D.C. Council Game 10: Wizards 104 vs Timberwolves 100: Underdogs Bite Back | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 10: Wizards 104 vs Timberwolves 100: Underdogs Bite Back

Updated: November 20, 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. 10: Wizards vs Timberwolves; contributors: Kyle Weidie and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, and Rashad Mobley watching the broadcast from the nation’s capital.

Washington Wizards 104
vs Minnesota Timberwolves 100
[box score]

Jump to Council Player Ratings


DC Council Key Legislature

During the Wizards’ four-game losing streak, there was this prevailing feeling that no matter how large the lead or how well they seemed to be playing as a team, somehow the Wizards would lose the lead, then the game. Free throws would be missed, ball movement would cease, and bad shots would become plentiful. While this was happening, the opposing team would heat up and steal the victory.

At the 1:26 mark of the fourth quarter, the Minnesota Timbewolves appeared to be following that blueprint as well. Kevin Martin capped a 6-2 mini-run to give his team a 98-97 lead over the Wizards—their first since the 10:46 mark early that quarter. The Wizards ran 10 seconds worth of offense the very next time down the floor, and then they called a 20-second timeout after Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer fouled Bradley Beal coming off a screen. What followed was one of the more beautiful possessions the Wizards have produced this season.

John Wall inbounded the ball to Marcin Gortat, and then got it right back. J.J. Barea chose to run over the screen. Wall then drove in the lane and passed it back to Gortat halfway in the paint. Gortat could have easily thrown in one of his patented hook shots. Instead, Gortat threw the ball in to Nene, who was even closer to the basket, but had to contend with Nikola Pekovic and a quickly approaching Kevin Love. Nene made a jump-pass back to Wall, who had now strayed out of the lane with five seconds left on the shot clock. Wall took one dribble, made a jump-pass of his own to Martell Webster who standing beyond the 3-point line. Webster nailed the 3-pointer to give the Wizards the lead for good, 100-98, and then ran back down the court with a Chris Webber-like scowl.

—Rashad Mobley  (@rashad20)


DC Council Chair

John Wall is a prideful guy and a basketball junkie. His ego took hit after Kyrie Irving outscored him by 32 points on Saturday night. Wall knew exactly what was needed to overcome his recent struggles, which was attacking the rim more and getting easy buckets in transition. Knowing what to do is one thing, but applying those solutions on the court is whole other ball of wax. Wall successfully exercised those remedies versus the Timberwolves by dishing out a career-high-tying 16 assists and repeatedly dominating Minnesota in fast break situations. His jumper was still off, but he nailed a clutch one at end to give Wizards a two-point lead. Wall roasted his point guard counterpart, Ricky Rubio, who played a season-low nineteen minutes because of early foul trouble and an inability to defend Wall.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

It’s hard to really veto anyone’s participation in the game against Minnesota. Even Eric Maynor played OK. Randy Wittman gave the beleaguered guard four minutes in which he got two points (on two shots) and two assists (zero turnovers). Wittman rightly opted for Garrett Temple for 15 minutes. What Temple lacked in offensive ability (in comparison to Maynor, although, the results haven’t been all that different this season), he made up for in defensive prowess. After all, these Wizards were supposedly built on defense.

Otherwise, with only one healthy player not seeing time, Wittman did the vetoing for us. He didn’t play Kevin Seraphin. Ironically, the all-too-happy-go-lucky kiddo was on that evening’s game program. (Prerequisite #KSLife LOL.)

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) 



DC Council Top Aide

Free throw shooting. Only three Wizards players shot free-throws against the Timberwolves: John Wall, Nene and Bradley Beal. Wall entered last night’s game averaging a stellar 85 percent from the free throw line, but Nene—whose poor free throw shooting against Oklahoma City and Dallas may have cost the Wizards a chance at victory—entered the game shooting a Dwight Howard-like 54 percent. Bradley Beal carried a 73 percent free throw average, but he also struggled with consistency in that area earlier in the season. Beal and Nene shot a combined 11-for-11 from the free throw line against the Timberwolves (Wall shot 4-for-4), and it was fitting that they both hit game-clinching free throws in the final 13 seconds.

—Rashad Mobley  (@rashad20)


DC Council Session

That Session was … full of fast break buckets, son.

The Wizards’ third quarter swung the momentum their way in Tuesday night’s contest, and their play to start the second half was instrumental in pulling out the much-needed victory.

Minnesota led 63-51 at intermission and Washington had provided little resistance on the defensive end up to that point. The Wizards then busted out on an 18-7 run, excelled on the break, and limited the T-Wolves to 33.3 percent shooting. In the third quarter, Washington outscored Minnesota, 30-18, fueled by a 10-point advantage (12-2) on fast break points. The game was tied headed into the final twelve minutes.

Washington entered the contest averaging 19.4 fast break points per game, good for second in the NBA. In this category, Minnesota allowed 12.7 points per game, which ranked 12th best in the NBA. The Wiz rocked ‘Sota, 33-9, in fast break points, and the outcome was largely decided by this difference.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)


DC Council Mayor

Two key quotes from Randy Wittman after the game:

“I thought he was going for 70 after the first eight minutes.”

—Wittman on Kevin Love, who had 15 points on six shot attempts (3-for-4 from 3-point land) in the first eight minutes of the first quarter. Love finished with 10 points on 3-for-11 field goals over the remaining 40 minutes of the game, as each Nene (look at you, shot contester), Jan Vesely, and Trevor Booker (but mostly Nene), followed the game plan and played their part in crowding and contesting Love on the perimeter.

“A little bit of the same but much happier, obviously, because you win.”

—Wittman on his team holding the Timberwolves to just 37 second half points after allowing them to score 34 points in the first quarter. The coach knows this win doesn’t mean a ton the next day, especially when the Wizards have a game, and all could come crashing back to the ground should there be losses tonight in Cleveland and on Friday in Toronto. There were still plenty of correctable mistakes that the coach saw on the floor against Minnesota.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) 


DC Council Players

John Wall

4 out of 5 stars

39 mins | 14 pts | 5-17 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 4-4 FTs | 14 pts | 5 rebs | 16 asts | 2 stls |1 TOs

Randy Wittman is right. John Wall needs to take the open jumpers teams give him, even if people are continually frustrated with his misses. If Wall doesn’t have the confidence to take open shots that come as a result of Washington’s offensive system, what are the Wizards developing him for? He won’t get better and we all need to understand that Wall’s J won’t magically improve overnight. That said, being a threat to score from range in the NBA isn’t only about confidence, Wall has to work better to find the right spots and use the right mechanics that best set him up for success, and he’s clearly not doing such by going 2-for-11 on jumpers outside of the paint. But to Wall’s ever-developing underrated game, he made an impact against Minnesota in several other areas, just as his coach has told him he could when his perimeter game isn’t going. After all, Wall put any point guard debate between he and Ricky Rubio to rest, at least on this night. Wall finished with 16 assists to one turnover while Rubio got in foul trouble, didn’t play in crunch time, and tallied just two dimes to three giveaways. —K. Weidie

Bradley Beal

4 out of 5 stars

38 mins | 25 pts | 9-21 FGs | 2-3 3Ps | 5-5 FTs | 5 rebs | 2 asts | 3 stls | 2 TOs

Bradley got into early foul trouble and had zero points after one quarter. He fell into his bad habits of settling for long 2-pointers but then emerged in the pivotal third quarter by splashing two pretty 3-balls, along with a successful and-1. Beal finished with a team-high plus/minus of plus-13. His solid contest on Kevin Martin’s failed tying shot, and sinking two late free throws, helped seal the win. The future keeps looking bright for the 20-year-old. —A. McGinnis

Martell Webster

4 out of 5 stars

43 mins | 17 pts | 6-13 FGs | 5-10 3Ps | 9 rebs | 2 asts | 1 blk

This performance was last season’s Martell Webster with a bit of Okafor-type tenacity on the defensive boards. He hit three big 3-point shots in the fourth quarter—the first two pulled the Wizards within one and the last one basically won the game. He also blocked a Kevin Martin shot late in the fourth quarter that would have given the Timberwolves the lead. What made Trevor Ariza so effective was not simply his points but his ability to impact the game with his defense (mainly his steals). This was one of the few nights when Webster was able to match that type of impact. —R. Mobley


4 out of 5 stars

35 mins | 20 pts | 7-12 FGs | 6-6 FTs | 5 rebs | 4 asts | 1 stl | 2 TOs

Nene did his job tonight. It sounds like a simple enough task, but there have been stretches of inconsistency for Nene this season, which is part of the reason for the Wizards’ 3-7 record. But last night, Nene was physical with Pekovic on both ends of the floor and held him to six rebounds, three below his average (9). He made sharp interior passes to Gortat for easy baskets and, most importantly, he made all of his free throws. It would have been nice to see him get at least 10 rebounds, but that’s just nitpicking. —R. Mobley

Marcin Gortat

3.5 out of 5 stars

31 mins | 14 pts | 7-10 FGs | 7 rebs | 2 asts | 2 TOs | 5 PFs

Gortat was one of a few Wizards who had a hand in Kevin Love’s fast start. I’m not sure of it was by design or the result of getting caught up on a switch (Nene spent most of the night guarding Love), but Marcin gave Kevin’s perimeter game a little too much space on a couple possessions. Can’t blame him too much, Gortat certainly didn’t want to be the semi-athletic Polish big man to get beat off the dribble by the semi-athletic American big man. But Gortat fared better than expected in guarding Pekovic, allowing the massive Serb to get inside position on a few occasions but making attempts difficult for him otherwise. Gortat picked up some cheap fouls but put up a stat line that was certainly more than serviceable, especially as long as he keeps Nene at the 4 and willing to defend unique 4s like Love on the perimeter. —K. Weidie

Jan Vesely

3.5 out of 5 stars

19 mins | 8 pts | 4-4 FGs | 6 rebs | 2 stls | 1 blk | 2 TOs | 4 PFs

Could it have been a breakout game for Jan Vesely in front of the home crowd? Or was Tuesday night’s performance merely fool’s gold? Vesely did all the active things he was drafted for—cutting to the basket, finding the seams, methodically playing passing lanes, use footwork and length on perimeter defense, and, of course, AirWolfing. I can only remember at least one instance where Vesely got out-muscled. Unless circumstance and matchup calls for it, Boy Honza has made sure that the glue is stuck to Kevin Serapin’s butt on the bench for a couple more games, at least. —K. Weidie

Trevor Booker

2 out of 5 stars

11 mins | 1-2 FGs | 2 pts | 3 rebs |  1 stl

Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely seemed to switch roles last night.  Vesely scored and rebounded in bunches, while Booker did the little things—mostly in the third and fourth quarters—to help the Wizards maintain momentum. Booker tipped in a missed layup by John Wall, he stole a Dante Cunningham pass, which led to a fast break layup by Bradley Beal, and he used his quickness to bother Pekovic on defense. Not bad for 10 minutes of run. —R. Mobley

Eric Maynor

2 out of 5 stars

4 mins | 2 pts | 1-2 FGs | 2 asts | 0 TOs

#MaynorTime came in short doses with two brief stints in each half. He nailed a nice floater and threw a sick oop to Jan Vesely. Wittman has not given up on the VCU product just yet and hopefully these are baby steps that can turn his season around. —A. McGinnis

Garrett Temple

2.5 out of 5 Stars

15 mins | 2 pts | 1-4 FGs | 1 reb | 2 asts | 2 TOs | 3 PFs

Garrett’s pedestrian line will not stand out, but he provided solid burn, especially on the defensive end. Although his unwillingness to shoot open 3-pointers can have a negative influence on the offense, his effective defense helped limit Martin to a poor shooting night. —A. McGinnis


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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.