DC Council Game 67: Wizards 88 at Suns 79: An Actual #WittmanFace Smile (Sort of) | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 67: Wizards 88 at Suns 79: An Actual #WittmanFace Smile (Sort of)

Updated: March 22, 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. 67, Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns; contributors: Conor Dirks and Kyle Weidie via television broadcast.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

A smile from #WittmanFace?

(sort of)

Washington Wizards 88 at Phoenix Suns 79
[box score]

MVP: Why not give it to young Kevin Seraphin? 16 points, 8-for-11 FGs, five rebounds, 30 minutes off the bench.

Stat of the Game: Without Emeka Okafor, Washington gave up 13 offensive rebounds to Phoenix and only snagged six of their own. However, the Suns managed just two second-chance points while the Wizards scored eight.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

It’s John Wall, again.

The Wizards’ largest second half lead came after Martell Webster hit a 3-pointer just over a minute into the third period. Predictably, that 17-point lead (which was as high as 18 points in the first half), was trimmed to a mere three points thanks to an offensive rebound and put-back by an Iranian national, Hamad Haddadi, with 8:38 left in the fourth quarter.

Joined on the court with comrades Webster, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, John Wall told them to be cool. He set up a high screen on the right side with Seraphin, while Booker attracted attention on the strong side short corner. The Suns stayed home on the wing shooters, Wall jetted past the line of defense, jumped to pass, and found Big Kevin, popping and waiting at the right elbow. The big man hit the J to push Washington’s lead back to five points.

After a defensive stop and with Nene checking back in, Wall next used a ball screen set the Brazilian with the action heading left this time. With the defense collapsing, Wall got closer than usual and hit the short, runner-like jumper a couple feet inside of the left elbow. It gave the Wizards a seven-point lead that would creep back to five points just once after Luis Scola made a jumper at the 4:21 mark, but that was as close as Phoenix would get.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Wall had 19 points, eight assists, two rebounds (both offensive), and one steal during his team-high thirty-six minutes. A good game (above average in scoring and distributing) until you consider the five turnovers, which seem to be constant companions to our young point guard’s game. It’s hard to nitpick in a victory, especially one in which John did well to find shooters in space, but there are signs that Wall’s focus isn’t always as sharp as his coach would like. For example, with 10:13 left, the Suns got a rebound, and Goran Dragic took it up the floor, changing speeds around mid-court.  As he passed by, Wall lifted a hand in recognition of said passing, but didn’t adjust to Dragic, or P.J. Tucker, who he was guarding at the time. Wall is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) guards in the association, so it was surprising to see P.J. Tucker beat him down the floor with ease for a wide-open layup on the Dragic dish.Wall’s jumper continues to improve. He made 12-, 14-, 15-, and 22-foot jumpers, and shot 7-for-14 overall. With the game still close, around 2:07 before the end of regulation, Wall drove quickly down the court, leading his defender toward the corner, before nailing a clutch fall-away. Wizards turnovers (21 in the game) kept the Suns in it, and Wall contributed to that. Wall’s play also helped the team pull away when Phoenix made a late run.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Back to reality? One game after his best game, Garrett Temple did all of nothing in Phoenix. No points on four missed shots, three rebounds, three assists, two turnovers, two steals, and two fouls. Even with Bradley Beal getting hurt, Temple played just three minutes in the fourth quarter. So, as Beal will likely be out for four-to-five games, at least (my guess), get ready for more Garrett Temple, but also perhaps get ready for less Garrett Temple, as Randy Wittman might find more comfort playing Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza as the 2/3 combo next to John Wall during crunch time.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Pretty standard, if not slightly sub-par, Martell Webster fare in the desert — 13 points, 5-for-9 FGs, 3-for-5 3Ps, one missed free throw, two rebounds, two assists, and one turnover. The one give-away came in the fourth quarter when he bounced a pass of Kevin Seraphin’s face. Two of Webster’s 3-pointers came up key in the third quarter as the Wizards looked primed to give the game away to the Suns. Midway through the period, after Phoenix had cut a 17-point Wizards lead to nine in less than four minutes, the trusty John Wall-to-Martell Webster in the corner for 3 helped stop some of the bleeding.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Nene looks stronger now than he did upon his first return and is throwing down with strength regularly. His footwork around the basket can be impressive: around 9:48 in the third, he backed down Jermaine O’Neal, spun left, then spun back right and held the ball away from O’Neal while still drawing enough contact for the officials to call a foul. Deviations from the standard can often catch defenders unaware, and that’s something Nene could impart to his gameplay devotee, Kevin Seraphin. In fact, Mr. Hilario got to the line with regularity (9-for-12), a welcome ability for a big man who can also sink his free throws. Nene added a couple steals, a couple nifty passes down low, and eight rebounds. But he also turned the ball over five times (including an offensive three-seconds with just 1:41 left in the game), which is unacceptable for a player splitting time between power forward and center. Washington’s big money big man averages 2.4 turnovers per game. Only David Lee and Blake Griffin average more turnovers per game than Nene at the power forward position. At center? Only DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah. Either way, his carelessness with the ball is something Nene needs to address before next season, when hopefully, these games matter more.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Jason Collins
D.C. basketball fans, rise to meet the future! Jason Collins made his first start as a Washington Wizard, and boy does he impress! Zero points, but all the small things, I swear! Really, though, Collins lived up to his resume: 4 fouls, 0 points. He also contributed three boards, two blocks, two dimes, and perhaps most surprisingly, two steals in his modest seventeen minutes. It was interesting to note that Collins was back in the game late in the fourth and contributed nice help defense as the Wizards closed out the contest. Emeka Okafor has more often than not been confined to the bench in the fourth quarter. I guess we can eliminate principle as the reason for that strategic decision.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
It’s good to see Kevin Seraphin finally hit his jump hook as consistently as he posts memes to his Instagram account. Kevin had a big second quarter, and by halftime had racked up twelve points on 6-for-7 shooting. When Kevin shoots before the double team arrives, he’s far more successful than when he waits and tries to pass out of a double team. The latter scenario is where turnovers occur, and it played out a few times in Phoenix. Although he slowed down in the second half (2-for-4 shooting in 11 minutes), Seraphin gave good minutes (still no free throw attempts, though!) for the Wizards, who were without their starting center and in need of paint production.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

2.5 out of 3 stars 

Trevor Ariza
For the excellent defensive player that he is, Trevor Ariza is a rather chill bro… And I’m kind of liking the guy as a Wizard, although I’m not too attached to him. The dude that Randy Wittman calls his best defender loves the West Coast, his L.A. Kings hat, cargo pants, and cliche tats. During the first half in Phoenix, Ariza did his thing with 14 points, hitting 5-for-7 FGs and 3-for-4 3-pointers; in the second half, he did his thing with zero points (three missed 3s and two missed FTs)… Chillin’

So, what will you have for us in La-La Land on Friday, Trevor?

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

[A curious #WittmanFace]

Randy’s Bench.

Randy has made no secret about preferring to ride “hot hands” during the course of a game, so no one should be shocked that both Trevor Ariza (5-for-10 shooting and 3-for-7 from 3) and Kevin Seraphin (8-for-11) saw extended minutes on Wednesday night. The bench unit performed admirably, and Wittman was comfortable letting Ariza eclipse Martell Webster’s minutes total even though Webster also shot very well (5-for-9 FGs and 3-for-5 from 3). Greater of two goods? Wall and Beal’s synergy is well documented, and so many were surprised that Garrett Temple continued to start over Beal. It’s unclear whether that was due to injury sensitivity, and Beal’s re-injury might keep the question unanswered for the next few weeks, as well.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Distant #WittmanFace.

[Randy Wittman, top left corner, with arms raised, after Bradley Beal botched an easy lob pass to John Wall.]

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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.