DC Council Game 59: Wizards 82 at Timberwolves 87: Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 59: Wizards 82 at Timberwolves 87: Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

Updated: March 7, 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. 59, Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves; contributors: Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie from behind the television screen.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Benched Mobbed?

Washington Wizards 82 at Minnesota Timberwolves 87
[box score]

MVP: Ricky Rubio. Man, Rubio is fun to watch. Somehow it does not even matter that he can’t shoot. Rubio was plus-15 in 38 minutes (Minnesota was minus-10 with him on the bench). He put up 15 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists and six steals and played harassing defense on Wall in the closing minute, leading to a crucial steal to increase Minnesota’s lead to three with 28.2 seconds remaining. Rubio then disrupted Washington’s final possession by knocking the ball away from Wall.

Stat of the Game: Points in the paint: Minnesota 42, Washington 22. Coming into the game, it seemed like those numbers would be reversed. The Timberwolves started a PF/C combo of Derrick Williams and Greg Stiemsma, backed up by an even less imposing Dante Cunningham/Chris Johnson duo. Nevertheless, Washington could not get anything going inside.

Bonus Stat: 24 turnovers. John Wall (6) and Nene (7) accounted for over half the team’s season-high turnovers. Rubio gets a lot of credit for harassing Wizards ball handlers but several of the turnovers were unforced errors.

Bonus Bonus Stat: 65 FGA. Washington only shot 65 times last night, five fewer than their previous season-low of 70 against Indiana on November 19. The main culprits were excessive turnovers (see above) and poor offensive rebounding (6).

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Paging Dr. Beal…

Fast forward to 28.2 seconds remaining and Washington down 85-82 (don’t worry, you didn’t miss much). The ensuing play—which Steve Buckhantz mercifully called a “very poor sequence for the Wizards”—was a microcosm of the whole game. Ariza inbounded to Wall at the top of the key. The first option was Webster coming off a baseline screen by Nene. Not open.

The second option was a flare screen by Okafor to free Ariza in the corner for a game-tying 3-pointer. Not open.

That left John Wall dribbling alone at the top of the key in close proximity to Ricky Rubio. Not good. Within seconds, Rubio was diving on the floor and the ball was bouncing into the backcourt.

Ariza recovered the loose ball and inexplicably decided to run right back to the spot where he was supposed to have received the pass off the flare screen and hoist an ill-advised 3-pointer—with 11 seconds on the shot clock—that missed everything and was batted out of bounds by Okafor.

A very poor sequence indeed. Ridnour hit two free throws on the next possession to seal the game.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Maybe it’s all about practice. Remember? These Wizards aren’t making the playoffs. So, John Wall got to practice his jumper last night—and it does look improved. Wall went 4-for-4 on jumpers in the first quarter, from 21, 18, 19 and 18 feet, and on the night, he shot 7-for-15 from the field, going 4-for-5 from the midrange right elbow, 1-for-1 from the midrange corner, 1-for-3 from midrange top of the key, 0-for-1 from the left elbow, and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. He missed both of his attempts at the rim. Wall also tried to play too much “hero ball”—late in the fourth, he committed two careless turnovers, once trying to force a 2-on-4 disadvantage, and later missing an unnecessarily jacked 3-point attempt. Wall added six turnovers to his seven assists and grossly underestimated the quicks of Ricky Rubio, often dribbling the ball too high like he usually does.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza was having a decent game filling in as the inter-changeable 2/3, along with Martell Webster, in the absence of the injured Bradley Beal. Through three quarters, Ariza had 16 points on 4-for-9 FGs, 3-for-6 3Ps, and 5-for-5 FTs. Ariza also had six rebounds and five assists up to that point, albeit with four turnovers. But in the fourth quarter: only a rebound, an assist, and one horribly decided-upon missed 3-pointer from the corner.Both Ariza and Wall set a haphazard tone early in the game, which then reared its ugly head in the end. On the game-deciding possession, Wall bobbled the ball away, it eventually found its way to Ariza’s hands, and he dribbled straight to the corner with the Wizards down, 85-82, and threw up a contested 3-pointer with about 14 seconds left and 11 seconds on the shot clock (as described above). Ariza’s shot missed and so did the Wizards.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
With Beal out, Washington needed someone to step up and provide outside scoring.  Webster, who was returning to the city where he played the previous two seasons, seemed like the obvious choice. Instead, Trevor Ariza came out swinging with 10 first-quarter points. Webster played a team-high 42 minutes and scored 11 points, but aside from jacking eight 3-pointers (making two), he was not really a factor in the game. Not exactly a triumphant homecoming.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1 out of 3 stars

Washington tried to take advantage of an apparent mismatch early by force-feeding the ball to Nene against Derrick Williams. It did not work. Nene was 0-for-2 with two turnovers in the first five minutes, and he never seemed to find a groove. He only put up eight shots in 36 minutes and had the same number of combined turnovers (7) and fouls (5) as he had points (12). On a night when Washington desperately needed someone to take over offensively, Nene simply was not up to the task. One has to wonder if his shoulder injury is a bigger problem than he has let on because, on paper, Nene should have dominated his matchup in Minny.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Emeka Okafor put in another workman-like effort with 10 points (5-9 FGs) and 14 rebounds. And he didn’t miss a free throw because he didn’t attempt a free throw. So Okafor didn’t kill the Wizards, but he also missed some bunnies at the rim and seemed a step out of place on several defensive possessions. He got his on the glass, but the Timberwolves out-boarded the Wizards by 10, 44-34. In the end, there’s not much Okafor can do to help when his teammates are in such a rut.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
I got the following text from a friend in the second quarter:

“Vesely is as bad as Pecherov. At least Pecherov had a catch phrase.”

He wasn’t joking.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

0 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
Big Kevin Seraphin finally found a pocket of success against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night. In 12 minutes, he provided eight much-needed points off the bench. The first time he touched the ball in the post—yes, he actually planted his butt in the paint—Seraphin clumsily passed the ball back out to John Wall, who proved himself ill-prepared to make a move. But next time, Seraphin made a nice hook against the smaller Derrick Williams. Seraphin later hit a long jumper and made an amazing dribble drive to the hoop and step-through baby hook. He also committed four fouls, at least one of them an illegal screen, and picked up a single rebound during his time on the court. So, lots and lots and lots and lots of baby steps. (Still crawling, that is.)

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council


Randy Wittman had to play his starting 5-man unit 19 minutes, which is more than the norm. The coach didn’t have a choice. And, well, his starters worked … to an extent. Wall, Webster, Ariza, Nene and Okafor finished plus-11 in their time on the court and shot 48.1 percent (8 turnovers to 8 assists). But in the fourth quarter, guys played tired, Wittman changed game-plans (playing A.J. Price next to Wall for half the period), and the Wizards, led by Wall, didn’t have the focus to make the simple plays. Wittman searched by playing 18 different 5-man units on the night, but only five of them finished in the positive in plus/minus. The coach just didn’t have the man-power available. We think.

“Can’t play everyone,” Wittman will remind, well, everyone. So we’ll never know if Cartier Martin or Chris Singleton (or even Jason Collins … JK!) would have helped. What we do know is that the Wizards can’t afford to go without a single member of the new, new, new “Big 3″—Wall, Beal and Nene—because the rest of the carpenters in the construction project can barely hold a hammer.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Cassell Face.

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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.