D.C. Council Preseason Game 6: Wizards 96 at Pistons 99: A Moral Preseason Victory Falls Short | Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Preseason Game 6: Wizards 96 at Pistons 99: A Moral Preseason Victory Falls Short

By
Updated: October 23, 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), Sean Fagan (@McCarrick), Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) will take you through key accounts of a game they watched on television and also rate the performances of several Wizards. Leggo…

Washington Wizards 96 at Detroit Pistons 99
[box score]

[BTW, if you like this #WittmanFace, you'll LOVE this #WittmanFace in motion.]

[SHHHH!!! #WittmanFace is napping. -- via instagram.com/truthaboutit]

[SHHHH!!! #WittmanFace is napping. -- via instagram.com/truthaboutit]


Sponsored Ad:

Um, Wizards tickets please…

Click to get them served up for cheap via TiqIQ and TAI.


[Jump to Player Reviews]

Key Legislature

(The game’s defining moment.)

They almost fooled you, didn’t they? The Wizards managed to make everyone in the DMV—except the most dedicated fans—turn off their TVs in disgust after watching them fall behind by 22 entering halftime. Randy Wittman must have then flipped over the fruit table, because the Wizards came out for the 3rd quarter with a renewed intensity, ratcheting up the defense and actually moving the ball on the offensive end. The key moment to this (almost) comeback was when Kevin Seraphin slipped Andre Drummond in transition and threw down a lob pass from Eric Maynor for a dunk. Now read that last sentence again. That actually happened.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

Council Chair

(The most valuable player of the night.)

Every veteran needs to have that ‘Oh yeah, they are ready for the season’ type of game and prior to Tuesday, Nene had not demonstrated that he had that type of game in him. After a lackluster performance in his home country of Brazil, Nene did not travel back with the team right away, and took two games off to recharge and visit with ailing family. Against Detroit’s formidable front line of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, Nene played with the type of urgency that the Wizards had been lacking from the frontcourt during this preseason. On offense, he backed down Drummond and Monroe with ease, and when an open shot was not an option, he had no problem finding the open man. On defense, despite having a bit of trouble with the quickness and versatility of both Monroe and Drummond, Nene still found a way to swipe three steals. Perhaps his extended stay in Brazil is just what he needed to shake off the doldrums he had been mired in up to this point.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Vetoed Participation

(The least valuable player on the night.)

Save for a steal of rookie Peyton Siva’s cross-court pass, which led to an easy dunk, Trevor Ariza was ineffective once again—this time on both ends of the floor. He missed four wide-open shots from 3-point range, which is something that Martell Webster doesn’t often do (Webster was, however, 0-3 in Detroit). Defensively, Ariza was often matched up against Siva, but he also had a hand in letting Kyle Singler get an open shot or two (Singler had 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting). Michael Lee’s article in the Washington Post yesterday indicated that Ariza (not Webster, who’s had the better preseason) will be in the starting lineup when the season starts next week. Nothing I saw against the Pistons makes me comfortable with that decision.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

Top Aide

(The top assistant, or x-factor.)

Kevin Seraphin started off lost and in a familiar state of continued regression. The early icing on the turd came when the 6-foot-8 Tony Mitchell swatted a complacent hook shot into the netherlands at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter Seraphin bottomed out. Sure, he once saw the floor (and the double-team) and kicked the ball out to the correct safety valve—the Wizards nicely worked the ball around the horn … for a missed 3 from Eric Maynor. Seraphin was then part of a string of Wizards turnovers and do-it-yourself offense; he was also surely part of multiple Piston dunk-lobs in the period.

But in the second half, the big man found some rhythm, even if he didn’t get his first field goal until a hook shot with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. The Pistons essentially let him have an easy look, and that’s all Seraphin needed to get himself going, apparently. Well, that hook and this crazy/ridiculous/absurd, bumbling, stumbling trip up the court that eventually led to a Bradley Beal 3. In the fourth, Seraphin dazzled the Pistons announcers by catching lobs from Maynor, by showing smooth touch, by running the court, and by getting a nice block of Greg Monroe. So, 10 points in the final period of a preseason game does amount to a dash of promise, I reckon, but his defensive (lack of) awareness and the tendency to over-think offense still poses a problem. Seraphin was certainly a top aide on this night as the Wizards fought back from a 20-plus point deficit, but he’s going to need to be a lot more than that for Wittman’s sanity to survive until spring.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

That session was … a continued search.

(An overall assessment of the game.)

Illusions can go both ways in the preseason, but we’re told not to read too much into any of it. The Wizards were lethargic early, and springing off reports that the team had shifted focus from defense to offense to round out the preseason, they gave up 37 first quarter points to the Pistons. Detroit played without Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, by the way.

Randy Wittman and his coaching staff are tirelessly searching for ways to get their team to gel … all while trying to stay the course and avoid a panic. The problem they can’t have is motivation, as in trying to inject it into the main players. Nene finally showed some signs of life, signs of grit, with some nasty dunks and made jumpers. But then John Wall goes and puts up a goose-egg in assists and does his best impression of preseason defense. The offense will flow better—Beal, for example, will be more aware of where and how Nene wants to catch the ball when he rolls baseline off the side screen—and the Wizards will surely get warmer in their game of hot/cold. But the fact is that through six preseason games, this team has looked like a playoff team for all of three and a half quarters, total … at best. They have one more meaningless game to search.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

The Mayor

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

Wittman must have seen enough from most of his starters, because in a game where the Wizards had scratched and clawed their way back from an embarrassing loss, he decided to leave the subs in the game to see if they could close it out. With an extremely shortened frontcourt, Wittman was once again forced to rely on his patchwork quilt to contain the likes of Monroe and Drummond. At this point, the coach probably just wants to get to opening night with Wall, Beal and Nene all in one piece.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

THE PLAYERS

John Wall

0.5 out of 5 stars

27 mins | 11 pts | 5-11 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 0 asts | 2 TOs | 2 rebs

Wall did a terrible job initiating offense and staying focused on defense. Zero assists will easily tell you the former, and for the latter, I can go back and document all the plays and shooters he gave up on if you want. Wall certainly knows the magnifying glass on his career is much larger this season, but I’m not sure he realizes that leaves him with little slack for slacking off. He’s generally done an OK job working within the system during the preseason, but he still takes too many ‘me’ jumpers to be a true, team-leading point guard. —K. Weidie.

Bradley Beal

4 out of 5 stars

31 mins | 17 pts | 7-14 FGs | 2-4 3PTs | 7 rebs | 2 asts | 2 TOs

If its the preseason and Bradley Beal is involved, you are almost certainly going to get a good effort. Beal unleashed a nasty two-way game in Detroit, once again serving as the offensive motor, but also playing a much headier game on defense in the second half after spending the first losing his man. With the intensity ratcheted up in the third quarter, Beal and Wall were havoc on the defensive end, which led to easy transition buckets. —S. Fagan.

Trevor Ariza

1 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 6 pts | 2-9 FGs | 0-4 3PTs | 5 rebs | 1 ast | 1 stl | 1 TO

I know a lot of the good, such as defensive positioning, that Ariza does goes unnoticed. That said, it’s hard to ignore instances like him jacking up the first shot of a possession 62 seconds into the game with a couple of stubborn dribbles and without the ball touching a teammate’s hands. In naming him the starter, Randy Wittman is hanging his hat on Ariza coming through as much as anyone… That can’t be good. —K.Weidie.

Trevor Booker

1.5 out of 5 stars

27 mins | 5 pts | 2-4 FGs | 1-2 FTs | 4 rebs | 2 asts

There will be games when Booker’s quickness and strength will give him advantages at the power forward position. And then there are games like against Detroit when Booker’s lack of height and versatility are bound to be exposed against the front line of Drummond and Monroe.  However, between the 5:48 and 3:25 mark of the first quarter, Booker did his best Monroe impression. He scored on a dunk and a layup, he found a cutting Nene for an easy bucket, and then he found the red-hot Bradley Beal for a 19-footer. Sadly, Cook Book did nothing else of note, while Monroe’s full repertoire (18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) was on display the entire game.  —R.Mobley.

Nene

3 out of 5 stars

22 mins | 15 pts | 4-7 FGs | 7-10FTs | 5 rebs | 3 asts | 3 stl | 0 TOs

Nene set the the tone for the evening fairly early in the first quarter when he muscled Andre Drummond deep in the paint and then dunked on him. And when he wasn’t scoring, he was finding Booker cutting to the basket, or Beal for wide open 3s. Both Drummond and Monroe scored on Nene with relative ease in the post, and five rebounds out of the starting center is still five short of ideal, but for now, it was just comforting to see Nene play inspired basketball again. —R.Mobley.

Kevin Seraphin

4 out of 5 stars

26 mins | 14 pts | 6-12 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 11 rebs | 1 ast | 1 blk | 3 TOs

Snakey UNCHAINED. Long gone are the days where we thought that Kevin Seraphin would be a brute in the middle who whistled elbows at the head of Blake Griffin while singing Le Marseillaise. Instead, we are stuck with something that resembles half Andray Blatche and half Michael Ruffin. And that may be a good thing? Snakey showed the soft touch around the rim once again, but more importantly he chewed up some boards. If he keeps that up, the Wizards may be able to tread water until Okafor is mystically healed or the team makes a panic trade. —S.Fagan.

Jan Vesely

0.5 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 8 pts | 2-4 FGs | 4-6 FTs | 4 rebs | 2 stls | 1 PF

I’m not sure if you remember that song “Smelly Cat” from the television show “Friends,” but it’s often the song that plays in my head when it comes to Honza Vesely … “Janny Boy, Janny Boy … What are they feeding you?” Evidently grandma’s pea soup ain’t working. Jan did it all in Detroit: missed dunk opportunities, missed free throws, got rebounds ripped from his wolf-pup paws, got rejected at the rim, and … well, tried. —K.Weidie.

Martell Webster

0 out of 5 stars

19 mins | 0 pts | 0-3 FGs | 0-2 3Ps | 0-3 FTs | 2 rebs | 3 asts

Memo to Ernie Grunfeld
Re: Martell Webster Starting

Under the assumption that the Wizards paid Martell Webster $22 million this summer to play with Bradley Beal and John Wall (who both demanded his return) and use his 3-point shooting to spread the court, it seems that something has gotten lost, as Webster appears to be riding pine and watching Trevor Ariza phone it in. Are you sure you haven’t gotten the two players confused? —S.Fagan.

Eric Maynor

3 out of 5 stars

21 mins | 8 pts | 4-8 FGs | 7-10 FTs | 5 asts | 2 stls | 0 TOs

After last Thursday’s game in Baltimore, Eric Maynor characterized his play as up and down, but he promised he’d get better. On Tuesday night in Detroit, Maynor was better and much more efficient, particularly in the third and fourth quarters when the Wizards fell just short of a comeback. During one stretch late in the fourth, he scored or assisted in 10 consecutive points for the Wizards, which is exactly the type of involvement and control a point guard—backup or otherwise—should have over the game. —R.Mobley.

FINAL VISUAL