DC Council Game 80: Wizards 86 vs 76ers 97: An Appropriately Fizzled Home Finale | Truth About It.net

DC Council Game 80: Wizards 86 vs 76ers 97: An Appropriately Fizzled Home Finale

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Updated: April 14, 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. 80, Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center, and Conor Dirks from the state of Georgia.]

The Bill: Washington Wizards DC Council

A minute with Randy.

Washington Wizards 86 vs Philadelphia 76ers 97 [box score]

MVP: The MVP goes to Philly’s Jrue Holiday (22 points, seven assists, two turnovers) over John Wall (24 points, seven assists, three turnovers), because Holiday’s team won, and he got his numbers on less shots (8-for-17 FGs) than Wall (9-for-21).

Stat of the Game: On the season, Washington averages 14.2 fast break points per game (18.0 with Wall on the court) to Philadelphia’s 12.8. On Friday night, the 76ers were able to keep pace with the relatively apathetic Wizards, 17-18.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Key Legislature: Washington Wizards DC Council

Lost.

It happened at some point in the second quarter. Did you see it? They lost it.

Midway through the second, the Wizards had built a 13-point lead over Philly. Trevor Booker was even making jumpers. Chris Singleton was hit or miss, mostly miss. And don’t forget to credit the general malaise of the 76ers and their lame-duck coach.

But then Washington’s defense started to get confused. They lost their focus. On one particular possession, after the rotations got thrown off, no one, including John Wall, seemed interested in finding a man, getting to the right spot, and righting the ship. Instead, an eight-point lead with 1:18 left in the period was cut to five thanks to a Damien Wilkins 3. Then the lead was cut to two points, and then one point heading into half.

Evidently, there was nothing Randy Wittman could say during intermission. Washington got out-scored 26-16 in the third quarter and had little to show from there.

—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
As it turns out, management’s precious “.500 ball with John Wall back” is now in jeopardy. The Wizards are currently 24-23 since Wall’s return with two games left. Will the message of hope survive? Lately, though, the outcomes have less to do with John Wall, and more to do with most everyone else. Wall’s effort was there again on Friday, along with that shiny new jumper, but Randy Wittman chose to sit his star for much of the second quarter, and his impact was limited down the stretch: after 13 first quarter points, Wall went on to score a mere 11 the rest of the way. It should tell you something about the heightened expectations that Wall is beginning to garner when 24 points and seven assists isn’t the high watermark for a “good John Wall game” anymore. Wall made several impressive cuts in the first quarter and closed it out in fashion, pulling a mean crossover and doing a now trademark spin as he left the ball to fall through the rim.After the game, Wall expressed regret at not being able to provide the home crowd with a more hopeful sendoff: “Having them as our sixth man is really big, to end the season over .500 here. It’s not the way we want to end the season for those guys, losing two games in a row.” Along with his 24 points and seven assists, Wall also contributed a steal, a block, and two rebounds.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

2 out of 3 stars

Garrett Temple
Garrett Temple started the game off nicely. Within the first minute, he knocked down a corner 3 thanks to John Wall, and 30 seconds later, he drove and dished to Emeka Okafor for a bucket. Like the rest of his teammates overall, Temple did have troubles on defense. But in 31 minutes, his stat line was relatively solid, for him—eight points, 3-for-6 FGs, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and a turnover. Sure, Temple is just filler, but at least with that filler, you won’t go starving, you just won’t win a lot of basketball games.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

1 out of 3 stars

Cartier Martin
Nick Young stepped onto Verizon Center court to get up some shots in pre-game and he immediately ran into Carter Martin. The former teammates shared laughs and Martin playfully told Young that he was not going to take it easy on him because he only has three contests remaining to showcase his game. The Washington Post Express speculated this past week that Martin would likely not be back next season, but possibly signed to a 10-day contract if necessary. This was the backdrop as Martin started in what would possibly be the last time he would don a Wizards jersey in front of D.C. fans. He struggled finding a rhythm, finishing with six points (2-for-8 FGs, 0-for-3 on 3-pointers), four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover in 37 minutes. Martin conceded after game that Philadelphia made it difficult for him to bust free for open looks. Martin is often guilty of being in the wrong defensive position on the court, which usually sparks the ire of Randy Wittman, and Friday was no exception. Those continued struggles on defense will probably prevent Martin from being retained.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

Nene
As the season winds down, it’s nice to see Nene pick up double-digit rebounds (10), even if he didn’t reach the same lofty goal in the points column (9). Nene’s interior passing was on display as well (four assists), and near the end of the first quarter, he found Wall cutting straight to the basket from the top of the arc and hit him one moment before the Philly defenders could react. Wall cut right through three 76ers and dropped in a layup, drawing a foul along the way. The downside is that in just 19 minutes, Nene turned the ball over four times. Fourtimes. For a player who has been advertised as “consistent,” among other more realistic adjectives, Nene exudes an unwillingness to put together consecutive “complete” games. The potential is, of course, there, but it will be interesting to see whether the Wizards can find a way to draw more out of Nene more often, whether it’s through spelling him with a dependable backup (Washington has one of those, right?) or giving him more passing options when he gets caught on an island and double-teamed.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

1.5 out of 3 stars

Emeka Okafor
“When fully healthy, we can beat our expectations.” So sayeth Big Mek, who played less minutes than anyone who entered the game for Washington not named Jan Vesely. In the first quarter, he may have been feeling a little bit unhealthy himself: Okafor was abused regularly by Spencer Hawes, who hit from 19, 14, and 13 feet out, pulling Okafor out of his comfort zone around the basket. Emeka answered back, to an extent, knocking down two first-quarter buckets of his own. But in the third, Okafor settled for too many 5-to-9 foot shots, and his game broke down along with the rest of the Wizards. This is the way the game ends, this is the way the game ends, this is the way the game ends, not with a bang but with seven points, four rebounds, one assist and three turnovers.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

0.5 out of 3 stars

Trevor Booker
The lack of development by young Wizards not named John Wall or Bradley Beal is starting to get more attention. Washington Post beat writer Michael Lee recently highlighted their regression and this portion on Booker is worth noting:

“Everybody say, ‘You got to be ready.’ It’s kind of hard to stay ready, but you’ve got to perform. You just never know what to expect,” said the undersized Booker, who is averaging a career-low 4.9 points on 46.9 percent shooting in his third season. He started 32 games last season and averaged 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds. “It’s been tough for me. Some games I play. Some games I don’t. I don’t have control over that.”

Booker got 25 minutes versus Philadelphia, performing admirably with 10 points and five rebounds. Trevor’s ferocious slam (which was inexplicably never replayed on big screen, along with Wall’s slick spin move—why, video operators, why?), and his fourth-quarter hustle were a few of the positives during the game’s overall slop fest. Booker still has a hard time consistently finishing at the rim due to his height, and numerous mental mistakes normally limit his effectiveness. The indications are that Booker’s future role is more of a borderline rotation guy than a starter.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

2 out of 3 stars

Chris Singleton
Another member of the Monumental’s underdeveloped first-rounder quartet is Chris Singleton. He totaled six points, six rebounds, one block and one assist in 19 minutes. Singleton’s calling card was supposed to be defense, and like everything else in his game, it comes in flashes. Against the Sixers, he made a big block and then later committed a foul by taking a silly angle. On another occasion, Singleton took the ball to rack on a nice drive and got fouled, but he didn’t even try to get a shot off when he easily could have tossed one up. The ratio of solid to frustrating Singleton plays is about 1-to-4. Yeah, not good. Singleton’s handle is sub-par, his shots are routinely line drives and his 58 percent on free throws for the season is dreadful. He does possess solid size and can be a versatile three/four man. There is a role for him in this league. But his offensive limitations and inability to limit screw-ups are making it appear that he might never find his niche, at least not in Washington.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

1 out of 3 stars

The Mayor: Washington Wizards DC Council

Help.

If we’re counting plus/minus per 48 minutes from the time John Wall came back, January 12, then these are Wittman’s top five Wizards:

  1. Bradley Beal: plus-8.4 (776 minutes)
  2. Martell Webster: plus-4.5 (1,334 mins)
  3. Nene: plus-2.3 (1,184 mins)
  4. Emeka Okafor: plus-2.2 (1,253 mins)
  5. John Wall: plus-1.9 (1,530 mins)

And the worst Wizards?

  1. Cartier Martin: minus-6.4 (294 mins)
  2. Jan Vesely: minus-5.4 (213 mins)
  3. Trevor Booker: minus-3.6 (606 mins)
  4. Garrett Temple: minus-0.4 (826 mins)
  5. A.J. Price: minus-0.4 (741 mins)

The middlemen:

  1. Chris Singleton: plus-1.3 (392 mins)
  2. Trevor Ariza: plus-0.9 (1081 mins)
  3. Kevin Seraphin: plus-0.8 (855 mins)

What can we infer from this surface of this sample size?

Martin is gone, Booker is likely gone (as he is probably easier to move than Vesely or Singleton), Temple might become the new Cartier (even though he’s not as good of a shooter), and the Wizards have a decision to make when it comes to Price. Is he enough of a backup PG for Wall (if you consider that in Denver, Ty Lawson has Andre Miller)?

The gist is that Randy Wittman and his main guys need more secondary help, players they can better depend on. What’s glaring is that all (or at least some) of Ernie Grunfeld’s draft picks since landing John Wall should have helped fill such glaring holes.

Instead, Shelvin Mack is heading to the playoffs with Atlanta, Hamady N’diaye is out of the league, Booker’s more of a victim of being undersized with poor shooting than any positive contributions he provides, and both Singleton and Vesely need a map to find an NBA court. Seraphin is the most promising of the bunch, but even he hasn’t taken as much of a step forward this season.

In terms of stocking the team with young players, the rebuilding effort has clearly faltered. You just wonder if anyone is paying attention enough to do anything about it.

[stats via NBA.com/stats]

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Adjourned: Washington Wizards DC Council

Closing Wall.