D.C. Council Preseason Game 7: Wizards 101 at Cavs 82: Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Preseason Game 7: Wizards 101 at Cavs 82: Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over

Updated: October 24, 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 Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) will take you through key accounts of a game they watched over bootleg Internet (and will forgo reviewing individual Wizards on this night). Leggo…

Washington Wizards 101 at Cleveland Cavaliers 82
[box score]

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DC Council Key Legislature

The key to this preseason game, once again, must’ve been Randy Wittman’s halftime speech in the locker room. Although, we might be a little presumptuous here. After a shitty first half the previous night in Detroit and a “spirited” comeback in the second half, crack starting small forward Trevor Ariza said this about his coach’s halftime speech:

“He didn’t really have much to say, but ‘We’re not playing well.’ Pretty much, we knew that already.”

Sounds like he really listens. In any case, ironically enough, Ariza, who’s had a terrible preseason and looks unqualified to start for a playoff team, was the only one who was worth a damn in the first half against Cleveland in Cincinnati (well, Beal, too). Ariza scored eight points in the game’s first two and a half minutes and overall went 5-for-7 from 3-point land for the game with all five makes coming via assists—two from John Wall and one each from Trevor Booker, Al Harrington, and Nene. Ariza finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Otherwise, good shooting somehow became contagious in the second half as the Wizards out-scored Cleveland 60-29 over the final two periods (after being down 12 points at halftime). Washington collectively went 12-for-17 from deep  in the second half (70.6%; the Wizards were 15-for-28 on 3s for the game, 53.6%). Even Garrett Temple and Xavier Silas got in on the action. Can’t count on shooting like that to combat all instances of malaise, but it was nice to see to close out the preseason.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

DC Council Chair

No looking back and without a ton of analysis, we’re just going to again name the game’s top dog Bradley Beal. Without a doubt, he’s been the most consistent player all preseason. Beal scored 21 points on 16 shots in Cincinnati and picked up three assist by making the right passes. He didn’t get to the free throw line at all and only grabbed two rebounds—two developing inefficiencies that we should not be too concerned about just yet. Again, rebounding and getting to the line were Beal’s strong points coming into the NBA. He’s shown a ton of growth this preseason, so there’s no reason to think he won’t get on track and be a more complete player very soon.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

DC Council Vetoed Participation

John Wall, easy.

Again, let’s turn back to a Wittman quote after the Detroit game, as the starts the Wizards got off to on Tuesday and Wednesday—and in the preseason in general—have been unacceptable. To the #WittmanFace (via the Washington Post):

“Our guys, they think we can turn it on and off like a switch, we’re kidding ourselves. That’s what we did in that first half. Came out, didn’t play for each other and why we continue to fall back into that, I got to figure that out. That was an embarrassment. I was embarrassed with that effort in the first half.”

The coach will insist that he was talking about all of his guys and that nothing is on one single player. And all of this is true to some extent. But Wittman was also mainly talking about Wall. Now, I could not observe every bad thing that Wall did in Cincinnati via bootleg Internet feeds of the game, but a stat line of three points, four turnovers, four assists, two rebounds, and 1-for-7 shooting speaks for itself. Wall better get his act together; else the Washington Post’s Jason Reid won’t be the only one writing inflammatory columns about him.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

DC Council Top Aide

Al Harrington, everyone—he’s still got it, obviously. Harrington dropped 17 points in 19 minutes off the bench, also adding seven rebounds, two assists, but four turnovers, to his stat line. The 33-year-old veteran didn’t just camp out around the perimeter (à la Andray Blatche), but managed some other nice offensive moves—a spin and score at the hoop; a drive, pump-fake, and finish in the paint; and a step-back jumper from midrange.

Available minutes to start this season for 2011’s sixth overall pick, Jan Vesely, are all but gone. Those minutes will be given to the more deserving Harrington. Vesely barely played in the final preseason game, got eight minutes of garbage-time in the fourth quarter, and only managed zero points on one missed shot and two missed free throws, zero rebounds, one steal, one block, one foul, and was the recipient of a flagrant foul from 2013 No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

DC Council Session

That session was … blurry.

Pop-ups, Waldo-esque “x” characters blending into advertisements posing as driver update announcements, nice young ladies who lived in my area and wanted to meet up regardless of how old I was or what I looked like or whether I was a robot too … these were the hurdles facing anyone outside of the broadcast range of Fox Sports Ohio who wanted to watch a preseason game between the Wizards and the Cavaliers over the Web.

What I did see, when I could see, was more of the same … inconsistent effort from Wall (the Heat game was the only time this preseason when it was clear he was dialed in), impressive play from Bradley Beal, Trevor Booker, and Al (my pal) Harrington. The only outlier? Wonky excellence from Trevor Ariza, who was raining apple-cherry brimstone from all over the place. Relief arrived in the outcome … a Wizards win and an end to non-televised games.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

DC Council Mayor

Check these boxes: limited minutes for Nene? Check. Limited minutes for Jan Vesely for no reason other than the obvious ones? Check. Top bench minutes for Harrington/Seraphin and Maynor/Temple to gather data and define roles? Check. A team that is motivated and prepared from the jump? No, I won’t go out with you.

I won’t touch too much on the Ariza vs. Webster debate, because it’s been bad-touched to death and because Webster didn’t play at all during the game (he rested an ailing ankle). It worked out in Cincinnati, and the concept would be sound (disciplined, high-accuracy shooting off of the bench) if not for the rarity of the success of Wall-Beal-Webster lineups last season. Deep breath. Moving on.

One of the criticisms levied against the Wizards in recent years is that they’ve struggled to develop players. Trevor Booker is bucking that trend, and Wittman continues to do a competent job of hiding the frontcourt’s lack of size, helped by Booker’s high-quality, efficient minutes and despite Kevin Seraphin’s aversion to rebounding.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.