D.C. Council Preseason Game 4: Wizards 89 vs Knicks 98: See More in B-More | Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Preseason Game 4: Wizards 89 vs Knicks 98: See More in B-More

By
Updated: October 18, 2013

The D.C. Council Wizards game coverage from Truth About It.net is back for another season. Some tweaks have been made, some tweaks probably will be made as the regular season approaches, and obviously, this thing could use a new design (which is forthcoming). Until then, TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), who covered the Wizards-Heat game from the Baltimore Arena in Charm City, will take you through key accounts of the game and also rate the performances of several Wizards. Leggo…

Washington Wizards 89 vs New York Knicks 98
[box score]

[photo: A. McGinnis]

[photo: A. McGinnis]


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Key Legislature

(The game’s defining moment.)

There was a point in the game…

There was a point in the game, a referee, and Randy Wittman walked into a bar…

The first quarter went well enough, but this preseason contest was decided in the second quarter when the Wizards got out-scored 30-16. The coach’s bench mob—Maynor, Rice, Webster, Childress, Vesely, and Harrington—saw 67 percent of the quarter’s action and that’s about all the coach could stomach, as the six-man crew combined for six points on 2-for-12 FGs, seven rebounds, zero assists, two turnovers, and not much else during that time. After the game, Wittman had this cryptic, yet black and white quote about this team’s play:

“We’ve had four games here where it’s pretty black and white. Where we play the way we’ve got to play. We’ve got to play that way if we’re going to win. Now, if we don’t want to win then we can play the other way. But, it’s pretty black and white through the four games how we have to play. And they’ve got to see that and we’ve got to all buy into that.”

Three preseason games to go… Now about that bar.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Council Chair

(The most valuable player of the night.)

Lemme guess… Bradley Beal again? Yep, Bradley Beal again. Against the Knicks Beal continued to display newfound smooth moves in driving to the hope. He didn’t always finish, but that will only get naturally better we presume—one reverse layup miss did look particularly nice. Continuing to watch Beal blossom is going to be a treat for Wizards fans, who haven’t had the opportunity to observe an off guard of Beal’s caliber since Larry Hughes, whose career-year came with the Wizards in 2004-05, patrolled the court. Beal is going to be better than Larry, in particular because no one can imagine anyone creating a website URL like this because of poor outside shooting: heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com. Still, let’s keep a sharp eye out for flaws in Beal’s game, or at least things we know he can do that are important he keep doing, such as rebounding and getting to the free throw line.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Vetoed Participation

(The least valuable player on the night.)

Do the Wizards already wish they still had A.J. Price? Let’s no go there just yet, but there are clearly problems with Maynor, and all the past Duke-beating ability in the world won’t save him. The lowlight was Maynor allowing the 35-year old Pablo Prigioni to pressure him into an 8-second violation. The highlight appeared to be Maynor making a corner 3 … but his toes were on the line, it was ruled a 2-pointer, and the final result, a 1-for-6 night from the field. There were even times when Maynor had trouble getting open so he could get the ball back to restart the half-court offense. If last year taught us anything, the Wizards are only as good as John Wall’s backup. OK, so that’s a little overboard, but still, stay healthy, John Wall.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Top Aide

(The top assistant, or x-factor.)

At Wiz media day, I peppered Trevor Booker with a variety of questions about his off season. Every answer was about him saying he was working on staying healthy. Then, Booker immediately missed a significant amount of training camp practice time with a sore knee. At the time, I believed he was a good trade candidate to create an extra roster spot and my expectations for him were near rock bottom. Booker then got healthy and gradually started to ball out in preseason. His ascension climaxed Thursday night when on several occasions he gave Carmelo Anthony fits on defense and then offensively punished him on the low block. This is the tough, rugged, versatile player that management traded up to draft in 2010. Cook Book is establishing himself as a key rotation big that this team desperately needs in the absence of Emeka Okafor.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

That Session Was … Baltimore.

(An overall assessment of the game.)

Sports spectators in the DMV know what is coming during the beginning of a certain verse of the Star-Spangled Banner .. “O!!!!” D.C. might have adopted the unison “O” with Ovi at Caps games, but the origin is Orioles supporters. This is just how proud Baltimore rolls. The Bullets old home was advertised as a sell out, but it took a long while for people to get into the 10K plus arena. Security was lax at times, locker rooms were cramped, the poor Jumbotron peaked in the ’80s, and the smoking section outside featured a makeshift beer stand. However, by midway through the third quarter, the whole place was packed and jumping. Fans were having conversations with players, Melo was pointing to familiar faces, and a few Ravens were mingling around like rock stars. The crowd, while majority Knicks fans for Melo, was raw but behaved and into the action. A smell of Mary Jane and hard booze was noticeable as you wandered through the stands. B-more peeps came out to support their prodigal son and never wavered from their identity. The event was a treat to witness. Earl Monroe and Gus Johnson would have enjoyed it.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

The Mayor

(Words of wisdom, etc., from Coach Randy Wittman.)

“Bench gotta play better.”

That was Randy Wittman’s initial postgame assessment. And this is true, especially when two bench players, Seraphin and Booker, have to start. The bench is a bitch, and Eric Maynor is part of the problem, but look who he’s playing with. Wait, who is he playing with? Cite Jan Vesely all you want, but when Maynor misses him cutting wide open down the lane, it’s Eric’s fault.

But Randy, the current mayor of #SoWizards Town, has bigger fish to fry: Kevin Seraphin.

It had to be asked: Coach, is Mr. K doing a better job seeing the passes he needs to make out of the double-team?

“No, he’s not. You watched the same game I did. He’s gotta make the simple play, and he just looks to throw the ball across the court too much. And we’ve been working on it with him… Now you gotta do it in games. He does it every day in practice… a drill we do every day, where’s his spots to look. He’s just … when it gets going, he wants to throw that thing across the court, and that’s going to be a steal… Unless you’re playing him, it’d be a steal every time. That’s the easiest steal in basketball, at this level. And we saw it again tonight. Hey, it’s a process, but we’ve got to keep doing it as coaches every day, working with him on that. Again, now he’s got to carry it over into the game.”

You got me, coach. But give me two players of my choice watching Seraphin’s eyes and playing the passing lanes while Tyson Chandler comes to help me double, and I’ll take that bet.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

The Players

[photo: A. McGinnis]

[photo: A. McGinnis]

John Wall

3 out of 5 stars

28 mins | 14 pts | 6-15 FGs | 1-6 3Ps | 8 asts | 0 TOs | 2 stls | 2 rebs

The Wiz’s max superstar had a poor shooting night, especially from 3, but his overall floor game was exceptional. He created open looks for his teammates with eight dimes and took care of the ball, finishing with zero turnovers. Some fan angst had developed over Coach Wittman’s decision to play Wall late in previous preseason contests. However, in this one, Wall sat out the entire fourth quarter. Get ready, Big Blue Nation, after the game Wall couldn’t stop talking about his trip to Lexington, Kentucky this weekend. —A.M.

Bradley Beal

3.5 out of 5 stars

30 mins | 21 pts | 8-17 FGs | 3-8 3PTs | 3 rebs | 2 TOs

Every time Bradley goes up to shoot the ball, I assume it is a Watergate Splash, and he does as well. When he puts the ball on the floor, he surprises me with a gorgeous dribble drive finish that he has never before performed in his young pro career. I can’t gush enough about how good he looks right now. The euphoria part for Wizards fans is that Beal is not even close to his potential yet. Side note: he turned 20 in June. —A.M.

Trevor Ariza

0.5 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 6 pts | 3-10 FGs | 0-4 3PTs | 1 reb | 2 asts | 1 TO | 1 Stl

Ariza’s jumper mechanics looked shaky and his confidence off. He also has a terminal case of the travels. Methinks that Wittman is starting him in three parts: defensive aptitude, confidence building (/ego massaging), and showcasing. Martell Webster is OK coming off the bench, psychologically. But are the Wizards? —K.W.

Trevor Booker

3.5 out of 5 stars

24 mins | 7 pts | 3-3 FGs | 1-4 FTs | 9 reb | 3 ast | 1 TO | 1 blk

“I think Book’s been our most consistent,” praised one Randy Wittman, at least in terms of his big men. And I won’t disagree. Booker has been one cautious, pleasant surprise when he’s played this preseason. Book’s gonna battle, and as soon as he learns technique, he’ll be the recipe for serviceable. Booker fought with Carmelo (they each earned fouls on rebounds against each other), and he displayed some nice post moves (check the Instagram video). Some noise he needs to kill: the hesitancy (and free throw misses). Otherwise, rumor has it that people are starting to call him “Captain Crunch.”  —K.W.

Kevin Seraphin

2 out of 5 stars

31 mins | 11 pts | 4-8 FGs | 3-4 FTs | 7 reb | 2 asts | 4 PFs

You can always count on Kevin to produce a #WittmanFace, and he did not disappoint in Baltimore. Post-game, Kyle Weidie asked the coach if Seraphin is handling double-teams OK enough and Randy curtly responded, “No, he is not, he looks to throw the ball across the court too much.” Yeah, this bugaboo is around, but “Snakey” was solid with 11 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. —A.M.

Eric Maynor

1 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 2 pts | 1-6 FGs | 0-2 3Ps | 3 asts | 2 stls | 1 TO

Maynor on his play after the game:

“Up and down right now. I think it’s going to get better. You know we’re all trying to learn each other. That’s what the preseason is for, but I’m feeling good about the situation.”

And that’s about all one can say. Here’s to hoping Maynor better learns how to cope with the demanding demeanor of his coach and all of the #WittmanFaces that come with it. —K.W.

Glen Rice

3 out of 5 stars

19 mins | 4 pts | 2-8 FGs | 0-5 3Ps | 6 rebs | 2 ast | 3 TOs

I spoke with Glen Rice’s kid after the game about his tough evening in Charm City. He was low-key and almost unaware of his poor shooting night. Rice, Jr. might be terrified of dogs, but he just brushed off his bad outing and exuded a humble confidence in adversity that is going to serve him well as navigates the rookie waters of the NBA. Oh, he also uses the Philadelphia Eagles in Madden 25 and has not been hazed yet, although he thinks that is coming soon. (Hey, Al Harrington, take the tires off his car, because when I offered up that hazing possibility, Rice gave me a look like I just locked him in a room with a Rottweiler.) —A.M.

Martell Webster

2.5 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 13 pts | 3-6 FGs | 7-8 FTs | 1 reb

Martell had the quietest 13 points in recent memory and it was largely due to his 7-for-8 showing at the charity stripe. He should be starting over Ariza, although he doesn’t care about that stuff. He was also fairly quiet in the locker room, which is out of the ordinary for him. —A.M.

Jan Vesely

1.5 out of 5 stars

16 mins | 4 pts | 2-4 FGs | 8 rebs | 1 TO

Vesely looked spastic at times, but damn if Boy Jan isn’t the Wizards’ best, most lengthy and healthy rebounder (perhaps outside of Trevor Booker). Vesely made one of those dunk shots that he does, but also, he did this (where perhaps Martell Webster also assumes some of the blame):

K.W.

Visuals.

[photo: K. Weidie]

[photo: K. Weidie]

[photo: K. Weidie]

[photo: K. Weidie]

[photo: K. Weidie]

[photo: K. Weidie]