D.C. Council Game 15: Wizards 100 at Bucks 92: Martell and Marcin Hold the Mayo | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 15: Wizards 100 at Bucks 92: Martell and Marcin Hold the Mayo

Updated: November 28, 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. 15: Wizards at Bucks; contributors: Conor Dirks, Sean Fagan, and Rashad Mobley watching the television broadcast.

Washington Wizards 100 at Milwaukee Bucks 92 (OT)
[box score]

Jump to Council Player Ratings


DC Council Key Legislature

The #SoWizards narrative was right there for the taking. Marcin Gortat had scored seven early fourth-quarter points to help the Wizards build a 76-68 lead, their largest of the game, with 9:54 left. During the next 8:43, the Wizards scored just five points, thanks to a comedy of errors, a reliance on jump shots, and the lack of any semblance of offensive continuity. Jan Vesely missed a layup, Garrett Temple stepped out of bounds and Trevor Ariza lost a ball into the stands. Nene, John Wall and Gortat missed jumper after jumper after jumper. The Wizards’ impotent offense gave O.J. Mayo and the Bucks—who were displaying an equally offensive brand of offense—to climb back into the game and eventually take the lead, 84-81. Enter Martell Webster.

Wall stole the ball from the struggling Brandon Knight, then passed it to Gortat, who immediately swung the ball to Webster in his designated corner spot. Clearly Mayo lost Webster, or did not get the memo that Webster is Mr. Four-Point Play, because he fouled Webster as he released the ball. Webster did not convert the free throw, but he did manage to stop the Wizards’ bleeding and propel them into overtime, and eventually victory. Considering the Bucks were effectively shutting down both Nene and Wall, and that Gortat had cooled off a bit, Webster’s heroics were right on time—and the antithesis of #SoWizards.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Chair

The bell rang, and Martell Webster answered. One expects the 3-pointers, and Martell provided several. With the Bucks on a 9-0 run with 5:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, Martell stopped the bleeding. When the Wizards remained cold, and didn’t make a field goal for the following four and a half minutes, Martell knocked down a contested corner 3-pointer and drew a foul. Although he didn’t convert the four-point play, the Wizards would have been completely sunk without Webster’s icy makes.

Martell’s timely points shouldn’t overshadow his all-around game, however. His willingness to communicate on defense, his passing (especially the dime that landed Gortat with a layup in overtime), his cuts to the hoop, and his excellence on the boards during Bradley Beal’s absence have gone a long way to make up for Washington’s ball-handling deficiencies.

—Conor Dirks  (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Kevin Seraphin. On a night when the Wizards bench did their best impression of competency, Seraphin stuck out as the sore thumb of the group. His minutes were limited due to the tremendous play of Marcin Gortat, but in the seven minutes he did log, viewers witnessed the same mistakes that have kept Seraphin pinned to the bench. On his first possession Seraphin held the ball for four ticks before getting swarmed by two Milwaukee defenders and only just managed to get the ball out to Eric Maynor to avoid a turnover. The ticket out of Wittman’s doghouse is for Seraphin to realize that he isn’t on the court to score and that if he moves the ball and gets his body in the paint, then the minutes will come. Right now, it’s a lesson in regression for a player that the Wizards need to step up in order to compete.

—Sean Fagan  (@McCarrick)


DC Council Top Aide

Ernie Grunfeld may have been a bit depressed earlier this week after hearing that Bradley Beal’s stress injury would force him to miss at least two weeks. But Wednesday night’s performance of his most recent acquisition, Marcin Gortat, surely brought a smile to his face (as did the Wizards’ fifth victory in six games). Nene was frustrated and out of sync thanks to the Bucks’ defense, and Gortat met the challenge by going 5-for-5 from the field with 10 points in the first quarter. In fact, Gortat did not miss a single field goal until the fourth quarter when he missed a 17-foot jumper, and he led the Wizards with a season-high 25 points. In overtime, Gortat scored on consecutive layups, and then effectively put the game out of reach with two late free throws. Said Gortat after the game, “How I felt today, like 18 years old, running up and down, I felt good.”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Session

That Session Was … A Sign of Growth.

Historically, Milwaukee is one of the teams the Wizards “play down” to and often come up short against. There was the infamous “did not register Roger Mason” game, the several Ramon Sessions outbursts, and a general lethargy that seems to creep into the squad when they are playing a team they don’t see as a threat. On Wednesday night, the Wizards took a depleted Bucks team seriously and walked out of the frigid Midwest with a win. It is victories like this over bad teams that are going to get the Wizards their coveted eighth seed, not surprising wins over really good teams which are followed up by lackadaisical play against the Phillys and Torontos of the conference. From top to bottom, the team was committed to playing defense and demonstrated offensive growth by not forcing the ball into John Wall’s hands on an off night. The Wizards are in “weather the storm” territory until Bradley Beal gets back from injury, but these victories will help them tread water until their star shooting guard comes off the shelf.

—Sean Fagan  (@McCarrick)


DC Council Mayor

Whether it was a decree from the Monumental mountaintop, a whisper from Grunfeld’s shadow organization, or (more likely) magnanimity from Randy Wittman, the Wizards tried their best to allow the bench a day in the sun. And what better opportunity might there be than against the lowly (hey, I’m using this to describe the other team … fun!) Milwaukee Bucks? It’s a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it. There will be no better opportunity. And yet the bench zombies, deployed as a unit at first, could not gnaw their way to mediocrity. Leads leak like old pipes, patience crumbles like stale bread. Please, ma, let me off this ride.

Wittman’s reactionary effort to rest his starters backfired, and for each minute of game time he saved by allowing Eric Maynor to shoot clunker 3-pointers, Kevin Seraphin to let a pass cruise on by, Garrett Temple to turn the ball over, and Jan Vesely to leap for mistimed oops, he was paid back in kind with five high intensity overtime minutes from his favorites.

—Conor Dirks  (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Players

John Wall

3 out of 5 stars

38 mins | plus-10 | 19 pts | 7-18 FGs | 3-6 3Ps | 2-2 FTs | 2 rebs | 6 asts | 5 stls | 5 TOs

Every night can’t be a 30-plus-point eruption, so you have to be pleased that John Wall acknowledged that he didn’t have the hot hand and got the ball to Webster and Gortat, who were filling up the soft rims in Milwaukee. Wall was even more impressive in his defensive effort, as he racked up five steals and locked down the overmatched Brandon Knight. As the pundits begin to “rediscover” John Wall because of his scoring, it’s the defensive effort that has Wizards fans grinning ear to ear. Game by game, Wall is transforming into the complete player that scouts had him pegged as when he was drafted, and his evolution may make the predictions of playoffs a possible reality in a weak Eastern Conference. —S. Fagan

Martell Webster

4 out of 5 stars

43 mins | plus-14 | 18 pts | 7-16 FGs | 4-11 3Ps | 5 rebs | 7 asts

For the second night in a row, Webster did his best Bradley Beal impression, and then some. He (and Gortat) picked up the scoring slack for a slow-starting John Wall in the first quarter with nine points. None were more emphatic than this dunk:

Webster’s shots were falling, but he also rebounded and made a point to feed Gortat (who was the recipient of five of Webster’s career-high seven assists). And in the fourth quarter when the Wizards seemed to be rumbling, bumbling and stumbling, Webster accounted for 10 of Washington’s 16 points (six points and two assists). Who needs Bradley Beal? —R. Mobley

Trevor Ariza

3.5 out of 5 stars

42 mins | plus-9 | 14 pts | 5-11 FGs | 2-6 3Ps | 2-4 FTs | 1 reb | 3 asts | 3 stls | 3 TOs

Trevor Ariza is one-third man, one-third octopus, and one-third hookah smoke. Wizards play-by-play man Steve Buckhantz has mentioned that it often looks like Ariza has more than the human-standard two arms. He set the number at four, but that may not be enough. For all his gambling, sagging and cheating on off-man defense, his steals can often swing momentum Washington’s way and spring Washington’s celebrated fast break. Then again, they can also go off his leg and out of bounds, like one did against Milwaukee. Ariza’s missed free throw with twelve seconds left in the fourth quarter allowed the Bucks to tie the game, but his hard-won layup that preceded the free throw attempts got them to a position where he could subsequently blow it, if that makes sense. A mixed bag, to be sure, but what did you expect? —C. Dirks


1 out of 5 stars

35 mins | plus-5 | 9 pts | 2-6 FGs | 5-6 FTs | 8 rebs | 1 ast | 1 stl | 2 TOs

#BadNene showed up again tonight as the big Brazilian continues to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on any given night. The problem with Nene’s off nights is that they are not so much bad as that he completely disappears off the basketball court and into some other universe while a shade of Nene remains, going through the motions of a professional basketball player. Nene was bailed out by a next level Marcin Gortat performance, but the Wizards have to hope for more consistency from Nene going forward.—S. Fagan

Marcin Gortat

4.5 out of 5 stars

40 mins | plus-18 | 25 pts | 11-12 FGs | 3-5 FTs | 8 rebs | 2 asts | 2 blks

When your friend is having a bad day, the polite thing to do is cheer him up, right? That’s exactly what Marcin did in Milwaukee. Gortat watched Nene dominate against the Lakers two nights prior, and on this night, Gortat took the baton from the struggling Nene and ran with it. He started quickly by scoring 10 points in the first quarter, and he ended even stronger by scoring seven points in the fourth quarter and six of the Wizards’ 13 overtime points. Said Nene of Gortat after the game: “I told Gortat be ready, ’cause you’re going to be open. No doubt, if you score 30 points, the next night they going to double, and that’s what happened.” —R. Mobley

Jan Vesely

2.5 out of 5 stars

23 mins | minus-4 | 4 pts | 1-3 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 5 rebs | 3 stls | 2 TOs

This was not the best game for the Washington’s surprising sixth man, although it wasn’t all his fault. But therein lies the problem. The “Airwolf” meme has become more accurate than anyone should feel comfortable with, and Vesely’s offensive scope is narrow: either he catches the lob or he doesn’t. Against the Bucks, the lobs were mostly off-target, and therefore so was Vesely. On the bright side, Jan was an incredible 100 percent (2-for-2) from the free throw line. On the dark side, the apocalypse is nigh and you should consider going to Costco and buying all of the bottled water you can afford. —C. Dirks

Garrett Temple

3 out of 5 stars

22 mins | minus-8 | 6 pts | 2-2 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 3 rebs | 4 asts | 2 stls | 3 TOs

Temple plays better the more time he receives. Prolonged playing time allows Temple to do all the things that make him a Wittman favorite, such as wreaking havoc on defense, not overextending himself on the offensive end of the court, and playing within himself at all times. This is good news for the Wizards going forward, as Beal is on the shelf for the next few weeks. The question is whether Temple will be able to have the same type of impact in extremely limited minutes should Beal not encounter any heavy setbacks. —S. Fagan

Eric Maynor

2 out of 5 stars

14 mins | minus-2 | 3 pts | 1-4 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 1 rebs | 4 asts | 1 TO

I was all set to say something nice after Maynor drilled a 3-pointer for the second night in a row, but all that made field goal did was vindicate Maynor’s desire to take a couple more, one of which was on an unexpected possession: it was launched with multiple Bucks underneath a basket half a court away from the nearest non-Maynor Wizard. The four assists … those were nice. I did it! —C. Dirks

Kevin Seraphin

0.5 out of 5

7 mins | minus-2 | 2 pts | 1-2 FGs | 0-0 FTs | 1 rebs | 1 PF

The good news for Seraphin is that Coach Wittman felt completely confident in leaving him (and the other members of the bench) in the game for more than half of the second quarter. The bad news is that Seraphin still did not do enough for Wittman to have that kind of confidence against Indiana on Friday night. —R. Mobley


Not all bad with Nene…


Rashad Mobley on FacebookRashad Mobley on InstagramRashad Mobley on Twitter
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.