DC Council Game 65: Wizards 127 vs Suns 105: Phoenix Buried in Ashes with Pace and Points | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 65: Wizards 127 vs Suns 105: Phoenix Buried in Ashes with Pace and Points

Updated: March 18, 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. 65, Washington Wizards vs Phoenix Suns; contributors: Kyle Weidie and Adam Rubin from the Verizon Center.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council


Washington Wizards 127 vs Phoenix Suns 105
[box score]

MVP: Martell Webster: 7-for-10 from 3-point land, 7-for-7 from the free throw line, and a career-high 34 points (also a Wizards team season-high).

Stat of the Game: The Wizards made a season-high 14 3-pointers (on 21 attempts). Webster wasn’t the only hot shooter; both Garrett Temple and Bradley Beal went 3-for-4 from downtown. It was the first time the Wizards scored 127 or more points in a win since scoring 129 against the Toronto Raptors on March 3, 2007. In fact, it was only the seventh time in the last 13 years that Washington scored 125 or more in a win. [stats via Basketball-Reference.com]

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council


Saturday night was all about the offense. After Washington scored a season-high 66 points in the first half, CSN’s Chris Miller asked Martell Webster, “Is there any defense being played out there by Phoenix.” Webster responded honestly: “No. There’s no defense being played by us, either.” That trend continued in the second half as Washington scored a season-high 127 points. Washington’s offense was almost flawless over the final 36 minutes, but the pivotal stretch that broke the game open was a 13-4 run in the middle of the third quarter that extended the Wizards’ lead from 10 to 19, and Washington never looked back. Of course, it helped that Phoenix barely put up a fight. The Suns came to D.C. on a three-game losing streak in which they had lost by an average of 19 points. In short, the Suns are a mess. Ironically, the best example of Washington’s dominance came via a defensive play: John Wall swatting away an attempt by Goran Dragic.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Before the game, Goran Dragic said the key to stopping Wall is slowing him down in transition. That didn’t happen. Wall was a blur on Saturday night, fast-breaking at every opportunity and setting up teammates for easy transition baskets. Oh, and he also hit 8-for-11 FGs for 17 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, three steals and a respectable three turnovers (with only one turnover in his final 26 minutes). Over his last five games Wall has a 3.33 AST/TO ratio, which would rank third in the league behind Chris Paul and Jose Calderon (for the season, Wall is ranked 43rd, at 2.14 AST/TO). Throw in his 60.6 FG% over that same span—and the fact that Washington has won four of those five games—and there’s no doubt that Wall is on fire.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

3 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Garrett Temple is the new Shelvin Mack, except just a little more steady and a little better at everything. After taking some criticism for under-performing in a starting role, which was as much of a critique of managerial/coaching positioning as it was as of Temple himself, the journeyman has been a key part of the last three victories. In wins over Milwaukee, New Orleans and Phoenix, Temple saw career highs in minutes by far (respectively, 41, 45 and 34:40 of “rest,” as Bradley Beal played against the Suns). Over the three games, Temple has scored a total 33 points on 14-for-22 shooting, only making 3-pointers against Phoenix (3).Even with Bradley Beal back, Temple’s going to continue to get minutes with A.J. Price likely out longer with an injured groin. If Temple keeps up the solid play, especially on defense (also, 13 assists to six turnovers over the last three games), he’s going to make Jordan Crawford a little easier to forget. Although, the Wizards still need to address guard/wing bench scoring for next season. If only the Wizards could find someone with Nick Young’s size, Jordan Crawford’s moxie to score and willingness to pass, and Temple’s defense and reliability.

Let’s check Temple in the post-game:

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
There will be some more follow-ups to Martell Webster’s career night. Just know that Webster is so much more than a shooter, and if retaining him comes down to mere dollars this summer, then both Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld will have failed the franchise and its rebuilding efforts in a significant way.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

3 out of 3 stars

This was a rare night when Washington did not need any offense from Nene. He still put up 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting, but he played less than half the game (23 minutes) and was relegated to a cheerleader for most of the night. Although, there is one play he would probably like to forget.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
It is easy to forget that Phoenix led 50-49 with 4:47 left in the second quarter. Up to that point, Okafor was Washington’s second leading scorer with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting, and he kept the team competitive in the first quarter with a team-leading nine points. Even though he sat out the entire fourth quarter, Okafor ended up with 17 points and 10 rebounds on 7-for-12 shooting. The highlights will go to Webster and Wall, but Okafor quietly put together a very efficient and productive game in limited minutes.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

3 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
The only disappointment on Saturday night was the lack of Vesely. For a player who struggles with confidence, the Suns game was a perfect opportunity to get a few easy baskets in a low pressure environment. Since garbage time lasted the entire fourth quarter, there was ample opportunity to reward Vesely for working hard in practice—assuming, of course, he works hard in practice. Instead, he only played three minutes, and his line was filled with zeros.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

1 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Just prior to the game, issues arose with Bradley Beal’s injury timeline. The facts: before Saturday night, Beal hadn’t played since a Sunday, March 3 home win against the Philadelphia 76ers; when he got hurt, it definitely seemed like a 1-to-2 week injury; yet the Wizards, all along, said “day-to-day”; Beal admitted as much after Saturday’s game that he couldn’t have played at all until that night (not even Friday night). Nonetheless, there was a semi-dust-up pregame between Randy Wittman and the media over the communication and ambiguity surrounding “day-to-day.” Did it really make sense for the Wizards to say “day-to-day” for 12-plus days? Likely not. But, that was the so-called message, and while the details were being “hammered out” pre-game, Beal was warming up on the practice court. Trainers and doctors and coaches took part, but ultimately it was Beal’s decision to play.”I was here when he made his decision, he was happy,” said John Wall after the game. “He was cheesin’ the whole time w his afro and stuff.”

So Beal played, “day-to-day” ended up being that night, and well, the kid looked just fine. He led the bench with 13 points on 5-for-10 FGs, 3-for-4 from deep, in 21 minutes, also picking up six rebounds. Wittman said after the game that Beal’s limit was around 20 minutes, the key being how his ankle would respond to that time on Sunday, as Beal conceded after the game, even though Wall revealed that the rookie was mad because he wanted to play more.

All meaningless in the grand scheme of things, other than continued evidence that Bradley Beal is one tough cookie and that the Wizards are lucky to have him. (Imagine if the Cleveland Cavaliers would’ve been anxious enough to trade up to draft Beal. Sure, they’re happy with Dion Waiters, but still… </shudder>

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Pace & #WittmanFace

On the season, the Wizards have averaged 94.24 possessions per 48 minutes (their “pace”); this ranks 15th in the NBA, right between the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats. With John Wall on the court, for all of 32 games and 986 minutes, the Wizards’ pace has jumped to 96.69, which would rank seventh in the league behind the Rockets (98.76), the Nuggets (97.65), the Bucks (97.35), the Lakers (97.03), the Mavericks (96.80), and the Warriors (96.71).

Also worth noting that the Team Turnover Percentage with Wall on the court is 16.1 percent, which would rank second (after the Rockets, 16.5%) amongst those six aforementioned fast-paced teams. On Saturday, the Wizards played at a good pace, obviously, since they scored 127 points, but only turned the ball over 10 times (while netting 30 assists). All and all, it was only the 51st time in the last 10 seasons that a NBA team scored 125 or more points, tallied 30 or more assists, and committed 10 or less turnovers [via basketball-reference.com].

After the game, John Wall spoke about his development and the understanding that he and Randy Wittman have come to on pace:

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Closing Shots.

via Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

[Beasley showing a little more emotion than David Stern is comfortable with after a viscous dunk on Nene. Beasley promptly received a tech.]

[Beal was not happy with his minutes restriction in his first game back. Wittman wasn’t hearing it.]

[Sam Cassell mediating the post-game peace talks between Wall and O’Neal. The altercation started between O’Neal and Booker but ended without incident.]

[Beasley being Beasley.]

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
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.