DC Council Game 47: Wizards 98 vs Clippers 90: Randy Wittman Wants More from His Artisans | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 47: Wizards 98 vs Clippers 90: Randy Wittman Wants More from His Artisans

Updated: February 6, 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. 47, Washington Wizards vs Los Angeles Clippers; contributors: Kyle Weidie and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, Conor Dirks from the road.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Why not start with…
Chris Paul vs. the Wizards Girls?

 This Guy?

Randy Wittman on his artists and banging his head:

[photos and video via Kyle Weidie]

Washington Wizards 98 vs Los Angeles Clippers 90 [box score]

MVP: After the game, John Wall called Garrett Temple a “defensive specialist,” and it’s hard to argue with that. Garrett has played well defensively since Randy Wittman inserted him into the starting lineup, but had yet to show much on the other end of the floor. Against the Clippers, his consistent play was triage for the team’s shooting slumps. His steal (third of the game, to go with three blocks) with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter netted the Wizards an easy basket and started a run that put the Wizards out of reach as time wound down. His steadying influence may be why Jordan Crawford, who I’m afraid to even mention in the same sentence as anything described as “steadying,” has been relegated to a doghouse in Wheaton.

Stat of the Game: Combined scoring for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin: 0 points on 0/0 shooting. Many were excited about the prospect of seeing Trevor Booker try to bully contain Griffin after he claimed that Griffin should be suspended for the “mush” he applied to Booker’s dome on January 19th. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Chris Paul was in a suit, and the only court time Griffin saw was before the game, when he apparently injured his hamstring. And Booker? A DNP-CD, despite being available in a return from injury.

—Conor Dirks (@conorddirks)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Wikipedia & Price

The game started with Emeka Okafor out-playing Lamar Odom at the 4 spot (and Randy Wittman taking advantage of a mismatch). Out of necessity for the Wizards and because Blake Griffin was out for the Clippers, each played all 12 minutes in the first quarter, Okafor scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds, and Odom showing up with two points, three rebounds and three turnovers. To start the second half, more of the same discrepancy. Yea, Okafor missed two free-throws to begin the third, but his three offensive boards in the first two-plus minutes helped the Wizards jump out to a 7-0 start in the period. Of course the Clippers, after a Vinny Del Negro timeout, went on an 11-0 run to get within one point, 57-58, thanks to Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler combined with some ill-advised Wizards offense run by John Wall. Randy Wittman called a TO to end LA’s run, and shortly thereafter subbed AJ Price in for Wall. Price proceeded to dish out three assists for eight points — even Kevin Seraphin got in on the unselfish action with a dime to Okafor — and the Wizards finished the third up 72-66. Solid vets were the game-changers on this night.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
The first half largely belonged to John Wall’s college teammate Eric Bledsoe. The Clippers point guard shot, distributed, and defended Wall skillfully. But Wall’s seven assists in the first half were a significant factor in the 51-46 lead his team took into the locker room. The move he put on Bledsoe on the final possession of the half was an improvement on Wall’s historical modus operandi in isolation possessions. With a few seconds left on the clock, Wall drove left on Bledsoe, got separation with a step-back move, and then drove right before dropping in a pretty runner. On a tough shooting night (6-18 overall), Wall stayed aggressive in crunch time and helped his team by holding Bledsoe without a field goal in the fourth.

—Conor Dirks (@conorddirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Since Temple’s entry into the starting lineup, he has struggled mightily to find any type of offensive rhythm. It has been an odd promotion for Temple, who made his fourth straight start in place of an injured Bradley Beal on Monday. He was brought in to be a back up point guard, and Jordan Crawford would appear to be the natural fit to replace Beal’s scoring. Temple began the game by knocking down numerous jumpers, and his eight first quarter points equaled his total for for the previous three games combined. The early offensive success helped fuel his defense, and he was instrumental in a smothering fourth quarter Wizards unit that put the Clippers away. Temple’s final line was 15 points, 7-for-12 FGs, three rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and two assists in a team-high 37 minutes.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Not much more can be said about Webster other than what was said in the reaction when I gave him the MVP (of course, Conor Dirks donning Garrett Temple with the crown can be justified as well). Webster certainly has the Clippers to thank for letting him get so many open looks — time, lift and space all were in play. The J was looking as smooth as it ever has this season, but as far as Webster’s post-game swag attempts, I’ll let you be the judge.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Nene is still having trouble turning the ball over and playing consistent defense, but against the Clippers he was busy around the lane, diving towards the hoop to benefit from several Wall dishes. Nene, on an eternal quest for foul calls and efficacious hair-ties, succeeded in finding the former. This had the added effect of thinning an already depleted Clippers frontcourt, and Lamar Odom fouled out late in the fourth after struggling to defend Nene all game. The Wizards’ Brazilian forward was particularly effective in the last five minutes of the first half, where he scored eight of his fifteen points.

—Conor Dirks (@conorddirks)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Emeka’s scoring is finally regressing to the mean as he failed to break double figures for the third consecutive game. It was only a matter of time, Okafor has never been an explosive scorer. He continues to control the glass, so his fantasy owners have to be loving his consistent board production. In Okafor’s last 23 games, he has had ten or more rebounds fifteen times, and his lowest rebound output has been seven. Okafor finished with nine points, 4-for-9 FGs, 14 rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 26 minutes. In addition to Martel Webster, Okafor has turned out to be a very nice surprise as of late (still might be overpaid, though).

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Get cozy y’all, we’ve got a tale of two Trevors:Act 1 – 0:20 left in the third quarter – Trevor Ariza stumbles gracelessly toward the basket on a fast break, seemingly controlled via Atari joystick by a sadistic basement dweller. Visions of Rashard Lewis sear the minds of Wizards fans. Luckily, our hero recognizes that he is in the process of running past the boundaries of the basketball court, and throws it awkwardly over the head of the bad guy to AJ Price. But what is this? Ariza receives the ball again. Despite a head start and superior position, he taunts his opponents by taking his time. After being blocked, the fickle one spins away from contact and throws the ball back from whence it came. The whistle blows. Free throws are awarded. Huzzah!

Act 2 – 4:40 left in the fourth quarter. After a missed free throw by Nene, Webster grabs the offensive board and finds Ariza behind the three-point line. Ariza takes one dribble and delivers on the wide open shot. On the next play, as Steve Buckhantz notes the crowd’s muted cries for defense, Ariza delivers again, this time with a steal. And that’s what keeps coach Wittman comin’ back for more.

—Conor Dirks (@conorddirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jordan Crawford
Jordan Crawford checked in with three seconds left in the first quarter… for a defensive possession. And on the first possession of the second quarter, the steez fizzled. Taking a dribble past Matt Barnes, Crawford was legitimately bumped (and likely fouled), but he’s not the type who can just depend on the referee to blow the whistle just for him. So, immediately chucking the ball at the rim and hoping for a call was probably not the right move. He didn’t get the call, he missed, and the Clippers went the other way.There was also that botched lob attempt to John Wall when Crawford was leading the break. Good Crawford did very briefly make an appearance, but in a completely out-of-character way. Two minutes into the second, Wall aggressively attacked the rim in transition after a Trevor Ariza blocked shot and found Crawford wide open in the corner for 3. A splash of set shot steez. But after a Clipper timeout, Crawford immediately lost Barnes and gave up a 3. At the 7:18 mark, Crawford received the very first pass of the possession from Wall, took about four dribbles to size up Barnes, and just jacked 3 right in front of his coach. Wittman immediately signaled for Garrett Temple to check in. Crawford would never be heard from again.

The coach on his player in the post-game:

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Smaller is better?

When the Wizards were piling up losses and injuries to begin the disappointing 2012-13 season, Randy Wittman loved to quip that no one is going to feel sorry you in the NBA. After the game, the coach had little sympathy for the plight of the Clippers being without their two best players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Washington took advantage of those key L.A. absences by grinding out their 12th victory of the season. Sometimes Wittman seems unwilling to go small, regularly finishing games with Okafor and Nene when the situation might call for something different. Wittman had to change his tune against the Clippers in the fourth quarter, and it worked in his favor. Forced by the Clippers to go small (with Grant Hill technically occupying the 4 spot for LA), a lineup of Wall, Temple, Webster, Ariza, and Nene put the screws to Clippers defensively in the game’s final five minutes. Give Wittman credit for being open to adjustments.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Finishing Touch?

John Wall is shooting 52% in the restricted area, down from 57.5% last season and 55% in his rookie season.

Also worth noting: 42.4% of Wall’s field goal attempts this season have come in the restricted area; it was 45.3% last season and 41.9% his rookie season.

Finally: Wall is averaging a FG attempt in the restricted area every five game minutes this season; every 5.9 minutes last season; every 6.4 minutes his rookie season.

Conclusion: Wall is getting to the basketball more on offense, but he’s simply got to finish better. He’s also just 14 games into his season after missing the first 33.

But what does Wall have to say about it? He says he’s got to keep his eye focused on the rim.

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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.