DC Council Game 71: Wizards 80 at Thunder 103: Hard to Not to Get Thunderstruck With Only 8 Players | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 71: Wizards 80 at Thunder 103: Hard to Not to Get Thunderstruck With Only 8 Players

Updated: March 28, 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. 71, Washington Wizards at Oklahoma City Thunder; contributors: Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie from the comfort of their abodes.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Lonesome Dove.

[Why the long #WittmanFace? via @recordsANDradio]

[John Wall’s post-game tweet, which seems to have been deleted for some reason. Adam McGinnis was on top of the screen-grab.]

Washington Wizards 80 at Oklahoma City Thunder 103
[box score]

MVP: Jan Vesely, because why not? He was the only Wizards player who didn’t finish with a plus/minus in the red (plus-3). The rest of his teammates finished minus-11 or worse. Great show. Seriously, though? It was Wall, again, who double-doubled with 18 points and 12 assists.

Stat of the Game: The Wizards have the fourth-worst FG% in the league this season (.436), but they were ice cold out west, shooting 32.1 percent from the field in a 23-point loss. The Thunder scored 103 points on 63 shots (1.63 points per attempt), while the Wizards mustered just 80 on 84 attempts (0.95 per).

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Broken J?

John Wall earned nine attempts from the free throw line in the first quarter. He also drew two early fouls on Russell Westbrook, on jumper attempts no less. The Wizards still finished the period down six, 29-23. Mostly because offensive option Nos. 1, 2 and 3 (and 4, and 5)—that John Wall guy—couldn’t hit a jumper.

Clang after clang, but at end of the first half, the Wizards—luckily—only found themselves down eight points. Still, Wall had missed jumpers from 10, 18, 17, 18, 17, 19, 18, and 23 feet. He also missed a runner from three feet, made a one-foot layup, and went 8-for-11 from the foul line. Without a spark from the Game Changer, the rest of the Wiz Kids couldn’t get going. Wall did eventually hit a jumper. Good, he stuck with it. Still, some audible frustration were heard through the television screen upon another miss.

The key to the game was the Wizards only having eight players available against the team with the third-best record in the NBA on their home court. The key to the big picture is how John Wall’s jumper looks the next game, and the next….

—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
In his first game after putting on a red carpet-worthy performance and scoring 47 points against the Memphis Grizzlies, Wall reaped the benefits and received the red carpet treatment against the Oklahoma City Thunder—at least for one quarter. In the first period, Russell Westbrook seemed determined to deny Wall the 15- to 18 foot jump shot. After fouling Wall twice within the first two and half minutes, Westbrook found himself on the bench. The referees sent Wall to the free throw line nine times in the quarter, but he easily could have gone to the line four or five more times, because the Thunder seemed to hit him every time he had the ball. But after the first, the curtains seemed to close on Wall’s performance from the charity stripe—and from the field. He did have 12 assists, which is amazing considering Martell Webster, Bradley Beal and Nene were missing from the lineup. While he had no problem creating space for his jumper against Westbrook, Reggie Williams and even Kevin Martin, Wall’s shot was the antithesis of wet, as he went 3-for-18 from the field (18 points). He may very well be a max contract player, but he cannot be expected to carry the scoring load for a shorthanded team two games in a row.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

2 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Russell Westbrook was sidelined with fouls early in the first quarter, which should have made life easier for Temple. But then Reggie Jackson checked in and went right to work, scoring six points and dishing out an assist. Temple started the second quarter at point guard, and did a decent job zipping the ball around, but the lack of shooters just killed the Wizards, and the offense had as much kick as a communion wafer.

Temple scored 13 points on 11 shots, adding two assists (again, no one could hit a shot) and four steals in 39 minutes. Related fun fact from the broadcast: His father was the first black player to ever play for LSU.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
Last season, Chris Singleton routinely found himself matched up against shooting guards, small forwards and even power forwards. He wasn’t expected to provide much offense, he was just asked to use his size and quickness to make life difficult for the man he was guarding. Against the Thunder, Singleton was frequently matched up against Kevin Durant, and while he didn’t shut him down, he did help force Durant into a challenging night (20 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 10-for-10 from the line). But unlike last season, the shorthanded Wizards needed Singleton’s offense as well, and he had none to offer. He missed open shots, he was passive in his drives to the lane (one of which was a tepid shot that Serge Ibaka tossed back in his face), and he shot just 3-for-12 and scored eight points.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
Trevor Booker once again stuck his head in the fray in his second straight start for the weak-kneed Nene. He finished with 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting; made a 20-foot jumper and a 10-foot runner. The Cook Book snagged eight rebounds in his 27 minutes. Most impressive was that five of them were offensive. Hard work from a guy with a nose for the ball. He also didn’t make as many noticeable mistakes on defense, something that’s plagued Booker as of late. But hey, making mistakes when providing a high level of effort is understandable. At this point, Booker’s biggest, changeable crutches (so, not his height) are his jump shot and his feel for the game. The reps he’s getting now can only help him. At least that’s the hope. And if you ask me, Ernie Grunfeld shouldn’t be afraid of sending ALL the second-tier Wiz kids to the Las Vegas Summer League this July for training and bonding—Singleton, Vesely, Booker, Seraphin, Tomas Satoransky, maybe get Shelvin Mack back, call up Emir Preldzic, whomever they draft in 2013, and why not Garrett Temple?

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Like everyone else on the Wizards not named John Wall or Garrett Temple, Emeka Okafor neglected to bring his offensive repertoire to Oklahoma City. One could easily retort by saying he was going against one of the (allegedly) best post defenders in the NBA in Kendrick Perkins, but Okafor was out-jumping Perkins and tapping offensive rebounds back to his teammates, and he was getting good shots in the post. He simply could not close the deal. Okafor missed seven of his nine shots, scoring just five points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Okafor does, however, get extra points (0.5 to be exact) for his Unseldian play in the third quarter when he caught an alley-oop intended for Kendrick Perkins and threw a long outlet pass to Wall (Wall didn’t convert, but at least it looked pretty).

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Cartier Martin
Cartier Martin made two 3s in the first quarter, so things were looking up for a guy the Wizards ask to be a jump shooter (and little else). Wall was expecting Martin to pick up the scoring, raising his arms in anticipation of buried 3-pointers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Martin’s night—he didn’t hit another J, his last, until the fourth quarter, a 16-footer. He did, however, get to the free throw line a couple times, going 4-for-4, his best effort from the charity stripe since a November 26 meeting with the Spurs (a loss, because Wizards). Better luck next time, Champ.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Oh, hi Jan. How u? You played against the Thunder. Sweet. And guess what? You were the only Wizard to finish in the positive in plus/minus. Yes sir, you did. A whole plus-3 in 15:37 of action. The next ‘best’ plus/minus on the team: Emeka Okafor’s minus-11.

Janny-Boy missed all three of his shots from the field, made both of his free throws (Hey! Lookie there!), grabbed six rebounds (three offensive), one block, one turnover and two fouls. Vesely looked mostly lost on the court—a good job/good effort brand of lost, mind you—and his teammates didn’t look for him. Can’t blame them. The team all seemed to be mind-trapped between Jan not being able to catch the ball and his teammates not knowing how to get it to him. (Lobs, everyone!)

Otherwise, hang in there, dull John.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

[You gonna give me the timeout, Mr. Ref? Don’t take this #WittmanFace smile for a fool.]

The Good Ole Days?

TAI’s Conor Dirks may have described this game best on Twitter: “This is a vintage 2012 John Wall Game. Not even hating, this is just what they looked like.” What “that” looked like is a team full of guys with limited scoring ability (Wall was a brickmason), decent defense and some heart. And what that adds up to is an ugly performance, marked by plenty of frustration from Wittman who had absolutely no answers on the bench. Cartier Martin, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely didn’t offer much reinforcement, which left the head coach #WittmanFace-ing to no one in particular after errors.

The Wizards died a slow, painful death. This game couldn’t have ended fast enough.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Parting Shots.

[Bradley Beal and his new ‘fashion’ specs.]

[Cartier Martin prepares for a Go-Kart ride, and poor Kevin Seraphin didn’t know about it. via Instagram/yaeyo20]

[Flu-ridden Trevor Ariza trying to keep teammates healthy. via Instagram/GTemp14]

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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.