DC Council Game 68: Wizards 103 at Lakers 100: Wall and Ariza Cook Kobe on the Comeback | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 68: Wizards 103 at Lakers 100: Wall and Ariza Cook Kobe on the Comeback

Updated: March 23, 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. 68, Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Lakers; contributors: Conor Dirks, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie via television broadcast.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council


[It was a head-shaker for Kobe Bryant once Trevor Ariza started raining 3s.]

[Ariza game face?]

[Randy, relieved.]

Washington Wizards 103 at Los Angeles Lakers 100
[box score]

MVP: John Wall, and I don’t mind giving this to him at all. 24 points, a career-high 16 assists, team-high 6 rebounds, and game-high 3 steals. Best part? Only one turnover.

Stat of the Game: The Wizards didn’t shoot as well as the Lakers, and they were soundly out-rebounded (minus-9). This game was won (or lost, depending) with turnovers. Los Angeles got careless with the ball in the second half after building an 18 point lead. Those two things are probably connected, somehow. Hint: directly so. By the end of the game, the Wizards were plus-8 in the turnover department, forcing 17 Lakers errors while committing only nine, and scoring 21 points off of L.A.’s mistakes. Some of the turnovers were lucky (Kobe passed the ball to some dude in the first row out of nowhere) but others were a result of good reads and defensive effort, the latter of which is important to note on a day traditionally dedicated to the “they just play harder” All-Stars of the NCAA tournament.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

All Kobe, and no one else.

After scoring just 41 points against the Lakers in the first half, the Wizards scored 62 total points in the second half (31 in each quarter) thanks to Trevor Ariza and John Wall (19 and 18 second half points respectively). But the Wizards’ ability to hold the Lakers to 43 second half points, after surrendering 57 in the first half, enabled them to close the deficit. Their defense during the last 2:18 of the game, specifically their ability to make the Lakers Kobe-dependent, helped them win the game.

With 2:18 left in the fourth, Kobe drew a borderline call against Trevor Ariza and was awarded two shots. He hit the first to give the Lakers a 97-94 lead, and then he missed the second. From that point until 2.3 seconds left in the game, the Lakers had six offensive possessions, and were only able to score three points via a desperation 3-point heave from Kobe Bryant. The first two possessions, Ariza crowded Kobe and did not let him get enough separation for an open shot, and Nene did a great job of cutting off the lane to deny him penetration. During the third possession, Ariza and Garrett Temple denied Bryant the ball, forcing Metta World Peace to leave his comfort zone, and drive the lane, where he ran right into Nene and was called for charging. The Lakers then called timeout and ran a set play designed to clear the lane for the Kobe. He had an open shot, but Nene put a hand in his face, and he missed again. By this point, the Wizards were in the midst of a 7-0 run, and they led 100-97.

Kobe hit a tough 3-pointer to pull the Lakers within one, but after the two John Wall free throws, he missed the shot at the buzzer that could have sent the game to overtime. Yes, Kobe was being a ball hog and taking bad shots, but the Wizards’ defense–specifically the play of Ariza and Nene–played a significant role as well.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
Remember that stretch when John Wall was playing so poorly that it had ‘some’ (I plead the fifth) comparatively wondering between John Wall and Evan Turner? No, it was never serious, but we’re all glad Wall has since quashed such silliness (and Falk-ups otherwise). Ten of Wall’s 24 points and six of his career-high 16 assists came in the fourth quarter … in crunch time. That’s the type of progression that’s most impressive. Wall made all six of the free throws he attempted in the final period; Kobe Bryant went 4-for-7. Wizards won by three, I guess.After the game Wall said he was playing at his highest confidence level since AAU ball. It definitely showed. He controlled that game. Sure, the Lakers are struggling with defense on the season, but that doesn’t take away from Wall maneuvering and manipulating them like he did. My favorite play came when the Wizards took their first lead of the game. Wall duped Kobe into thinking his jet-quick jump pass was going to Nene at the free throw line. Nope, it went to Trevor Ariza in the right corner. Splash. In addition to the 10 points he scored in the fourth, Wall had a hand in 17 points in the final 12 minutes via his passing. Clutch.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

3 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Temple took fewer shots in the game than anyone named Jason Collins in more minutes than anyone not named John Wall. And honestly, that’s probably what you want to see out of Temple. Despite a plus/minus of minus-2 (deserved mostly via a poor first half), Temple acquitted himself well in one of the toughest matchups he’s likely to see. His two three-pointers will help us forget the Rashard Lewis-esque botched 3-on-1 fast break, and, bizarrely, Temple also tied (Wall!) for the team-high in rebounds. Temple doesn’t require the ball (13.4% usage in 2012-13), and he doesn’t hoist unforgiveable jumpers as often as we’d be comfortable with in D.C. What does he do? In a good outing, he does what he did against L.A., attempt less than ten shots, make half of them, and contest on defense. Garrett Temple is not going to give you Bradley Beal, but he will give you something, and most of the time you’ll feel alright about it.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

2 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Martell went just 2-for-7 from the 3-point line, but he was nice enough to let Trevor Ariza borrow his mojo for the night. He finished with 13 points, and seven of those came during the last five minutes of the second quarter when he had two dunks (one via a pass from Nene, the other an acrobatic alley oop from John Wall) to go with his patented corner 3-pointer. Not bad, not great, just solid.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

It couldn’t be all on John Wall, the Wizards desperately needed the scoring of Nene. Sure, there are plenty of times when you want Nene’s talents to be more present (Only five rebounds? The turnovers, on some nights; he had only one in L.A.). But, you must keep remembering all else that Nene brings. Simply put: he holds the team together.On the season, Nene’s plus-4.3 in plus/minus per 48 minutes is tops on the Wizards (and in the top 10 of NBA power forwards); John Wall is ranked second on the team at plus-3.5. So late in the fourth, after the Wizards fought back to take the lead only to have the Lakers take it back, 97-94 with 2:18 left, the Wizards leaned on Nene. First, the classic screen-and-roll with John Wall. Nene caught the ball in the middle of the lane, teetered on a traveling hinged on his great footwork, and found a way to score from three feet. On the next possession, Nene put on a display (for Kevin Seraphin) in having confidence to attack Dwight Howard. From the left block, he took a couple power dribbles and made a very tough right-handed hook that had to find its way through limbs. And next? Another pick and roll with Wall. This time the Lakers left Nene a wide lane to dart down and Howard couldn’t do anything but foul. Nene made 1-of-2 free throws, keeping the Wizards up for good, 99-97. The Wizards’ rock finished the night with 15 points (7-for-15 FGs) five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Jason Collins
There was a time when Jason Collins was known for his ability to defend strong centers like Shaquille O”Neal and Dwight Howard, but sadly that time has passed. He picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter (although to Collins’ credit, they were questionable calls) and was replaced by Kevin Seraphin with 8:20 left in the period. In the third quarter, he was whistled for two more calls in less than three minutes, and he again found himself on the bench. In between the foul binges, he did manage to hit a pretty (but hesitant) shot from the top of the key, but other than that, Collins, who has been a non-factor in a Wizards uniform overall, was even less of a factor tonight.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
Seraphin dit non! Kevin’s globe-engulfing block on Antawn Jamison was a highlight, his “360-degree panic pass” (thanks @MrMichaelLee) was a lowlight. Early in the game, Kevin seemed to not fully grasp his role when playing against Dwight Howard. In the third quarter, he must have had a flashback to last season when he broke out against the Lakers. Kevin hit three big shots in the second half of the game, played more aggressive defense, and even…wait for it… got to the free throw line, as we’ve all always hoped he might one day. He’s still struggling anytime an opposing defense brings a second man to crowd or harass him, and even though his moves are as predictable as the sun setting every night, Kevin’s last two games have been good ones. He’s stepping up at the right time, too, with Okafor far too contagious to play. It will be interesting to see if Randy Wittman rewards him with increased minutes after Emeka returns.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
After his good first half (but bad second half) against the Suns, I asked: ‘So, what will you have for us in La-La Land on Friday, Trevor?’Apparently the answer was: ‘I’m going home and smoking them with a Hookah full of 3-pointers.’ Ariza only poured in a career high seven 3s (on 12 attempts) en route to 25 points (9-for-15 FGs), four rebounds and four assists. The Lakers kept leaving Ariza open ,and he kept firing it up. In the fourth quarter alone Ariza scored 14 points and went 4-for-6 from deep.

He also picked up two turnovers and three fouls in playing all 12 minutes of the final session. But that’s part of the price of having to guard Kobe Bryant. Did I mention Ariza also managed to make life pretty tough on Kobe? Ariza made sure to extend and contest every one of Kobe’s hubris-filled, desperate jump shot attempts, nobly dealing with a couple B.S. whistles from the refs. Kobe went 4-for-10 from the field in the fourth quarter and not one of the makes was easy (well, aside from a baseline dunk — where was the help?).

After Ariza hit his seventh 3-pointer, he trotted down the court. He and Kobe clearly had an exchange of words, but all I could really make out via T.V. was Ariza nodding his head ‘yea’ and Kobe shaking his head ‘no’.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

3 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

[#WittmanFace after picking up an early tech in defense of John Wall. via instagram]

Cool Hand Randy.

Coach was out of his comfort zone against the Lakers: AJ Price was hurt for the sixth consecutive game, which meant big minutes (44) for Wall. Okafor was out with flu-like symptoms, and Coach had to rely on a defensive player with no offense in Collins, and a player who is routinely on the bad end of his rants in Kevin Seraphin. Throw in Bradley Beal’s injury and Cartier Martin’s loss of shooting stroke, and this had the potential to be a blowout for the Wizards, and for the first 24 minutes it was just that. But when the Wizards were playing listless defense and trailing by 15-20 points, Wittman kept his cool and only drew a technical when an out-of-control Wall did not get a foul call. Maybe he lost his cool at halftime and implored his team to play like hell on defense, but on the sideline, Wittman trusted his team, and they rewarded him with a victory.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

[“Fine, I’ll sit here. But if we’re not running the Princeton offense I’m not watching.” -#EddieJordanFace]

[It’s going to be a long ride back to the nursing home.]

[Hold on, Randy.]

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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.