DC Council Game 58: Wizards 90 vs Sixers 87: John Wall's Jumper Doesn't Give a Falk | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 58: Wizards 90 vs Sixers 87: John Wall's Jumper Doesn't Give a Falk

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Updated: March 4, 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. 58, Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and Conor Dirks from Georgia.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

John’s Big J.

Wall talks about hitting a 20-foot pull-up jumper to put the Wizards up three points with 4.4 seconds left. This is after he hit two clutch free throws to put the Wizards up one point with 1:04 left, and after he hit an 18-foot jumper with 1:33 left to get the Wizards within one point of Philadelphia.

360° Wall.

Washington Wizards 90 vs Philadelphia 76ers 87 [box score]

MVP: John Wall. Sixteen points. Five Rebounds. Six assists. One non-retracted dagger with four seconds remaining.

Stat of the Game: 16, 14, 16, 15, 12—point totals for Wizards starters. Wall starred late, but balance was key to keeping the Wizards afloat throughout the game. Roles which were opaque early in the season are starting to become defined. A by-product of that definition is a reduced role for several young players: Seraphin, Booker, Temple, Martin, and Singleton combined for ten minutes, and 0 points. It won’t please those who believe Washington’s former first-rounders should be developed via game experience, but letting the vets (and Beal) take the majority of the minutes simply makes for better team basketball.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

In the end…

As Kyle Weidie hinted at in this tweet, it wasn’t just Bradley Beal’s injury at the 2:10 mark of the fourth quarter that sucked the air out of the Verizon Center—it was also Wall’s play just seven seconds later. He was out of control when he drove the lane, he lost possession and Thaddeus Young stole the ball. Up until the point, Wall had gone scoreless in the fourth quarter, and he (and his teammates, of course) had lost the six-point lead that backup point guard A.J. Price helped to build. It looked like the postgame narrative would read that Wall could not carry his team to victory, and perhaps the injured Beal is the real leader of the team. Wall then proceeded to score the Washington’s final six points. That, combined with some timely rebounding by Nene, led the Wizards to a feel-good victory, as opposed to a loss made worse by a potentially serious injury to Beal. After the game, Sixers coach Doug Collins spoke about the bad luck his team seems to have against Wall and the Wizards:

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Derecho (noun) – a straight wind without apparent cyclonic tendency, usually accompanied with rain and often destructive. This little piece of verbiage from Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz came out of nowhere. He used it (twice) to describe some fancy, and impressive, moves from John Wall. Which is absurd, of course, because we all know that derechos only occur once every four years in the D.C. area. Wall had an excellent game overall (16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, five rebounds, six assists, one block, and only two turnovers), especially compared with his last few outings. He also outplayed Sixers All-Star Jrue Holiday, who took 17 shots, but only made four.On the season, when using more than 20 seconds of a shot clock in clutch situations (last five minutes of the game, with neither team up more than five), Wall has struggled. He’s producing only 0.2 points per this type of possession, with an eFG% of just 17 percent (via 82games.com). One might say he was due for a big shot. With the game on the line against the Sixers, and Bradley Beal in the locker room, it was Wall that stepped up to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He scored the last six points of the game for Washington: two jumpers, two free throws, and a key block on an Evan Turner bunny shot, all within the final 1:32 of the contest.

After the game, Trevor Ariza had this to say about Wall’s late-game performance:

“Wall made some really big plays. When he got the ball, went down the court, drew a foul, got to the free throw line and then made a jumper was big—especially because a couple of weeks before he would have probably tried to get to the basket rather than shooting. And I think that just shows how he’s growing up throughout the year and the steps that he is taking to become a better player.”

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

3 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal turned in another solid game, where he displayed even more confidence than seen before, and then ultimately succumbed to a rolled ankle. The solid came via 14 points on an efficient 6-for-12 shooting (2-for-3 on 3-pointers), four rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and three turnovers. The confidence came via a mini-show-down with veteran Damien Wilkins. Beal shook Wilkins with dribbles and a long leash from his coach, and even once popped a Jordan Crawford-esque 3 from 32 feet right before the shot clock buzzer. Now, that rolled ankle… Everyone is glad that it’s not worse (a knee), but San Antonio’s Tony Parker recently sprained his ankle, and he’s going to be out for around four weeks. Not all ankle sprains are the same, but don’t be surprised if Beal has to miss a couple weeks. He’s taken so many spills this season, he could probably use the rest.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Webster, the league leader in four-point plays this season (7), didn’t waste time putting the Wizards up 4-0 to start this contest. On Washington’s first possession, the “Definition” received a pass from Brad Beal in the corner and spotted up for a 3-pointer. Evan Turner’s challenge came too late, catching Webster in his follow-through, and the whistle blew as Webster’s shot dropped. Recovering a loose ball with 7:50 left in the second quarter, Martell took the ball out behind the arc, sized up the rim, and sunk another 3. When most players have a “quiet night,” that observation carries a negative connotation. Not so for Webster, where it usually is just another example of how well he fits into the team’s offense. Although he was 4-for-10 shooting, he scored 16 points thanks to hitting three of his five 3-point attempts, and going a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

2 out of 3 stars

Nene
Nene returned after two games with a protective sleeve over his shoulder, and during the first six minutes it looked like more of a hindrance than a help. He seemed to be guiding, not shooting the ball. One of his shots just barely caught the front rim, and he wasn’t playing with his normal aggression. Toward the end of that first quarter he hit two jumpers and then seemed to be a bit more comfortable. Nene’s trademark aggression returned in the second quarter, and he was dunking, rebounding, and initiating contact once again. But in the last 2:50 of the game, Nene demonstrated why he’s just as important to the Wizards as Beal and Wall. First, he hit a hook shot to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 84-85. After the Sixers answered, Nene found Wall for a wide open jumper to bring the Wizards within one, 86-87. With 52.9 seconds left, Evan Turner missed a short jumper that would have given the Sixers the lead, and Nene secured the rebound. And finally, when Martell Webster missed a 3-pointer, Nene grabbed the offensive rebound, which allowed John Wall to hit the game-winning shot. Nene finished 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 35 minutes of play.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Emeka Okafor and Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes had some back-and-forth battles. And while Hawes got his (14 points, 11 rebounds), Okafor got the best of the matchup with 12 points, 16 rebounds … and the win. Okafor also finished a game-high plus-11 in plus/minus while Hawes finished minus-8.Kevin Seraphin should clearly watch and learn a lot from Nene, but he should be watching Okafor, too. Emeka seems to be very good at taking up space in offensive zones closer to the rim. Seraphin is terrible at this. Someone please help him.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Prior to the last night’s game, Coach Wittman told the media:

“You always gotta be ready, you never know who’s going to be available to play each and every night. That’s the responsibility of these players, is to always be ready. Things might fluctuate from night to night, but be who you are if anything, give us the things you’ll capable of giving.”

Jan hadn’t played more than six minutes since the Wizards’ January 25th victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, yet there he was at the scorer’s table, checking in for Nene with 4:58 left in the first quarter—the Wizards were up 18-10 at the time. Two and a half minutes later, the Sixers went on a run to tie the game 20-20, and while that wasn’t completely Vesely’s fault, he certainly didn’t help. He threw a bad pass, he was no match for Spencer Hawes on the defensive glass, and he looked like a man who hadn’t played in over a month—and that’s not even mentioning his legendary poor free throw shooting. At the very end of the first quarter Vesely tried to shoot a hook shot over Thaddeus Young, and ended up hitting absolutely nothing.  A few seconds later, Young went down and hit that very same hook shot right over Vesely. Jan did convert on two nice alley-oops (one from Wall, and one from Price), and he gave what he was capable of giving as Coach Wittman requested before the game. The only problem is the sixth pick in the draft should be giving more than six points, an assist and two rebounds.

Is this a good time to mention that former Wizards number one pick Kwame Brown was a DNP-CD for the Sixers?

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

AJ Price
There’s no question that A.J. Price has been a significant player on this Wizards team.  His contributions, however, have been inconsistent.  Price takes a lot of above-the-break 3-point shots (36 of his 49 3-point makes on the season), and although he’s found success from that area of the floor in some respects, there will be nights when tough shots don’t fall.Last night was one of those nights. In 17 minutes backing up John Wall, Price went 1-for-7 from the floor, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. His one make was actually a goaltending violation by the Sixers with less than a second left in the first half, but it came on a nice one-man fast break from a player not known for such things. Even though his shot was off, A.J. played turnover-free basketball, dished out three dimes, and ran the offense professionally (reflected by a positive plus/minus on the night of plus-5).

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Coach’s Decision.

Before the game, Randy Wittman was pressed about what Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton had been doing recently to earn playing time over Jan Vesely—Booker and Singleton each got a start in the previous two Wizards games in place of Nene, who sat with a sore shoulder. Coach-speak about “being ready” ensued. On Sunday evening, as Booker and Singleton failed to impress in their respective starts, with Nene back, it was—lo and behold—Jan who got the PT off the bench; Singleton and Booker couldn’t even get on the court.

So, after the game, naturally, I asked Randy Wittman about his “process” …

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

From the Other Side.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Doug Collins was in the middle of talking about his team’s disappointing loss when he saw Bradley Beal struggling to pass by the Sixers locker room while on crutches.  Doug pushed passed the media, called out to Beal, asked him if he was OK and then patted him on the chest and wished him luck the remainder of the season. Beal responded softly and said, “Thank you, sir.” Now, Collins called him “Jeremy” Beal instead of Bradley three times in a row, and when the media tried to correct him, he tried to convince everyone that Jeremy should be Beal’s new nickname. Despite the flub, it was clear that Collins had nothing but respect for Beal’s ability.

“He is a tough cover for any defensive player. I really hope the best for that kid, and I hope his injury isn’t too awful. Beal is an incredible young player. I truly wish the best for him. We should all pray for that young kid.”

Before Beal left the game with an ankle injury, Sixers guard Damien Wilkins was in charge of guarding Beal, and he did so with mixed results. Beal was still able to get his shot off and score 14 points, but Wilkins was physical with Beal and made a point to crowd him as often as he could. At the start of the fourth quarter, Beal hit a jumper right over Wilkins, and the two began jawing a bit. Wilkins ran down the court, jockeyed for position against Beal, and called for the ball in the post, but he could not convert. The next time down the court, Beal hit a 3-pointer right in Wilkins’ face and proceeded to glare at him once again.  After the game, Wilkins had this to say about young Bradley Beal:

“He’s a competitor, he’s a really good shooter, and I was just trying to work as hard as I could to make him work as hard as he could, so that by the time he caught the ball, he would think twice about shooting. I was just trying to be physical with him and he fought back—he did a great job of fighting back. He didn’t back down. He’s a good player, really good. I think he has to learn how to accept physicality a little bit more. With shooters, that’s all people are going to do to him (be physical), and that’s all I was trying to do. He hit back. He’s going to be a good one.”

Here’s what Coach Collins had to say about Wilkins and Bradley (“Jeremy”) Beal: