DC Council Game 72: Wizards 92 at Magic 97: That #SoWizards Magic in Orlando | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 72: Wizards 92 at Magic 97: That #SoWizards Magic in Orlando

Updated: March 31, 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. 72, Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic; contributors: Conor Dirks, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie from the comfort of their abodes.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council


[#WittmanFace to Kevin Seraphin, image via @Above_Legit]

Washington Wizards 92 at Orlando Magic 97
[box score]

MVP: Could give it to John Wall again since he scored 31, but since Orlando won, Tobias Harris and his 30 points, 11 rebounds gets the nod. Harris also picked up three steals and three blocks, once rejecting the undersized Trevor Booker and another time sending back a Wall layup attempt at the third quarter buzzer.

Stat of the Game: The Wizards got smacked in the nose and squashed in the paint by the Magic, getting outscored 48-28 in the area (Orlando set the tone by topping Washington 34-20 in first half paint points).

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Offensive Offense.

The Wizards are 3-11 against Eastern Conference teams with records worse than their own, so I’m tempted to commemorate that achievement by describing Trevor Booker’s “own goal” late in the second quarter in excruciating detail. Fortunately for everyone reading, it’s just a little too soon.

This game slipped away from the Wizards in a critical mid-fourth quarter sequence with Wall on the bench, and Washington within a basket at 82-80 after an emphatic Martell Webster slam. Washington looked to be knocking on the door. Then Orlando’s E’Twaun Moore hit an uncontested jump shot, and found a wide-open Andrew Nicholson for another uncontested jumper on consecutive possessions. After a timeout, Wall checked back in. The Wizards got several stops in a row, but never converted. At 4:53, Moore capped off his stellar sequence as he drew an And-1 against Wall. All told, the Wizards didn’t score for just over three minutes (7:37-4:33), in crunch time, against the 24th ranked defense in the NBA. Orlando didn’t make them pay as badly as Oklahoma City might have during that time, but the distance earned was enough.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
John Wall is shooting just 9-for-25 outside five feet in the two games since what Buckhantz called, “that miraculous game in Memphis where he scored 47.” But he is feeling more comfortable in his own skin, that much is obvious, even if the shot doesn’t always go down. On one possession in the first half, with the shot clock winding down, Wall found himself near the baseline on the right wing. Five, four, three … He checked the clock, before spinning over top of an Emeka Okafor screen, then pulling up at the right elbow and for a jumper—from his spot. Watergate. Later, in the third, Wall, camping in the right corner, received a pass from Webster and fired a 3-pointer. No hesitation. Swish. Confidence, and an increasingly professional half-court sensibility, are going to make Wall a dangerous scorer, especially since he’s still very much capable of going coast-to-coast for points in a blink of an eye like he did right before halftime.

The Wizards are playing the long game, so you’ll take 11 makes on 28 field goal attempts (a career-high) from the Game Changer. And you’ll take some questionable late-game decision making, including a fast break, down three, where Wall passed to Ariza above the break (28.7%) when he could have either found Webster in the corner (49%) or taken it to the hole and forced a foul (Wall was 12-for-14 from the stripe). Sometimes, it’s easier to learn from failure.

35 points, nine rebounds, two assists (four turnovers), two steals and some baby steps toward superstardom.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

2 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
With his point guard going all Russell Westbrook, Garrett Temple stepped up to lead his team in assists. It’s just too bad all he had to do to earn that honor was dish three times. With the exception of a big 3-pointer at 9:19 in the third quarter during Washington’s push to even the game, Temple was forgettable, verging on disappointing (seven points, four rebounds, three assists). His role alongside John Wall is to space the floor by knocking down the long ball (1-for-6 shooting from behind the arc) and play tough defense (starting SG DeQuan Jones (what?!) only scored two points). It’s been noted recently that Temple has performed admirably in a situation he couldn’t have anticipated before being called up to the big leagues earlier this season, and that’s certainly true. Still, Temple shoots an almost identical (read: slightly worse) percentage from the floor as Jordan Crawford and only scores 8.2 points per 36 minutes. His offensive deficiencies may not ever be the direct reason for a loss, but the team simply needs more scoring from their nominal starting shooting guard.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Boy, is it nice to have Martell Webster back on the floor, even if the only 3 he made all night (on seven attempts) came in the first quarter, a walk up jumper from the top of the arc (assisted by Wall). His prettiest play was probably a post-up underhand no-look dish to a cutting Trevor Booker for a layup—a lot of muscle and some sleight of hand. Webster’s worst moment was letting Tobias Harris, who ran the Wizards ragged, beat him off the dribble and complete a three-point play at the rim. That gave the Magic a seven-point lead with about three minutes left in the game, 91-84.

The Dictionary finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
Trevor Booker again did what he does, get hustle rebounds. He had seven of them, two offensive, to go with seven points (3-for-7 FGs), one assist, one turnover, and nothing else in 25 minutes. However, the same issue arose as when Booker was starting earlier this season: his hustle falls way short in making up for his lack of height, and it’s especially a problem if Booker can’t improve his jumper. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Booker’s eFG% is 31.9 percent outside of 10 feet, which is third worst on the Wizards this season, after Jannero Pargo’s 29.7 percent and Jan Vesely’s 20 percent. But, according to NBA.com’s definition of “mid-range,” Booker is shooting 35.9 percent, which is not that different from Bradley Beal (36.9%), Trevor Ariza (35.8%) and Cartier Martin (35.6%) from mid-range. But those guards aren’t normally open from that distance, Booker usually is. Last season Booker shot 36.4 percent from mid-range, so he’s got to get that closer to 40 percent if he expects to play more.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Emeka Okafor pulled down 13 rebounds against the Magic, his highest total since a March 6 meeting against Minnesota. In the last 3:38 alone, Okafor grabbed five rebounds, possessions which turned into three trips to the free throw line for his teammates (and six points). His efforts on the glass helped spur a comeback that twice saw the Wizards come within four points of the Magic, but Okafor wasn’t the paint protector he needed to be. He had just one block and one foul in 30 minutes on a night where the Magic scored more than half of their points in the paint.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza finally came back from having the flu for almost a week to play an expectantly weak game. He gutted out 25 minutes off the bench–surely his legs were rubber. Ariza finished with five points, 2-for-6 from the field, 1-for-4 from the 3-point line, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a turnover. Ariza played the entire fourth, with Randy Wittman electing to go with his defense over Cartier Martin’s offense, even though the Wizards were trying to come back. Thus, Ariza looked less-than-stellar in missing some shots. Of course, on one late-game miss, John Wall should’ve taken it to the hoop and tried to draw a foul instead of passing out–there was plenty of time on the clock. On another late-game possession, Wall drove to the hoop while Ariza for some reason closed in from the corner. When Wall kicked the ball out to that spot for a 3-pointer, there was no Ariza around to catch it.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
#KevinSeraphinLife actually showed some life on the court in Orlando. Some. Actually, not much at all. Actually, it was pretty much the same #KevinSeraphinLife that we’ve been accustomed to this season. In 18 minutes he finished with four points on 2-for-5 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, two turnovers, and two fouls. Seraphin also finished with a team-worst minus-14. One time he displayed nice footwork on the baseline for a scoop shot. One time he got the ball and quick-fired a long, terrible 2-point miss as the trailer in early offense. Another time, Seraphin pulled the chair on Andrew Nicholson and got a key steal. The kid has a lot to learn about the game over the summer, especially in using his offensive skills to make the defense react instead of over-thinking every more. He’s to hoping that Randy Wittman convinces to pupil to get to work.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

0.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

[Charlie Brown!]

Where’s Wall(ace)!?

With so many players in and out of the infirmary, as it were, it’s been difficult for Wittman to field a full team, much less define his rotation. There are players getting floor time each night that Wittman, when the team is healthy, prefers to let languish on the bench. As we’ve learned from the the increasingly publicized (via narrative, via positive pixels) difference in Washington’s record with John Wall, the most important rotation to carve out is that of D.C.’s quasi-budding-super-sorta-max-star and whomever is backing him up on a given game night. Against Orlando, Wittman gave Wall a rest to begin the fourth quarter, and A.J. Price was able to guide the Wizards to a tie game after assisting Ariza on a 3-pointer. But when the Wizards went cold again, and Price got abused on several occasions by E’Twaun Moore, Randy was a bit slow to call that all-important timeout (it eventually came with 6:30 remaining) and get Wall back into the game. No one is advocating that Wall play the entire game (unless he can, because then I’d be advocating that Wall play the entire game and that androids be afforded all the rights enjoyed by human beings), but it’s important to recognize times in the game when Wall simply needs to be out there.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Parting Vines.

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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.