: a couple to put the Wizards up four with two seconds left. Wall added 12 assists and six turnovers to the night.

Stat of the Game: The Nuggets average a league-leading 56.2 points in the paint per game. The difference between them and the second-place team, the Houston Rockets (46.7 PITP/game), is greater than the difference between the Rockets and the 26th-best paint scoring team, the Golden State Warriors (37.7). The Wizards rank 29th in points in the paint per game with 33.2.

So, the night in Denver followed that pattern: 54 PITP for the Nuggets, 30 PITP for the Wizards. Instead, Washington turned to the boards for the victory. On the season, Denver is second in the NBA, averaging 45.6 rebounds per game; Washington is ranked a fairly close sixth with 43.8. But on Friday, the Wiz out-glassed the Nugs 45 to 34. It also helped that Washington shot the ball well, 51.3 percent to Denver’s 48.8 percent.

And guess what: with John Wall on the court this season (all 93 minutes), the Wizards average 103.4 points per 48 minutes. With Wall off the court, all 1,718 minutes of it, the Wizards average 88.4 points per 48.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

The Block.

John Wall’s big free throws, to be described below, was a moment. The Wizards giving up 23 third-quarter points to Ty Lawson (8-8 FGs, 4-4 3Ps, 3-4 FTs) was another moment—although, Washington was able to keep up with Denver’s 37 points in the period with 35 of their own … thanks to 19 combined from Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.

Kevin Seraphin scoring 14 points on 5-for-6 FGs (4-for-4 on FTs!) in the fourth quarter was a HUGE moment. (Seraphin finished the game with 18 points and attempted more than two free throws for just the fourth time in 36 games.)

Lot’s of moments, but the key one I’m choosing is Wall’s last-second rejection of Lawson with the Wizards up two points, 110-108. Wall blocked the attempt, got the rebound/steal, and sealed the deal with those free throws.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Garrett Temple
The Wizards have picked up the pace on offense over the last five games, using an average of 97.51 possessions per 48 minutes compared to the team’s 94.11 mark for the season. Part of that increase can be attributed to John Wall’s return, but Price has played a part—he’s always looking to push the ball up court and, unfortunately, won’t hesitate to fire a PUJIT (pull-up jumper in transition). Against Denver, however, it was Price’s defense that left a lot to be desired.The third quarter featured a light-weight bout between Ty Lawson and Price, one that, if waged in the ring, would have been stopped early by the referee. Lawson took whatever he wanted—shooting 7-for-7 from the field and scoring 18 of his 23 third-quarter points against Price. That flurry did damage, putting the Wiz in a 10-point hole with 3:18 to play in the period, but with Wall returning to the floor, Lawson didn’t quite have the power to drop the Wiz to the canvas on this night. Price played just two minutes in the fourth, and finished the game with four points, three assists (one turnover), and a team-worst -11 plus/minus.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Beal was the Wizards’ top performer for the second game in a row, scoring 23 points (8-for-13 FG) and adding three rebounds, four assists and one block in 32 minutes. But he’s been one of the team’s top performers in the last five, too, averaging 20.8 pointers per contest on 61.7% shooting. He’s so dangerous in transition, able to score at the rim or find space for his sweet shot on the perimeter. This season, Beal is scoring 1.27 points per transition play (and he’s scoring at least one point on 60.9% of his transition possessions, per mySynergySports.com). But Beal’s struggles against taller, longer guards continued against the 6-foot-9 Corey Brewer, who dropped 17 points in 14 shots, but the rookie’s offensive output made up for it. Oh, and Beal went 3-for-4 from the free throw line in crunch time, despite being slammed to the floor by Kosta Kofous, to protect a narrow lead and seal the win.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster’s offense, in general, has been better than Trevor Ariza’s (.518 eFG% to .432 eFG% on the season)—although, Ariza did score 11 points in the third quarter (14 on the game, 5-for-10 FGs, 3-for-7 3Ps). Webster also hustles more, rebounds better, and overall plays more within himself and less space-cadety than Ariza. However, Trevor is clearly the better defender. And there are some things that Martell Webster does on defense sometimes that gets his team beat. Not all the time, and Webster isn’t a bad defender (nor is Ariza void of bad defensive moments); it’s just that Ariza is better. But, that makes Ariza more ideal to keep coming off the bench. Wall, Nene, Okafor, and even Beal (a learning Beal), form a solid defensive lineup—that crew need’s Webster’s complementary O. However, guys like Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford being part of the second unit—as scorers—need to play more with a player like Ariza. So, that is that.Webster played 20 minutes against Denver, had 10 points (3-for-7 FGs, 1-for-4 3Ps), five rebounds, four assists, and four fouls—a less-than-ideal night, but Webster always finds ways to contribute.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

It was an emotional Colorado homecoming for the Brazilian, who had said the Mile High City is where he grew up, and figured that he would spend the rest of his career there after inking a five-year deal in December 2011. You could tell early that nerves were negatively affecting Nene’s play in his first game back to Denver since being traded away last spring. Nene finished with seven points (3-for-8 FGs), four rebounds, three steals, three turnovers, one block, and one assist in 29 minutes. Nene spent an inordinate time complaining to officials, and his dismal 1-for-5 showing at charity stripe were indicative of his struggles. However, when the game mattered in fourth quarter, Nene was battling effectively down low for loose balls and setting massive picks to free up his teammates, while the player he was exchanged for, JaVale McGee, was on the bench. It was not a typical Nene solid outing, but his team picked up the upset win—something that will always bring out his trademark big grin.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Okafor flew into the Mile High City averaging 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds over his last five, and disappointed against a Denver front court that featured Kosta Kofous, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari. Sure, he finished with a respectable 10 points and seven rebounds, but Okafor struggled against all three Nuggets, losing sprints in transition and getting jammed in the low post. Big Mek took his regular spot on the bench for the fourth quarter and added three steals, two blocks, but three turnovers as well in 21 minutes.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
Wall’s two crucial free throw misses received much of the scrutiny for Wizards blowing a winnable contest in Sacramento, but real culprit of the costly stagnant offense in final stretches of the game was Seraphin. He missed open guys, predetermined his moves and turned the ball over at first sign of a double-team. This was troubling because Beal was feeling it and no one on Kings roster could stay in front of Wall. Seraphin was turning into a black hole and over relying too much on his jump shot. Fans online started to crucify Seraphin for his ball hog ways, and one even cleverly remarked that Seraphin had morphed into 2010-11 Andray Blatche.Against the Nuggets, Seraphin shut up some critics with an outstanding performance. He poured in 18 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one block, and only one turnover in 26 minutes. Kevin played within the offense, mixed up his moves, and get this, he shot FOUR three throws, drilling them all. This time he came up big in final quarter with 14 points and his put-back in final minute was one of biggest buckets of his short career. More showings like one, fans will fall back in love with the funny French-speaking guy otherwise known as “Snakey.”

Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

2.5 out of 3 stars

John Wall
“J. Wall thrives for moments like that. … We’ll probably never see that again, but I am happy he missed,” said Kings forward and friend of Wall’s, DeMarcus Cousins, after Wall missed two free throws with 30 seconds left in a tie game. The Wizards ended up losing, because Tyreke Evans was able to go 1-for-2 from the line. Two nights later, in Denver, Wall found himself at the line with the game on the line, kind of. It was actually a chance to ‘ice’ the game, as the Wizards were up two on the Nuggets with two seconds left. Tough shots nonetheless, especially with fresh key misses on the brain. The shots made people forget key FT missed by Jordan Crawford and Bradley Beal with 21 and eight seconds respectively; they made people forget Wall’s six turnovers. (But to 12 assists!)Worth noting: Four of those TOs came in the first half, two in the third, and zero in 9.5 fourth quarter minutes for Wall (26 minutes on the night). Even if Wall is still learning how not to struggle in several phases of the game (like a mixed-bag of jumpers), it’s nice that the Wizards have someone willing to take control in crunch time, someone who thrives on big moments.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Doing It Right.

The second half was setting up another disaster for Washington, as Ty Lawson torched Wizards with 23 points in the quarter alone, and Wittman appeared to have no answers for the speedy point guard from the D.C. area. Nuggets had a seven point lead after three quarters when Wizards opened fourth quarter on a 12-0 run to take control and never trailed again.

The coaching staff deserves recognition for keeping the team into it when Wizards teams of past would have folded and probably used the high Colorado elevation as an excuse. Wittman masterfully used his depth to an advantage with 10 players playing at least 17 minutes. He pushed the right buttons with timeouts and nailed play-calling in decisive game situations.

No one in the Wizards organization will likely go on the record to say that this victory was ‘different,’ but with their terrible record, every win is needed regardless the opponent. But don’t be deceived that this was a normal road win, because after putting up with Pierre’s immature antics and Pam McGee’s meddling over the years, this one was extra special.

Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

The fans you kept hearing on television behind Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier:

(So much going on in this picture.)

JaVale Reverse-Pivot Ball Jettison:

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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.