DC Council Game 66: Wizards 114 at Bobcats 119: With a Tail Between Their Legs | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 66: Wizards 114 at Bobcats 119: With a Tail Between Their Legs

Updated: March 19, 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. 66, Washington Wizards at Charlotte Bobcats; contributors: Conor Dirks, Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie via television broadcast.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Faux Pas.

[Happy Pappy Michael Jordan finds a smile amidst the glow of his outfit.]

Washington Wizards 114 at Charlotte Bobcats 119
[box score]

MVP: Gerald Henderson did lots of things… Traditionally, he could be classified as a Wizards killer. On Monday night Henderson poured in a game-high 27 points as the Wizards gave him 11 attempts from the free-throw line, where he made 10. Henderson also cut up Washington’s lacking defense with eight assists (two turnovers), had one massive block of Trevor Booker, and sealed the deal with a 3-point dagger to put the Bobcats up seven points with 56 seconds left.

Stat of the Game: It was only Charlotte’s best shooting game of the year (42-for-79 field goals, 53.2%) and their fifth best shooting game (in a win) over the past three seasons… So there’s that.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Booked & Blocked.

With 2:02 left in the third quarter, and the Wizards up 86-85, Trevor Booker went up for a one-handed dunk after a nice pass from Emeka Okafor. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending. Mere milliseconds later, Booker was pulling himself up from the floor after landing hard on his tailbone, the ball knocked loose by Gerald Henderson. The Bobcats pushed the ball up the court in transition and hit a 3-pointer. Then came an increasingly rare missed John Wall jumper (somehow, the universe put Booker on his duff again during this play) and a Henderson dunk.  This series of possessions had it all. And when I say it had it all, I really mean it featured inept defense and poor decision making by the Wizards, both of which contributed to their eventual demise. Much will also be made of the late-game turnovers, but they were merely a symptom of a disease, one that is diagnosable when the Charlotte Bobcats drop 119 points on your dome in regulation.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
It was the best of Wall, it was the worst of Wall … and a whole lot in between. At least things started out well. The Bobcats, like the Suns before them, played no defense and Wall took advantage. He scored in bunches and he did it efficiently (25 points, 8-for-17 FGs, 1-for-1 3Ps, 8-for-9 FTs). Two plays stand out. First, the four-point play. Early in the second quarter the Bobcats left Wall unguarded as he inbounded the ball from the left sideline. Wall quickly passed to Nene and ran to the corner 3-point line for a return pass. Ben Gordon was slow to close out because, well, it’s John Wall spotting up for a corner 3. One savvy leg-kick later and Wall is at the line collecting his fourth point while Gordon looks like he just saw the most unbelievable thing in the world—which he kind of did.Fast forward to 5:01 left in the fourth quarter and Washington clinging to a 105-104 lead. Wall waits at the top of the key for an Okafor screen then takes two gliding dribbles to his right and confidently pulls up at the elbow for an easy jumper. This play, while unspectacular, is the key to Wall’s—and, by (max) extension, the Wizard’s—future. Wall can beat anyone off the dribble. Once he can hit that pull-up consistently, Washington’s half-court offense will be complete.

Unfortunately, Wall’s defense remains a work in progress. He has the tools to be an elite perimeter defender, but he doesn’t always use them. Wall especially struggles defending quick point guards in pick-and-rolls—which is exactly what he faced with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter and the Wizards desperately needing a stop down 113-111. Wall tried to go over the top of a Kemba Walker/Josh McRoberts pick-and-roll and Kemba blew right past him. By the time Wall made it to the free throw line, Kemba was laying it up at the rim.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

2 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Garrett Temple was the best Garrett Temple he could be on Monday night, matching his career high of 17 points, which he ironically set as a member of the Bobcats in April 2011. Temple did a bit of everything in Charlotte, making the semi-rational forget about Jordan Crawford while the other half of semi-rational wonders if Temple, who will turn 27 in May, is a piece for the future. Against the Bobcats he hit spot-up 3s; he aggressively attacked the rim in transition, once earning an and-1; he skied for key offensive rebounds; he adeptly broke pressure from Charlotte when running the point; and he continued to be his steady self. You could potentially see Temple as the second or third guard off the bench serving in a combo role in the future; you could potentially see Temple selling his wares elsewhere next season.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
The Wizard remained relatively veiled last night. Coming off of his best game as a pro, Martell Webster barely made his presence felt in his team-high 35 minutes. Overall, he was 3-for-7 from the field, but several of those were desperation chucks near the end of the fourth quarter (one even went in!). Although he scored less than any other Washington starter, Webster still managed to put up twelve points due in large part to his five free throw attempts, second on the team behind Wall.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1 out of 3 stars

Early in the season Nene missed a lot of easy shots at the rim. He just did not have the lift to finish in traffic. However, over the last few games, he appears to have more spring in his step. Nene threw down a couple dunks against Phoenix on Saturday and he continued his assault on the rim on Monday night in Charlotte. He toyed with Bismack Biyombo on a couple spin moves and showed surprising athleticism on several dunks. Nene even had his jumper working. But his passing was even more impressive. He dished six assists in the first half on a variety of passes, including a nice give-and-go to Wall on the baseline. Unfortunately, Nene was hampered by foul trouble in the second half, scoring only three field goals with one assist after the break. Notwithstanding his limited minutes (29) Nene handed out a season high seven assists and scored 21 points on 11 shots (9-for-11 FGs). An efficient and productive night in a losing effort.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
In the first quarter, as Washington’s offense played down to the competition, Emeka Okafor was about the only thing the Wizards had going for them—eight of his 17 points came in the period with Josh McRoberts and Biyombo playing the defensive victims. In comparison to past experiences with Brendan Haywood, Okafor is quite coordinated on offense, and it’s nice that the Wizards at least have the option to throw it into him in an isolation situation against McRoberts when all else on offense fails. In the third quarter, Okafor brought more of the same, blocking a Gerald Henderson dunk at the rim, snagging offensive rebounds, and scoring six points. But in the fourth quarter, as we’ve regularly come to expect, Okafor sat the bench for all except 2:28 of action. Randy Wittman mostly opted for Trevor Booker, and that’s all fine and good considering Booker has more defensive versatility and can be slightly more active. That said, with Booker’s intelligence failings on defense against the Bobcats, Wittman must think more carefully next time if the more solid veteran is a better choice down the stretch. Okafor added nine rebounds, two blocks and three turnovers to his 17 points in 30 minutes.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal needs to channel his inner risk management analyst. Beal didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (2-for-8, and 0-for-3 from 3), but more alarming was the unnecessary contact he sometimes forced when trying to make defensive plays. Not only did it get him in foul trouble, it also imbued many Wizards fans with an uncomfortable sense of vulnerability. It may behoove Coach Wittman to get Beal back in the starting lineup; it’s where Brad has shined the brightest, and allows for the most shared time with Wall and Webster, both of whom can pull defenders off of Beal and get him better looks.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
Booker has averaged 24 minutes and 11.3 rebounds over his last three games and has flashed the energy and intensity that made him a fan favorite during his rookie and sophomore years. He played 27 minutes against Charlotte, thanks in part to Nene’s foul trouble, but failed to make an impact. Two crucial defensive lapses were especially costly. First, when Kemba Walker drove to the basket with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter, Booker left Byron Mullens to protect the rim but stood flat-footed as Walker floated by and did not contest the shot in any way. Then, as pictured below, Booker was the culprit on Gerald Henderson’s game-ending 3-pointer. Booker left Mullens in the corner and cheated into the paint. This left Ariza alone with both Mullens and Henderson.When Charlotte swung the ball to the top of the key, Mullens cut to the basket and Henderson spotted up for 3. Ariza rotated to Mullens and Booker came out to the foul line to cut off McRoberts’ drive and, theoretically, cover Henderson.

Instead, Booker turned and ran away from Henderson like the plague—presumably to go find Mullens who, of course, was already being covered by Ariza. This left Henderson wide open for a 3 while his presumptive rotating defender was 15 feet away with his back turned. Dagger.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

0.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Why me?

[“I can’t watch. Tell me when the inbounds play is over.”]

Well, this is getting ridiculous. After beating Phoenix on Saturday to cap a three-game home winning streak, Wizards players and coaches talked at length about needing to sustain the energy and intensity on the road. So, what happens? Washington allows the 29th ranked NBA offense to score 119 points on 53.2 percent shooting. Washington dropped its league-worst road record to 5-26. At some point, the finger has to point at the coach. Sure, Wittman wasn’t the one throwing errant inbounds passes or leaving Gerald Henderson alone for open 3s, but he is responsible for getting his players ready to play. Wittman has to do something before Wednesday’s game against the Suns. Whatever it takes.

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Closing Shots.

via Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

[“Can one of you f’ing cover Gerald Henderson??!!”]

[This pretty much sums up the final two minutes of the game.]

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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Nich

    Congrats on not mentioning the refs..on the scale of the last 2 years, I think this was my 3rd least favorite officiated game behind the last loss on the road vs the Clippers, and a midseason game in Orlando last year where Seraphin destroyed Dwight (and dwight destroyed mcgee) and the Magic got bailed out by phantom call after phantom call.

    It was nice to see some decent run from Booker lately, but theCharlotte game underlined that oh yes, all 4 of our young bigs have regressed mightily.

    Doubt Beal comes off the bench much longer, seems like standard operating procedure for the Wiz.. But if we want to start tanking now, you’ll hear no complaints from me!