D.C. Council Game 8: Wizards 79 at Spurs 92: Just the Classiest of Beatdowns in Alamo City | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 8: Wizards 79 at Spurs 92: Just the Classiest of Beatdowns in Alamo City

Updated: November 14, 2013

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council: setting the scene, recapping key points, providing the analysis, evaluating players, and catching anything that you may have missed from the Washington Wizards. Game No. 8: Wizards at Spurs; contributors: Kyle Weidie, Rashad Mobley, and  Sean Fagan, watching the broadcast from chilly D.C.

[Game 8 #WittmanFace: 'Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.' —Gloria Clemente]

[Game 8 #WittmanFace: ‘Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.’ —Gloria Clemente]

Washington Wizards 79 at San Antonio Spurs 92
[box score]

Jump to Council Player Ratings


DC Council Key Legislature

We knew how it would end before it began. But, hey, the element of surprise and real-time drama is a big reason why we watch professional sports. Even merely thinking that the Wizards could make it interesting was not without promise.

Instead, the game started and San Antonio scored before Wizards fans at home could even stand up to sit down once their team cracks the scoreboard. Kawhi Leonard, Kawhi Leonard, Kawhi Leonard … the basketball gods mushed it right in the Wizards’ face. Tim Duncan immediately found the third-year player for a layup on the game’s first possession. Then great team passing and Danny Green found Leonard lurking in the corner—twice—for a 3-pointer. Before the Wizards knew where they were, it was Kawhi 8, Washington 0, in two minutes flat.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Chair

Martell Webster. Against the Dallas Mavericks, Trevor Ariza (with a little help from John Wall) carried the Wizards offensively and was disruptive on the defensive end of the floor with four steals. One night later, Ariza struggled for one half and sat out the other with a strained hamstring, but Martell Webster did his best Ariza impression with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. The bad news for Webster is that his strong third quarter effort—one that saw the Wizards cut the lead to three points on a Webster jumper—was for naught. The good news is that Webster seemed to use the garbage time of the fourth quarter to work on his shooting stroke. He’ll need it if Ariza misses extended time.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Maynor, rinse, repeat? Nope, not tonight. Part of the changes on the table for Wittman was a short leash for Eric Maynor. Why the coach kept previously giving him chances is not necessarily lost, even as it’s realized that there’s not much in the cupboard. So Maynor played just under eight minutes and was minus-17 … and sometimes the stats mean a ton. Enter Garrett Temple, who wasn’t so much unnoticeable as he was not terrible.

Kyle Weidie  (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Top Aide

If Martell Webster earns the big chair for the evening it demonstrates how dire the situation is for the Wizards. His second unit having collapsed, Coach Randy Wittman went to his bench and fans were treated to a little bit of Jan Vesely (minus-21 in 22 minutes), a pinch of Glen Rice, Jr. (plus-2 in 13 minutes) and even a smidge of Garrett Temple (plus-6 in 10 minutes). So the Top Aide therefore goes to… Trevor Booker, who finished with a team high plus-8 in six minutes and was the least offensive Wizard outside of Webster on the evening. The fact that Booker can’t be pried from the bench except under the most trying of circumstances is astounding, but I guess you have to see what Vesely has at this point.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Session

That session was … expected!

In one corner you have a team that made the NBA Finals with an identity of slowing the pace of the game. The Spurs execute their schemes to near perfection and integrate new pieces with barely a hiccup. In the other corner you have the Washington Wizards, who still have no idea what they are as a team and flounder from quarter to quarter, trying on new offensive and defensive identities like a 16-year-old girl tries on prom dresses. The Wizards’ inability to commit to mastering one style of play is a recurring theme that has played out over the course of the past few seasons. They will lose to teams they should beat, surprise a few good teams when everything comes together once every eight games, and get dismantled by teams that have known what their identity has been since preseason.

The Wizards little run at .500 last year was spurred but a commitment to defense and the fact that the Wizards knew who they were as a team and knew what they were good at. Lacking the pieces to make that identity fit, they better pick a new dress and get to the dance before their 8th seed beau takes a turn with someone (Philadelphia?) more interesting.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Mayor

Coach Wittman’s “pretty effective” rotation was altered a bit by injuries and subpar play. Harrington was out with old age, Seraphin was seemingly demoted after an abysmal performance against the Mavs, and later in the game Wittman was forced to bench an ineffective Eric Maynor in favor of a slightly more effective Garrett Temple. To his credit, Wittman tried his very best to make lemonade out of the lemons he was given, but instead was left with a bitter taste in his mouth.

But the real culprit tonight was not Wittman’s bench, but two other factors that have become a recurring theme in all of the Wizards’ losses this season—which also happen to be the two factors Wittman zeroed in on in his postgame presser: hero ball and defense. For some reason, Wittman and his coaching staff cannot get five guys to commit on the defensive end of the floor, and when his team finally does cut into an opponent’s lead—as they did tonight against the Spurs—someone on the Wizards (tonight it was John Wall) decides to take a series of ill-advised shots only Nick Young could love and appreciate. Part of that is on the players, but Wittman and his coaching staff deserve some of the blame, too.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) 


DC Council Players

John Wall

2.5 out of 5 stars

30 mins | 5-19 FG | 1-3 3Ps | 3-3 FTs | 14 pts | 8 rebs | 3 asts | 2 stl | 3 TOs

In the Wizards’ loss to the Mavericks, John Wall played in control and led the team with 14 points and 10 assists. Last night, Wall single-handedly kept the Spurs from blowing out the Wizards in the first quarter with eight points and this double block of Patty Mills, but his first assist did not come until the 3:10 mark of the second quarter. In the third quarter, Wall hit just one of nine shots, and was the main reason why the Wizards went from being down three to 13. I suppose I should mention Wall’s inability to keep Tony Parker out of the lane, but that was the least of his worries tonight. Wall sat out the entire fourth quarter, after the Spurs’ Jeff Ayres poked him in the eye. —R. Mobley

Bradley Beal

2 out of 5 stars

35 mins | 19 pts | 9-19 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 0-0 FTs | 2 rebs | 2 stls | 1 TO

Beal broke the ice in the rout with a 3-pointer two and a half minutes into the first quarter. Otherwise, can’t brag too much about 19 points on 19 shots. More lessons learned for Bradley, we imagine—learning how a championship team operates and continuing to realize that he must impact the game in ways other than scoring. —K. Weidie

Trevor Ariza

1 out of 5 stars

17 mins | 1-4 FG | 0-1 3Ps | 1-2 FTs | 3 pts | 3 rebs | 2 asts | 2 stl

Even before Ariza’s hamstring injury caused him to miss the entire second half, he was having an off night—and this was clear after the first two minutes of the game. Ariza missed a layup, a 3-point shot, and he had a dunk blocked by 80-year-old Tim Duncan. To make matters worse, he allowed Kawhi Leonard to score the game’s first eight points—six of which came from Ariza’s favorite spot on offense: the corner. Still, Ariza has arguably been the Wizards’ MVP after eight games, and losing him to injury will be a significant blow. —R. Mobley


1 out of 5 stars

25 mins | 2-6 FGs | 4 pts | 2 rebs | 1 TO

Nene had some choice words for his teammates after the game, pointing out how the youngsters on the team could learn a few things from the aging Spurs by, y’know, doing simple things like watching tape or running schemes. However, if you are going to pop off at everyone it also helps to lead by example and leave it all on the floor. Nene’s continued woes from the free throw line and his underwhelming performance against both Dallas and San Antonio make him ill-suited at the moment to be calling anyone out. Perhaps if he spent more time working with Kevin Seraphin and the other bigs, and helped them turn into half-decent basketball players rather than ping-ponging between being an offensive force and malingering, I would be more prone to have sympathy for his plight. —S. Fagan

Marcin Gortat

2 out of 5 stars

33 mins | 9 pts | 4-10 FGs | 7 rebs | 1 ast | 1 blk | 2 TOs

Gortat has deft offensive moves for a man his size, you just wish they were more slick. Not for lack of meaning well, but he often finds himself between missing bunnies and not knowing how to best settle for semi-panicked midrange shots. Even if unideal, you can almost live with Gortat’s lapses on defense. But when his post moves only show up every once in a while, that’s more than negated. —K. Weidie

Eric Maynor

0 out of 5 stars

7 mins | 0-1 FG | 0-1 3Ps | 3-3 FTs | 0 pts | 0 rebs | 0 asts

As soon as Eric Maynor checks into a game, Wizards fans and writers immediately begin to say negative things about his game. I will not pile on Mr. Maynor and his point guard shortcomings, I will simply say this: He was so ineffective and he had so little impact on the game in his seven minutes of play that Wittman chose to play Garrett Temple at the point for the entire fourth quarter. Patty Mills, the Spurs backup point guard, played 16 minutes, played tight pressure defense on Wall and Maynor, and finished with seven points and a steal in 16 minutes of play. No one is asking Maynor to be John Wall, but could he at least be Patty Mills? —R. Mobley

Martell Webster

4.5 out of 5 stars

35 mins | 21 pts | 8-16 FGs | 3-6 3Ps | 10 rebs | 4 stls | 2 asts | 1 TO

The positive spin buzzed about Martell’s breakout game. Webster did, in fact, hit shots. He even snagged a ton of rebounds. And with Trevor Ariza saying he heard a “pop” when he injured his hamstring and sitting the second half, Webster will have a chance to do a lot more going forward. The question is how much of a drop off will there be on defense from Ariza to Webster, because it must be remembered: Marcin Gortat is no Emeka Okafor. —K. Weidie

Kevin Seraphin/Trevor Booker

2 out of 5 stars, combined (both earned by Booker)

11 mins | 2-6 FGs | 4 pts | 3 rebs | 1 ast

If I were Randy Wittman, I would have no idea what to do at this point with the 4 slot. Seraphin got five minutes on the evening out of desperation and is unlikely to get a lot of time in the future after putting up a wondrously terrible performance in Dallas. Booker is just “there” and continues to not do much to offend anyone but also isn’t making enough of an impact to actually earn himself any PT. The entire situation is at the 4 spot is a three-alarm blaze and Wittman is standing there looking at it with a glass of water instead of a fire extinguisher. —S. Fagan

Al Harrington

DNP – Coach’s Decision

OH NOES!!!!! Here comes Father Time! —S. Fagan




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Rashad Mobley
Reporter/Writer at TAI
Rashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and he had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2009.