DC Council Game 40: Wizards 88 at Jazz 92: Can't Steer the Great Salt Lake | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 40: Wizards 88 at Jazz 92: Can't Steer the Great Salt Lake

Updated: January 24, 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. 40, Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz; contributors: Rashad Mobley , Adam McGinnis and Adam Rubin from behind the television screen. The title of this post references a Band of Horses song, “The Great Salt Lake.”]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Jamaal Tinsley Dribble Show

Utah Jazz 92 at Washington Wizards 88 [box score]

MVP: 34-year old Jamaal Tinsley had 11 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 35 minutes of play. He also had five turnovers, but given his age and the amount of time the ball was in his hands, that’s to be expected. What was quite unexpected, was his ability to control the tempo against Bradley Beal (age 19), John Wall (22) and AJ Price (26). Tinsley took Price in the post and scored with ease, he drove right by the bigger, stronger Beal, and for three quarters, he ran his team much better than Wall could run his.

Stat of the Game: The Utah Jazz shot 63 percent after one quarter of play, while the Wizards shot an abysmal 23 percent (5-for-21), and normally that type of disparity should favor the better shooting team. But in the same quarter, the Wizards also shot 8-for-11 from the free throw line, while the Jazz missed their only two attempts. The Wizards (mainly Nene, who was visibly upset, along with Coach Wittman) were obsessed with getting calls, while the refs seemed to be intent on swallowing their whistles. The Jazz players were also victims of missed and bad calls, but their weapon of choice was ball movement, as opposed to forced foul line trips. They ended up with eight first-quarter assists to just three for the Wizards. The Wizards played much better after the first quarter, but they still lost by four points, and perhaps a stronger opening period could have altered that outcome.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Martell’s Misfire

The first 34 minutes unfolded as one might expect in a battle between a team wrapping up a five-game, eight-day road trip and a home team coming off three days rest. After an Al Jefferson jumper put Utah up 73-52 with 2:25 left in the third quarter, Steve Buckhantz lamented, “Blowout in Salt Lake City. … A tired group of Wizards are down by 21.”

However, an improbable 20-2 run, capped by a Trevor Ariza 3-pointer, brought Washington within three with nine minutes to play, turning a blowout into a winnable game and eventually setting up the key play of the night:

With 53 seconds remaining and Washington down four, Martell Webster grabbed a rebound after a timely defensive stand. Webster immediately pushed the ball ahead to Wall who sprinted down-court ahead of several Jazz players but lost the ball on an out-of-control behind-the-back drive. Nene grabbed the loose ball at the foul line and kicked it back out to Webster beyond the 3-point line to reset the offense. But Martell had other plans. With 46 seconds on the game clock and 17 seconds on the shot clock, Webster inexplicably dribbled full-speed to the left corner and attempted a contested fade-away jumper as if he was impersonating Jeff Malone’s falling out of bounds game-winner—except instead of being one of the greatest shots in Bullets/Wizards history, it was one of the worst.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

Garrett Temple
With Wall back, shining, this should could be the last start Price makes for awhile, and we will finally get to see how he can handle the backup job he was brought in to fill. In a battle of former Indiana Pacers point guards, Utah’s Jamaal Tinsley toasted his fellow New York native early by repeatedly getting into the paint and backing him down with ease. Price responded in second quarter with a couple of 3s. He tallied 11 points, three assists and three rebounds in 21 minutes. Washington’s poor shooting percentages resulted largely from poor sets and Price shares in some of that responsibility. It will be worth watching if Price can stabilize the second unit, or if Garrett Temple will get a shot at the job.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
On Monday night against the Portland Trailblazers, Beal seemed to be entirely off his game, which led to him being a spectator while Jordan Crawford filled in admirably en route to a Wizards victory. Given Beal’s high level of play in the month of January, he certainly deserved a mulligan. During last night’s game, there were no plays run for Beal early on, and that confidence—which was a bit shattered in Portland—was never given a chance to re-surface against Utah. Randy Foye’s defense played a small role in that, as did Beal’s lack of time on the court with Wall, and that alone would be enough to extend Beal yet another mulligan. But there were defensive lapses for Beal against Jamaal Tinsley, who is quite possibly the fourth offensive option for the Jazz. Offense comes and goes for players like Beal, but his defensive effort should be a constant and last night it was not.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster’s night can be summed up in four plays—three bad, one good. In the second quarter he was posterized (if that term can be used in reference to a Gordon Hayward layup) on a behind-the-back Hayward drive that resulted in a basket and a foul. With 3:24 remaining in the fourth quarter and Washington down five, Martell committed an ill-advised clear path foul on Hayward that killed the Wizards’ momentum. With 46 seconds remaining and a chance to make it a one possession game, he put up the atrocious shot described in the Key Legislature. Finally, with 15.6 seconds left and the Wizards down six, Webster partially redeemed himself by hitting a 3 off a well designed inbound play. Other than those four plays, Martell was his usual solid, unspectacular (and sometimes invisible) self.

Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1.5 out of 3 stars

The consistent aspect of Nene’s game right now is its inconsistency. He had a forgettable performance in his Denver homecoming, put up monster numbers in Portland and produced an absolute dud in Utah. The Brazilian big man was ice cold from field, shooting 3-for-14 from the floor and coughing up five costly turnovers. In 28 minutes, he finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and one steal. Nene struggled defending the Jazz’s formidable frontline and he lost sight of Paul Millsap during a huge possession in final minute, allowing Millsap to get open for a dagger jumper. Nene’s repeated head fakes are becoming as frustrating to watch as his constant complaining to the refs, which rarely seems to help his cause. His down-low presence still makes him a viable offensive option, but he must improve his finishing around the hoop.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
If Ben Wallace or Dennis Rodman were starting at center for the Wizards, it would be perfectly acceptable to see a box score of six points and 17 rebounds. Wallace and Rodman were undersized and offensively challenged, but their superhuman rebounding abilities more than made up for their paltry scoring. Okafor is not undersized (even against Utah’s frontline), and as of late, he has demonstrated the ability to hit the 10- to 15-foot jumper and to score from close range in the post. Against the Jazz, Okafor airballed a dunk, bricked a shot off the glass, and hit just three of his 10 shots from the field. His yeoman effort on the boards cannot be overlooked, but considering Paul Milsap grabbed 15 and scored 16 points, Okafor needed to contribute a bit more.

Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
The beauty of Crawford’s performance against the Blazers on Monday was all about the timing. The Wizards offense was stagnant in the fourth quarter, and the previously quiet Crawford stepped up with 13 points, including the game-winning shot. Last night, the Wizards were even more stagnant, and for a longer period of time, but Crawford was unable to summon another offensively charged performance. He was scoreless in the first half for a second consecutive game, and he had just two points after three quarters. He did score seven points in the fourth, but the confidence was not there, nor was the accuracy. Crawford has successfully bought into the team philosophy of late, but on this night, a high volume scoring output was needed, and he did not have it in his arsenal.

Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

John Wall
Hopefully, the days of John Wall’s coming off the bench are nearing the end soon, because he is struggling to find a rhythm on the second unit. This was evident in the first half, where his outside shot was falling, but his teammates’ lack of contributions dug the Wizards a deep hole. He wasn’t getting any calls, either. Wall bounced back with a stellar second half performance and almost led his team to an improbable victory. Wall entered third quarter at 3:00 minute mark with Wizards down 69-52 and propelled Washington on a 26-11 run over next 8 minutes. Wall was finding opening shooters, pushing the ball up the court and drawing fouls by easily getting to the rim. The Game Changer poured in 14 points, 8 assists, two rebounds, one block and one turnover. Wall only logged 26 minutes and it appears to be the appropriate time to ramp up his minutes.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

“Rotation, Rotation, Rotation”

Wittman was criticized earlier in the season for his lack of a set rotation. Whether due to injuries, inconsistent play, lack of talent, or a combination of the three, Wittman was constantly searching for the right mix. Now that the team is fully healthy (sorry Cartier) and playing its best basketball of the season, one of the biggest coaching takeaways from the west coast trip is that Wittman is finally settling on a 10-man rotation, with Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, and Garrett Temple as the odd men out. Although the rotation will evolve further when Wall rejoins the starting lineup, Wittman’s grand vision for the team is becoming clearer.

Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Jerry Sloan Shirt Flow

(via @recordsANDradio)

Elevator Comrades

(Via Kevin Seraphin’s Instagram)

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.