DC Council Game 56: Wizards 95 vs Pistons 96: You Don't Bring a Retracted Dagger to a Gun Fight | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 56: Wizards 95 vs Pistons 96: You Don't Bring a Retracted Dagger to a Gun Fight

Updated: February 28, 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. 56, Washington Wizards vs Detroit Pistons; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam Rubin from the Verizon Center and Kyle Weidie from home.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky?”


“AHHH!!! All the retracted daggers in the world!!”

Washington Wizards 90 vs Detroit Pistons 84 [box score]

MVP: He missed the last shot, a false dagger, but Trevor Ariza did just about everything else—17 points, 6-for-11 FGs, 3-for-5 3Ps, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. On Detroit’s side, Jose Calderon had 18 assists, two turnovers, and John Wall’s number.

Stat of the Game: Fastbreak points: The Pistons came out at full speed, outscoring the Wizards 23 to 11 in fastbreak points during the first half; each team scored just four fastbreak points in the second half (27-15, Detroit, on the night).

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Sloppy Daggers

If Bradley Beal’s pass with 3.6 seconds left in the game had gone directly to Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza, as opposed to the empty space between them, perhaps Ariza’s game-ending shot would have gone in the net, instead of grazing it (and it may have spared Steve Buckhantz from this well-covered embarassing moment). Ariza, who scored the Wizards’ last eight points, would have been hailed as the hero of the Wizards amazing comeback victory. But that fairytale script was not meant to be for the Wizards, and it had nothing to do with that last sloppy 3.6 seconds of the game, and everything to do with their poor play in the third quarter—specifically the last 8:24 when Washington’s 62-57 lead quickly turned into a 82-68 deficit. In the third, Greg Monroe dominated the paint, Brandon Knight maneuvered in and out of it at will, Jason Maxiell controlled the lane with five defensive rebounds and three blocked shots, and Jose Calderon successfully directed traffic with nine assists. The Wizards scored just 13 points to the Pistons’ 31, which set up a furious fourth-quarter rally that fell just short.  Here’s Pistons’ Coach Lawrence Frank on his team’s third quarter play:

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Wall’s play was bad, but his body language was even worse. Wall took a seat after committing four turnovers in the first seven minutes and did not look like he wanted to go back in. Wittman obliged, keeping him on the bench for over 13 minutes until 2:45 left in the half.Wall’s attitude did not get any better in the second half. He sat down with two minutes left in the third quarter and appeared to check out on the bench, leaning back in his chair with his shoulders slouched, doing his best Jordan Crawford impression. When his number was called with four minutes left in the game, he sauntered to the scorer’s table like a petulant child being told to go brush his teeth. It got so bad that Jose Calderon raced over to Wall after the game to offer him words of encouragement.  Apparently, it did not work. Wall sullenly walked off the court with his head down and he was not any happier in his post-game interview.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

0 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
“Bradley Beal is the new smooth.” I can’t think of a better word to describe him, and with apologies to Josh Smith (“J-Smoove”)—who’s often disgruntled attitude and shot-jacking has nothing to do with “smooth”—I hope the word is ultimately incorporated into Beal’s nickname. (I guess people are simply going with “Beal  With It” or “Real Deal Beal” at this point.) Whatever the case, Beal seemed to have confidence early against Detroit, but the rest of his team negated that rather easily. He finished with 16 points on 8-for-16 FGs, six rebounds and three steals, but he struggled from deep (0-5) and uncharacteristically did not attempt a single free throw. Don’t worry about Bradley too much. Unlike the other Wiz Kids, he has the talent to back up his smooth, calming confidence.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell Webster certainly seemed fired up enough prior to the game, but somewhere between the locker room and the court, that fire quickly fizzled—or perhaps Trevor Ariza stole it from him. John Wall was not on top of his game, which meant Webster could not stand on the perimeter shooting 3-pointers from the corner. He had trouble hanging on to a couple of Wall’s passes in the first half, and toward the end of the game, Webster was not able to cleanly handle an errant pass from Beal, that could have led to a game-winning shot from Ariza. It just was not his night—five points, 2-for-6 on FGs, 1-for-2 on 3-pointers.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
In his pregame presser, Coach Wittman was pretty tight-lipped about whether Nene (sore shoulder) would play or not, so the chances are pretty high that Booker’s insertion into the starting lineup was a last-minute decision. Booker, along with Kevin Seraphin, is not playing quite as much as he was early in the season—or in year’s past for that matter—so the game against the Pistons provided both with a chance to earn more playing time. Seraphin stepped up by scoring eight of this 12 points during the Wizards’ fourth quarter comeback. Booker spent his 16 minutes of play getting outworked by Jason Maxiell, especially in the game-swinging third quarter when Booker went 0-for-3 with just two rebounds. So much for my prediction.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
The frontcourt tandem of Nene and Okafor gets most of the credit for Washington’s defensive resurgence. After Wednesday night, it seems that credit is well deserved. With Nene on the bench nursing a shoulder injury, Washington’s normally stout interior defense vanished. Okafor played alongside a rotation of Booker, Seraphin and Singleton, and the results were abysmal. Washington gave up layup, after dunk, after layup, as Detroit shot 54.2 percent from the field. Get well soon, Nene.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1 out of 3 stars

AJ Price
For the second straight game John Wall and A.J. Price played the same number of minutes, and for the second straight game Price outplayed Wall. Against Detroit, it was not even close. Price did exactly what was expected of a backup point guard—he got everyone involved (eight assists), limited his turnovers (one) and hit some timely shots (3-5 on 3-pointers).Unfortunately for Price—and the Wizards—simply outplaying Wall was not enough. The Pistons have two point guards of their own, and they both lit up Price & Co. Brandon Knight had his way with anyone who guarded him (32 points, 11-18 FG, 5-6 3FG), and Jose Calderon dissected the Wizards with a season-high 18 assists.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
You could argue that the ball shouldn’t even have been in Trevor Ariza’s hands for that last shot, an airball to lose the game at the buzzer. Ariza’s glue had kept the Wizards barely connected all night, did they really expect him to bail them out with an amazing game-winner? While John Wall moped around the court, and while Ernie’s remaining kids not named Bradley Beal showed enough glimpses to make one think that they may be out of the NBA in three years instead of two, Ariza balled.He was disruptive on defense, he made sure teammates were disruptive (as they could be), and he knocked down shots. And it was Ariza who made the key steal, the securing of a clear-path foul, and the sinking of two clutch free throws that even allowed the Wizards to have an improbable chance to win the game.

On the final play, the ball was put in Beal’s hands, not Wall’s, at the top of the key. Beal drove left, and instead of forcing the issue, which was probably more ideal in this situation, and he passed to an essential no-man’s land between Martell Webster and Ariza (closer to Webster). Both players ended up touching the ball—Webster did all he could to shuttle an errant pass to the more open Ariza—and we all know the end result. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the simultaneous contrast in emotions between Steve Buckhantz’s false dagger and Ariza’s slumped shoulders and slow walk of shame.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Got Problems?

“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”

If you were not happy with Washington’s energy, hustle and attitude tonight, you are not alone. Wittman ripped into his team after the game:

“Tonight, we got what we deserved. We didn’t deserve to win that game. We were more caught up in ourselves as individuals than the team tonight. That’s the bottom line.”

Wittman did not stop there. Without naming names, he blasted his younger players for complaining about minutes, caring too much about shots, ignoring advice from the veterans and otherwise being uncoachable.

Message sent. Only question is how it will be received.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Need Cash, now?

Perhaps Big Gheorghe should hold a telethon to get Buckhantz and Chenier moved back courtside … since they were moved in the first place to make room for $1,500 courtside seats.

All Falk’d Up

David Falk, seen here, perhaps creaming his pants because of the fact that John Wall was having a bad game.

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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.