DC Council Game 73: Wizards 109 vs Raptors 92: Dino-Mite On Washington's Bench | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 73: Wizards 109 vs Raptors 92: Dino-Mite On Washington’s Bench

Updated: April 1, 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. 73, Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center, and Adam McGinnis from the heart of Mount Pleasant.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Happy Easter!

[Easter with Jan & Eva, via instagram/janvesely24

Washington Wizards 109 vs Toronto Raptors 92
[box score]

MVP: Bradley Beal. He went from being a game-time decision to scoring 24 points on 8-of-14 field goals (including a career-high six 3-pointers) with four assists in just 30 minutes and 10 seconds of play.

Stat of the Game: The Wizards bench, led by the aforementioned Beal (24 points),  Kevin Seraphin (13 points) and Trevor Ariza (10 points), scored 62 points (more than half of the Wizards’ 109-point total) on 57-percent shooting.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

The Element(s) of Surprise.

In his pregame presser, Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey, in the very best coach-speak he could muster, went down the list of Wizards’ strengths that his team needed to nullify in order to be victorious. He mentioned stopping John Wall on the fast break, keeping him off the foul line, and how well the Wizards’ defense has been playing inside and out. The Raptors did slow down Wall’s scoring output, limiting his free throws attempts to four and his point total to 18. And until the fourth quarter when the Raptors scored just 16 points, the Wizards really were not playing an especially stifling brand of defense. But what Dwane Casey did not factor into this game plan was the active Wizards bench. When Okafor got in foul trouble, Kevin Seraphin came in and played aggressively. When Wall came out, A.J. Price entered the game, ran the offense, and looked for his shot when it was there. Trevor Ariza re-discovered his pre-flu shooting touch, Jan Vesely snatched up every 50/50 ball and played like a mad man on both ends of the floor, and, of course, Bradley Beal did his best Ray Allen impression. In all, the Wizards bench accounted for 57-percent of the Wizards’ total points, and Dwane Casey accounted for zero percent of that.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
If John Wall’s first quarter seemed measured (five points, two assists, two rebounds, and zero turnovers), his second quarter was even more so (six points, four assists and zero turnovers). Kyle Lowry had gotten some of his (10 first-half points), mostly because Wall got caught between no-man’s land and Lowry’s jumper. But Wall turned on the jets to score two easy buckets and then dropped a very nice assist to Jan Vesely heading into half to put the Wizards up 10 points. All night, Wall picked his spots. He scored when he had to, and other times he fooled the Raptors D with misdirection. Wall, during his March surge, has clearly gained a better feel for manipulating defenses with what they ‘think’ he might do. He followed suit late in the fourth quarter when Toronto just assumed Wall was thirsting for a corner 3 assist. He countered by suddenly finding Emeka Okafor all alone under the hoop.Wall finished the night with 18 points on 15 shots, 10 assists, six rebounds, just one turnover, and a game-high plus-28. He also threw in a 3-pointer at the very end of the contest with less than three seconds on the shot clock and 36 seconds on the game clock for good measure. Per “The Reaction,” Randy Wittman was impressed.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Thank you, Garrett Temple, for doing an admirable job in filling for Bradley Beal as the starting 2-guard. You played solid defense, you let John Wall run the offense, and you occasionally hit the open shot when you had it. But unfortunately, you also have had nights when you flat-out do not show up, and the game against Toronto was one of those nights. You played 12 scoreless minutes in a game when Beal scored 12 points in just a six-minute span. We thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing you shine in a role off the bench you will undoubtedly be more comfortable.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

0 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
Few knew what to expect out of Martell Webster when he signed a one-year deal with Washington last summer. His professional career showed flashes of promise in Portland, but it was mostly riddled with injuries. Webster’s initial role in D.C. appeared to be more as a backup. But after a slow start, he has exceeded all expectations and developed into a key member of the Wizards by being a top 3-point shooter in the NBA. Now, the talk surrounding Martell is what it would to take keep him around. While his long distance marksmanship is justification enough to secure Webster’s services long term, his leadership provides an even stronger argument. The game against the Raptors was a perfect example. His shot was not falling, only making 2-of-9 shots from the field (one being a two-handed slam in traffic), yet Webster still contributed with eight rebounds, three assists and a stellar plus-24 in plus/minus. On defense, he helped limit Toronto’s high-scoring wings, Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, to a combined 10-for-28 field goals. On several different occasions, Webster passed up open looks to quickly swing the ball to Beal for better ones. It is the end of season, and most players without a contract on a bad team would be focused on padding their own numbers, but that is not how Webster is acting. He is still publicly setting win goals, requesting to his coach that Beal get some of his burn, and deferring personal stats for the better of the team. This might be more impressive than Webster’s play itself.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
It was a very quiet Easter Sunday for Cook Book. He finished with only three points, four rebounds, and one assist in 18 minutes. Booker displayed his usual hustle by keeping balls alive, and his interior defense was much improved from the poor showing in Orlando. Jan Vesely’s strong outing and Wittman’s decision to go small cut into Booker’s playing time. His toughness will be more needed on Tuesday night when Washington goes up against Chicago’s formidable front line.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Continued credit to Emeka Okafor. What a season it’s been, really. He went from an albatross of a contract, to subject of TAI’s “Okafor Line” (are his points + rebounds > his salary in millions?), to turning around his game when John Wall came back, to the Wizards being damn lucky to having him locked up for one more season. OK, so $13.5 million this year and $14.5 million next year is still a lot of money, but it’s really all about Okafor’s money coming off the books when John Wall’s ultimate extension kicks in. It will be a lovely transfer of wealth.Against Toronto, Okafor picked up several cheap fouls early trying to guard Jonas Valanciunas, who had a very solid game, and Emeka was limited to 7:28 of action in the first half. Coming out of intermission, Okafor set the tone with renewed, composed activity, scoring eight points in the first four minutes of the third. He even drew his own cheap foul against Valanciunas. Okafor finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in just under 27 minutes, and don’t sleep on how much his screen setting and activity opens up the floor for Wall and the shooters.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2 out of 3 stars

Bradley Beal
For those caught up in the recent month of ‘John Wall Jump Shot Euphoria,’ Bradley Beal reminded everyone on Sunday evening that he is pretty good at shooting the rock himself. In his first return to action after missing five games with a sprained ankle and not knowing until tip that he was going to play, Beal poured in six 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 24 points. Toronto went zone midway through the third quarter and Beal made them pay. “They kept leaving me open,” said Beal after the game. “My teammates kept finding me. I had to knock down some shots and remain confident.”

Beal displayed on a few sequences that he is not solely a 3-point shooter and can create offense off the bounce. On one instance, Beal curled off a double screen and instead of shooting, drove to the basket. A Raptors post defender came out at him, but Beal turned down a shot at the rim and dropped off a nice blind wrap around pass to a trailing Emeka Okafor for an easy dunk.

On another possession, Beal had an open shot opportunity from 3, but used a pump fake to dupe a Raptors player into flying up in the air. He took a quick one step-dribble forward and nailed the smooth, rhythm pull-up jumper. These plays show Beal’s maturation as a NBA player and why Wiz fans are excited for his future.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
Coach Wittman made no qualms about his agenda during the last ten games of the Wizards’ season: he wants to evaluate his team to see what they can and cannot do.  If that evaluation was based on Jan’s season up to this point, it would be filled with angry red pen marks. But on Monday night, Jan played the type of game that will surely earn him more playing time this year and possibly beyond that. On defense, he was frequently out of position, and he tried to swipe or block every shot, but he got his hands on numerous 50/50 balls and grabbed a bunch rebounds. He didn’t hit his only open shot on offense, but he hung around the basket, was the recipient of a sweet no-look pass from John Wall, and he grabbed (and in one case tipped) four offensive rebounds. After one of his defensive rebounds, he threw a perfect outlet pass to Wall who found Ariza for an easy alley-oop. Vesely finished with nine points eight rebounds, a steal and a block (you ever notice that when a writer is trying to prove a positive point about a player, they stretch out a stat line?), which isn’t enough to proclaim him as a starter next season, but at least Wittman can point to tonight’s game and say, “This is how you earn playing time, son!”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1.5 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Bodies & Kids.

Randy Wittman played 11 guys in the first quarter and 12 guys on the night—holy expanding rotation! … Right? Well, part of that was due to guys getting in foul trouble: Okafor then Seraphin (so, Jason Collins played). Part of it was due to Wittman trying to figure out who was most ready. Bradley Beal was just coming back from his ankle injury, Trevor Ariza is still getting over the flu, and Martell Webster and A.J. Price aren’t exactly 100 percent, either.

The starters played nine minutes together and finished minus-5 in plus/minus. The second-most used lineup—bench mob Price, Beal, Ariza, Vesely and—upset the scoreboard by going minus-10 in their seven minutes together. Small ball action featuring Wall, Beal, Webster, Ariza and Okafor ruled the night. That crew also saw seven minutes as a unit and finished plus-11.

The key was a 3-man unit of Wall, Beal and Okafor that finished plus-21 in 12 minutes together. Of course, each of the Wall-Beal-Webster and Wall-Webster-Ariza 3-man unit saw 12 minutes of action together and both finished plus-18. But also don’t sleep on the Beal-Webster-Okafor 3-man unit; they finished plus-21 in 10 minutes.

The pattern developing is that the Wizards have six very solid players in Wall, Beal, Webster, Ariza, Okafor, and Nene, but the rest can be as inconsistent as table scraps. If the Wizards are serious about backing up the ‘look at how great our record in the Eastern Conference would be if Wall was fully healthy’ sentiment, then they’ll figure out a way to boost that bench, or to somehow get some of the kids on the roster to start swimming multiple laps in an Olympic-sized pool instead of doggy-paddling in the kiddie section.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Wittman on Vesely and the other kids:

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

John Wall on facing Toronto’s zone:


[Mean-mugging on a Segway, #KevinSeraphinLife – via instagram/kevin_seraphin]

[Pre-Feast: Okafor, Webster & Nene – via instagram/martellwebster]

[Meanwhile, in Jordan Crawford’s world… – via instagram/jcs_stelo

[Kevin Seraphin avec Le Fashion. Avec le fashion scarf. Avec le fashion white belt. Avec #LeKevinSeraphinLife – via instagram/kevin_seraphin]

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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.