DC Council Game 49: Wizards 89 vs Nets 74: Nets Catch a Beating, Boos in DC | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 49: Wizards 89 vs Nets 74: Nets Catch a Beating, Boos in DC

Updated: February 11, 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. 49, Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets; contributors: Dan Diamond and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center, with Sean Fagan from B-R-DOUBLE OH!-K-L-Y-N.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

(Chinese) Near Year, New Team

Washington Wizards 89 vs Brooklyn Nets 74 [box score]

MVP: Nene, who scored 20 points on 13 shots to go with 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks.

Stat of the Game: FG%. The Wizards shot a better percentage from 3-point range (.438) than the Nets shot from the field (.329). Hard-nosed defense from the Wiz prevented the Nets from scoring a field goal in almost nine minutes between the first and second quarters.

Bonus Points: 6-2, the Wizards’ record this season when I cover games live from the Verizon Center. The team’s plus/minus in those eight games? Plus-64.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

One and Done

With time winding down in the first quarter, and the Nets clinging to a two-point lead, A.J. Price drove the lane and tried to swing the ball to a cutting Emeka Okafor … who couldn’t grab it, or his own momentum. But as the ball flew past Okafor, Bradley Beal ranged around the perimeter to collect it and, fading away, canned a 26-foot 3-pointer. (See the 0:28 mark of this clip.)

It was Beal’s only make of the night, but he gave the Wizards a lead they wouldn’t relinquish; beginning with the rookie’s shot, Washington went on a 33-11 run, opening up a 20-point lead at halftime.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Here are a few of my notes from the game:

Second quarter: Blinding speed from Wall leads to a Wizards dunk 

8:30 Third quarter: Wall’s blinding speed on display again

And so on and so on.

Wall coupled that blazing speed with crisp inside passing, repeatedly finding Nene and others for easy attempts in the paint. And while Wall shot poorly (6-for-17 from the field), his overall stat line was consistent with his recent production: 15 points, nine assists and four steals.

But, oh man, Wall’s ability to push the ball makes this team so fun to watch. Via a tweet from TAI tweeter supreme Adam McGinnis, here’s video of Wall playing the role of “human derecho” in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards are truly a different team with their franchise point guard back on the floor.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Garrett Temple is still starting, but he is a ghost on the basketball court. After his offensive outburst against the Clippers, Temple went back to his usual 1-for-4 shooting with one rebound and one assist night. If he were performing at that pace over a nine minute span, it would be understandable. However, he is currently getting 16 to 17 minutes of burn each night as the Wizards nurse Bradley Beal back to health. (Beal also had a quiet night.)

Temple is going to continue to see time as long as he continues to play hard-nosed defense, but one has to wonder if the Coach Randy Wittman is really putting his best lineup out there on the floor every night. Jordan Crawford appears to be buried for the moment at the end of the bench, for reasons only known to the coaching staff. One has to question if that is tough love on the part of Wittman or an attempt to find fool’s gold in Temple.

—Sean Fagan (@mccarrick)

1 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
On the way to the arena, Martell Webster cut off a police officer, but didn’t get pulled over. And that’s how he knew it was going to be a good night, he joked after the game. All laughs aside, Webster was right: He had 10 points on five attempts at halftime, only behind Nene who dominated with 14 points and four rebounds at the break. The sharpshooting wing finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field (3-for-5 from 3-point range), and his play of the game was a spinning floater in transition, after turning down a long-range jumper. Webster continues to impress as the super-affordable, super-efficient wing the Wizards have long been looking for.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2.5 out of 3 stars

The Nene vs. Brook Lopez matchup was a joke. It really was. Nene was so much faster than Lopez that, on a few occasions, the Brazilian outran the Brooklyn big man even while dribbling the basketball. Lopez responded to Nene’s speed in the halfcourt by giving him space around the perimeter (so he wouldn’t get burned to the hoop). But that plan didn’t exactly work. Nene took four mid-range jumpers, making two, but spent much of his time getting buckets around the hoop. It all added up to 20 points on 13 shots, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, and a whole series of lowlights from Slow-pez.

Some praise from the Boss:

“Nene’s smart. Nene’s been in the league 10 years,” said Randy Wittman after the game. “Nene knows little tricks of the trade. He’s sly. He gives angles. He takes angles away. He’s a student of the game. That’s a great quality that I think a lot of our young bigs are learning. It’s a trait that he can pass down to a lot of these guys.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

3 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Emeka Okafor continues to do what Okafor is supposed to do, which is gobble up rebounds and take bunny layups if and when they fall into his lap. The flat-footed jump shooting continues to take place at a frustrating rate, but you can live with that if the Wizards are winning. Probably Okafor’s most impressive act on the night was getting out of the way while Nene and John Wall went to work. As Okafor continues to prove that he is near 100 percent, he becomes a more intriguing trade piece for the Wizards. The question is whether the Wizards want to break up the productive frontline they have developed and risk a possible Nene rebellion in having to move back to center.

—Sean Fagan (@mccarrick)

2 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
Chris Singleton chipped in with six points and four rebounds in about 23 minutes, but that undersells his impact on the defensive end. His long, harassing defense kept the Nets’ big men out of the paint—and a fourth-quarter block of Andray Blatche got the Verizon Center crowd going. At the end of the night, Singleton’s plus-minus of plus-16 was second-best on the team. Singleton’s offensive game, and decision-making, still remains a work in progress though.

  • The good: He nailed an impressive step-back 18-footer, with about five minutes left in the fourth.
  • The bad: Two minutes later, Nene kicked out to Singleton, who was wide-open behind the 3-point arc. But instead of hoisting a shot, Singleton took a few dribbles and settled for an off-balance 20-footer—one of the least-efficient shots in the game. (He did make the shot, though.)

Regardless, Singleton’s enjoying his most productive stretch of the season. In the last week, he’s been in double figures twice and was a meaningful contributor in three Wizards victories.

—Dan Diamond (@ddiamond)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza is rounding into form. He’s like the clean-shaven, East Coast Kenneth Faried with the energy he brings to the floor. Check it out, in 30 minutes of action off the bench, Ariza had nine points and five rebounds, but a seriously surprising plus-22 plus/minus. And as much as it may pain you to see him chuck those long 2-pointers and spot-up treys, that’s really all he’s good for this season away from the basket. Ariza is shooting 43.4 percent from 20-24 feet (45 percent on corner 3s), but isn’t making more than 27 percent of his shots from anywhere else on the floor.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Won the Battle, Still Losing the War

Wittman is sticking to his guns and playing the lineups that he thinks are going to put in the best defensive effort, complementing the trio of Wall/Webster/Nene, which carries the load on the offensive end. This makes sense when playing the two N.Y. teams that live or die by the 3-pointer and to establish a shorter bench where everyone recognizes their role on the team. The next challenge for Wittman is to get the Wizards ready to play the other dregs of the Eastern Conference, as they have games lined up against the Bucks and the Pistons. Much has been made of the Wizards’ success against the “best” teams in the NBA, but the true test of an improving ball club and Wittman’s leadership is to win games during the February doldrums against teams that also have no illusions of the playoffs.

—Sean Fagan (@mccarrick)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Trevor Ariza: Prince of the Print Edition

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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.