DC Council Game 79: Wizards 98 vs Heat 103: Sans Big 3, Miami Throws Cold Water on Wizards Reality | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 79: Wizards 98 vs Heat 103: Sans Big 3, Miami Throws Cold Water on Wizards Reality

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Updated: April 11, 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. 79, Washington Wizards vs Miami Heat; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center, and Conor Dirks from the Dirty South.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

Martell Webster, writing checks.

What you lookin’ at, Bradley?

[via @wiz_spurtin]

Washington Wizards 98 vs Miami Heat 103 [box score]

MVP: It’s incredibly tempting to give the MVP to former Wizard Rashard Lewis, who scored as many points (17) as any Washington starter. But alas, it rightfully belongs to John Wall (17 points, nine rebounds, 11 assists, two steals, two blocks, and somehow, a plus-7 in the plus/minus department despite playing 40 minutes in a bad loss).

Stat of the Game: The Miami Heat, led by Shane Battier and he of the perpetual dip-spit cup, Mike Miller, hit more 3-point shots (17) than they did 2-point field goals (16).  Washington’s starters weren’t necessarily outmatched by the “dream team” Rashard Lewis claimed would contend for an Eastern Conference playoff spot even without James, Wade, and Bosh, but they may have been unprepared for the difference in style of play. Randy Wittman, after the game, said “It’s a veteran group that’s played, knows how to play, knows the tricks, can shoot and can make plays. And they did tonight.”

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Allen Goes Retro.

In his postgame press conference last night, Miami Heat Coach Erik Spolestra mentioned that Mike Miller (14 points and eight rebounds) and Rashard Lewis (17 points and five rebounds) went retro with their inspired play in the absence of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Coach Spolestra omitted the play of Ray Allen (23 points, six rebounds, four assist and three steals)—maybe because Allen has never truly slowed down during his career, or maybe because Spolestra expects more out of Allen. Whatever the reason was, Allen was the key to the Miami’s victory. Ironically enough, on a night when the Heat took 41 3-pointers and made 17 (they only made 16 2-point baskets), Allen took seven 3s and only connected on one. But Allen scored off the dribble, he scored on follow-up dunks, he scored cutting to the basket, and when the ball was in his hands, he consistently made the smart basketball play, especially in the fourth quarter.

With 4:59 left in the game, Kevin Seraphin hit a short hook shot to bring the Wizards within one, 86-87. Allen then maneuvered his way in the post on the next possession, hit a turnaround shot over Garrett Temple while absorbing the foul, and then hit his free throw to put the Heat up four. After a Wizards’ turnover, Allen hit a 3-point shot, and then, after a Nene’ dunk, Allen found Rashard Lewis open for a 3-point show of his own. In 1:21 of play, Allen accounted for seven points, increased the Heat’s lead from one to eight, and caused Wizards coach Randy Wittman to call timeout in frustration.

Somewhere, Doc Rivers had to be wondering, “Where was this guy last year?”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Council Members: Washington Wizards DC Council

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

John Wall
John Wall was one of two Wizards, of the ten that played, to give a full-on go of it. A.J. Price was the other. So that’s a positive sign. Wall didn’t play out of control, he didn’t display bad body language… he just played basketball.

He didn’t shoot the ball well but still had 17 points on 7-for-18 shooting—the jumper was often off to the left (not the best sign in the world). But he almost messed around and got a triple-double with 11 assists (two turnovers) and nine rebounds to go with two steals and two blocks. Wall did get called for carrying the ball twice (video of him talking about it below).

Hard to blame John much on this night. His teammates need to come with him instead of thinking he can carry all of them on his shoulders.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

2.5 out of 3 stars

Wall on getting called for palming twice
by referee Olandis Poole:

Garrett Temple
There are three times as many games left on Washington’s schedule (3) than there are shooting guards available to play for the team (1), so critiquing Temple’s fitness to suit up and play starter’s minutes may provide diminishing returns at this point. Performances like this one, where Temple shot 3-for-10 and turned the ball over four times (to be fair, he also contributed three steals) make it hard to envision him as a long-term answer as a backup combo guard. The issue is compounded when one considers what the opposition was able to do on Temple’s watch: Mike Miller (5-for-7 overall, and 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point line) was routinely able to get clean looks on protracted Miami possessions when rotations broke down, as was Ray Allen, though he didn’t convert much from deep.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Martell Webster
The very night that TAI decided to feature the role and rate of Martell Webster this season (shameless plug), Webster had a bit of an odd night against Heat. He was 0-for-3 on dunk attempts (he was fouled on two of them), and he was virtually ineffective in the first and third quarters. In the second quarter, Webster played aggressively on both ends of the floor and scored eight points, had two steals, and helped the Wizards to a 50-46 halftime lead. But with 3:52 left in the third quarter, Webster ran off the floor to the locker room and did not return due to an abdominal strain—an aggravation of an existing injury. Webster also had the postgame line of the night after he was told how Rashard Lewis felt the Heat’s lineup, sans LeBron, Wade and Bosh, could compete for the playoffs. “And then he woke up?” Webster retorted.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

1 out of 3 stars

Nene
The Wizards scored 46 points in the paint, compared to 24 paint points from the Heat.  Nene’s six makes from up close certainly contributed to that. Unfortunately, Nene also contributed to Washington’s laughable rebounding deficiency (47-34 in favor of Miami) against the veritable California Redwood Crew of Chris Andersen, Mike Miller, and Rashard Lewis. Nene failed to exceed the rebounding total of every individual player on the Heat roster who played in this game with his impressive three total boards (two of which came on the offensive glass). He added 13 points, two assists and two steals to his totals.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
Honest to goodness, the funnest part about the game was the back-and-forth exchange between Emeka Okafor and Shane Battier over 60 seconds in the first quarter. On one possession, Battier nailed a 3—Okafor was buried in the lane, not realizing he was responsible for a perimeter trailer in transition (unless he intended to help Nene double Joel Anthony). Next play: Martell Webster missed a J and Okafor got the board, the dunk and the harm, making the free throw. Then, two straight turnovers thanks to Mario Chalmers and Garrett Temple. And then… another Battier 3. This time, Nene provided the Brazilian mojo, or as we call it, space. Guess what happened next. That’s right, another Okafor basket (Battier lost him on a cut when he was doubling Nene), plus the foul. Yes, the .567 free throw shooter again sealed the and-1 deal.

So yes, maybe I could write that this sequence epitomized the game. And maybe it did. Miami hit a lot of 3-balls and the Wizards’ bigs couldn’t consistently step up (given the mismatches Eric Spoelstra threw a them). Okafor finished with eight points and six rebounds in 21 minutes, and later in the game, Randy Wittman elected to give others a chance, sitting Okafor for the entire fourth quarter.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

AJ Price
Last night, A.J. Price was the answer to Jordan Crawford’s early season rhetorical question, “Who else gon’ shoot?” Price tied his career-highs from the 3-point line (5-of-8) and overall points (23), and he carried the team on a night when Wall and seemingly everyone else was lethargic, out of sync, and mentally let down by the absence of the Heat’s All-Stars. Late in the fourth quarter, he connected on consecutive 3-pointers to cut the Heat’s to five, 82-87, then Ray Allen decided to put the game away, and Price’s effort was for naught. But with no Bradley Beal, no Trevor Ariza and no Martell Webster for the last 15 minutes, Price, whose job it was to run the team before Wall returned in January, did yeoman’s work.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

3 out of 3 stars

Jan Vesely
With the first half winding down, Jan Vesely brazenly pounced on a rebound from a Mike Miller shot which had caromed wildly off of the rim. His intensity was unmatched amongst the other young men on the court of basketball. With only a moment’s glance up the constantly evolving floor, Vesely executed an “outlet pass” to his colleague John Wall. With five seconds remaining in the half, Wall repaid Jan in kind, opting to kick a pass out to “Airwolf,” who had expertly positioned himself in a place where no opponent could reach him. But such is the generosity of the Flying Czech that he abdicated his station as “He Who Takes the Last Shot” in favor of another, and mere milliseconds after he had received the ball, he delivered it unto Martell Webster, who was patiently waiting in the corner. In all seriousness, this may have been Jan’s best sequence of 2013: he not only caught the ball, he also made two quick decisions under tight time constraints, and his play resulted in an easy, momentum-shifting 3-pointer.  His zero points can be forgiven, and his five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and four personal fouls in 21 minutes will be cherished by many of those still hoping.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

What had happened?

Talking to various players after the game, it was hard to pinpoint what had happened.

Miami ran a lot of pick-and-rolls; their shooters get shots off quickly; their shooters can pump fake and step to the side and still shoot a 3; the Heat “ran their plays to a Q”; Miami spaced the floor well—”just spacing and coordinating.” And all of this was merely from John Wall’s post-game, laundry list run-down.

Garrett Temple said the Wizards got away from some of their defensive concepts, but no one on the team was willing to reveal what those concepts were.

Randy Wittman opted to credit a veteran Heat team, aside from Norris Cole. Let’s end with the words of Wittman, on video:

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

What could the Wizards have done…

…on defensive to keep Miami off the 3-point line. A.J. Price?



  • Elvena

    I find Dirks’s comments so dispiriting and snarky that, regretfully, I doubt I’ll continue reading this blog that I used to love.

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I understand.