DC Council Game 78: Wizards 99 at Knicks 120: Wizards Lead for 52 Seconds, Then Roll Over | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 78: Wizards 99 at Knicks 120: Wizards Lead for 52 Seconds, Then Roll Over

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Updated: April 10, 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. 78, Washington Wizards at New York Knicks; contributors: Sean Fagan, Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend via television sets.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Melo Watching

[Original photo via Jason Szenes for The New York Times]

 

Washington Wizards 99 at New York Knicks 120
[box score]

MVP: John Wall, who continued his torrid tear through NBA defenses by again being too hot to handle. He splashed jumpers, finished easily at the rim and got to the free throw line at will. Unfortunately, all his teammates looked old, overwhelmed and unprepared to provide any help whatsoever. Due to the blowout, Wall sat out the fourth quarter and easily could have threatened his career-high of 47 points set a few weeks ago versus Memphis. The chatter around Wall has been about him being a max NBA player, but more games like this one, and the real question should be if John Wall wants to waste his talents on this Monumental mess of a franchise or just take them somewhere else.

Stat of the Game: The Knicks did tie a franchise record with 20 3-pointers … but the Wizards only led for 52 seconds—the opening 52 seconds of the game.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

9th?

They Wizards played like they didn’t even want the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference. They let the Knicks have whatever shot they wanted, wide-open in many cases. And the Knicks—the fifth-best 3-point shooting team in the league—took them, making 20-of-36 3s on the evening. (They made as many 3s as the Wizards attempted.) Had Wall not scored 21 first-half points, winning footrace after footrace to the basket, and putting up 31 of the Wizards’ 71 points after three quarters, the scoreboard would have looked even worse than it did. At that point, down 24, only Martell Webster had reached double-figures (10).Oh, and Carmelo Anthony came into the game averaging 27.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three meetings with the Wiz this season and went off for 36, 8 and 6. He was virtually unguardable, because too often no Wizard was around to stick a hand in his face.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
If this game was a last stand, then John Wall was Custer. A hagiographic look at the box score would tell you that Wall was the only one left standing after the horde of Knickerbockers had finished killing the Wizards from downtown. Unfortunately, that is probably the plan the New York men had drawn up in the first place. There was no way that Raymond Felton or Pablo Prigioni were going to be able to guard Wall, so they let the young man get his while eliminating all other options. That plan, as drawn up, worked to perfection. Wall finished the night with three assists and was unable for the most part to get his team going. However, it also wasn’t his responsibility to limit the damage of Carmelo Anthony or J.R. Smith. In the end you can call it a wash. Wall did what he could, but the result belied the underlying weaknesses in this team.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

2 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Temple was playing the Knicks’ shooters as if they were locked and loaded. They weren’t strapped, of course, but they had plenty of room to operate and Temple’s inability to contest shots, whether because he was stuck on screens or slow to recover on cuts, hurt the Wizards early. He did bounce back with a 3-pointer and a driving layup in transition in the first quarter, and added two more points from the free throw line (2-for-4) to finish with seven. The seldom-involved Temple somehow finished with the second-best plus/minus on the team (+4), behind Jan Vesely (+7). Go figure.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

1 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
With the way Melo has it cooking right now, I don’t think many, if any, players in the league that can slow him down. Martell tried a few times and put up a better fight than his teammate Chris Singleton, but alas, Anthony rolled up 36 points. [Ed. note: Anthony has scored 36-plus points in his last five games.] Webster displayed some hustle, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds. However, he’s still mired in a shooting funk from downtown. In his last eight games, Martell is shooting 5-for-31 (16%) from 3-point range and has fallen out of the top ten in the NBA.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Nene
Oh, Nene, where have you gone? Since Wall decided to go MVP, Nene’s stats have taken a precipitous decline downward. Nine points against the Knicks, seven points against both the Celtics and the Pacers. Since returning from his latest malady, Nene has looked less like the playmaking All-Star PF/C and more like a more unselfish version of Kevin Seraphin. Maybe Nene is still playing dinged up, maybe more rust accumulated over the four missed games than we thought, or maybe he is simply playing out the string … but this is not what the Wizards paid for on a nightly basis. Especially when your investment can only stay healthy for 10-game stretches.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

0 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
You would assume that the absence of the Knicks’ All-Star center, Tyson Chandler, meant conditions were ripe for Emeka to have a big game in the paint. It was not the case at all. Okafor was bothered by the unusually spry Kenyon Martin on the block, and any advantage the Wizards could have had inside was buried quickly by New York’s long-range assault. Okafor’s line was pedestrian with four points (1-for-5 FGs), eight rebounds, a plus/minus of minus-20, and no blocks in 22 minutes. He blew several easy opportunities in being unable to catch simple passes near the rim. We have raved about Emeka’s remarkable turnaround, and rightly so, but on Tuesday night, he showed that he can be a step slow and why his contract is still on the bloated side of the value ledger.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Kevin Seraphin
Kevin Seraphin did little to change the narrative on his sub-par 2012-13 season in Madison Square Garden, and reinforced why it has been such a bummer. In 19 minutes, Seraphin ended up with six points, three rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. But he also had three turnovers, no trips to the foul line and several missed rotations on defense. On two consecutive possessions in first half, he refused to attack the rim when he was near the basket, seemingly intimidated by Jason Kidd!(Seraphin’s misogynistic Instagram account has actually been the biggest disappointment of #KevinSeraphinLife.)

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

0 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
The box score says Singleton played 22 minutes, but I don’t believe it. I hardly remember him being on the floor, and when he was in, he didn’t look capable of slowing down a Pomeranian. He gets a half-star for dressing, but a DNP-BD (Did Not Play – Blogger’s Decision).

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

0 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

What’s a #WittmanFace to do?

You can coach what you know and stubbornly stick to your game plan, or you can adjust on the fly. Randy Wittman did neither this game, waving the white flag early and serving up large portions of the bench mob when the game was thoroughly out of hand. I assumed that after the contest we would hear about how “these games happen” in the NBA and that sometimes the other team shoots so well that there is nothing you can do and yada yada yada. And we did.

“They shot the ball extremely well,” Wittman said. “They hit 20 3s, they spread the floor and they have guys that can take you off the dribble. When they’re shooting like that, they’re a tough team to beat.”

Wittman of course has earned a bit of slack for coaching one of the best defenses since the All-Star break, but it still worries me that it remains an impossibility for the Wizards to learn how to play perimeter defense. If a team comes in with a reputation for shooting the 3-ball well, the Wizards more often than not lose. If this a team with serious expectations of a playoff spot next year, that weakness needs to be shored up in a hurry. Because that ship has been leaking for the last 10 years and no one seems to want to plug the hole.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Parting Shots.

[Pre-game #WittmanFace seemed content...]

[...Not sure what #WittmanFace is showing the ref here, however. Kid in the background seems a little disturbed.]


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