D.C. Council Game 14: Wizards 116 vs Lakers 111: Nene Goes Hollywood | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 14: Wizards 116 vs Lakers 111: Nene Goes Hollywood

Updated: November 27, 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. 14: Wizards vs Lakers; contributors: Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend from blogger row in the Verizon Center and Conor Dirks watching the television broadcast in D.C.

Washington Wizards 116 vs Los Angeles Lakers 111
[box score]

Jump to Council Player Ratings


DC Council Key Legislature

It was Nick Young’s night for the taking. Somehow the Wizard returning home once again (the first time as a Laker) was able to balance the perception of shooting every single time he touched the ball with surreptitiously picking up three assists. His 50 percent from the field (6-12 FGs, 3-4 3Ps) can’t be discounted—he drove to the basket a couple times but did plenty of dancing and stutter-steps with his feet to match his dribbling before firing fading midrange shots as only Nick Young can. The boos rained down on him by hometown Verizon Center fans seemed to slightly wipe Young’s perpetual smile off his face, and fuel him … just a little bit. He hit big shots midway through the fourth quarter, keeping the Lakers hanging around. But with the ball in his hands and his team down three points with 15 seconds left, a trigger-happy attempt, well-contested by Nene, from way beyond the arc with still enough time on the shot clock to get a better look fell way short. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he drew up the look for Young, but that it “should’ve been a better play.”

It was Nick Young being the best Nick Young he could be: a legitimate, but overly self-reliant threat who could make a three-point difference seem ever-so-close one second and so far away the next. Meanwhile, in Washington, a sometimes over-reliant on his jump shot John Wall nailed three clutch midrange jumpers in a row down the stretch. Go figure.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Chair

I could say that John Wall stole the show, scoring 11 points in the game’s final 4:40, and even hitting some clutch free throws to beat the Lakers, and he did… But I feel compelled to give Nene his propers. The big man had a big game. In fact, he had his biggest scoring game in his 12-year career. Thirty points! And he had as many dunks in a quarter and a half (three slama-jamas) as he had in 11 previous appearances, four total. Asked after the game what was working for him, Nene said, “The Lord.” Also, his “cheam”-mates:

“What matters is the victory. It doesn’t matter if I score 30 points and lose the game. If we win, everybody wins. That’s our mentality now.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

It seems cheap, at this point, to single out one Wizards bench player as the poster child, the individual player that personifies the inescapable frailty of a group that on most nights cannot collectively score in double digits. That some bench players make contributions other than points is not lost on this observer (I see Jan Vesely’s tip-outs and Garrett Temple’s defense as clearly as the next human), but a three-man NBA bench with three individually one-dimensional players is a travesty on a planet where so many people play the sport, and in a league where Jordan Farmar, who was exiled from the NBA at one point, scores 22 points off of the Lakers bench.

Being excited about Vesely’s contributions isn’t shameful (by all means, carry on!), but ask yourself: is a “hustle guy” who fouls more than he scores the first player off the bench on a playoff team? Garrett Temple is a fine defender, but just doesn’t have the requisite talent to score in the NBA. I’m consciously avoiding discussion of Eric Maynor (it’s in everyone’s best interest). As for Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Glen Rice? There is no shortage of opportunity on this Wizards team. That the aforementioned three players aren’t capable of earning minutes is a supreme disappointment.

—Conor Dirks  (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Top Aide

With the return of Trevor Ariza but the temporary departure of Bradley Beal, the bench still wasn’t equipped to do much against Los Angeles. Thusly, the combo of Jan Vesely, Eric Maynor and Garrett Temple (and Chris Singleton for 65 seconds) contributed a total of seven points. (The Wizards bench has tallied just 46 total points over the last five games.)

So while Nene stepped up to aide the hole left by Beal with a career-high 30 points, we’re going to throw the bench a bone and collectively give them the top aide (even though Jan was minus-7, Temple minus-5, and Maynor minus-2). Why? I think this tweet sums it up nicely:

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Session

That Session Was … House Money.

Bradley Beal, who will miss at least two weeks with a stressed-out fibula, had been playing at or near an All-Star level. Losing forty minutes per game from one of the Eastern Conference’s best shooting guards will be, at times, as gut-wrenching as hearing the initial injury news. As TAI’s Kyle Weidie pointed out in the above-linked article, the Wizards without Beal are without a secondary ball-handler in the backcourt. Good on Randy Wittman, then, to recognize as much and avoid confrontation with the issue. Instead of running an offense built around unselfish perimeter swings and midrange screens set by forwards for ball-handling guards, the Wizards went through Nene early and leaned on an increasingly excellent John Wall late. It took ace performances from both players and strong performances otherwise to beat the Farmar-led Lakers.

As long as the Wizards are only five deep, the team will need a consistent hero, not a Sully Sullenberger-esque one-hit wonder. Each game fought for and won during Beal’s absence is a win you shouldn’t expect.

—Conor Dirks  (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Mayor

Randy Scott Wittman loves him some defense, but he hasn’t seen much of it from his squad this season—the Wizards have given up more than 100 points in 10 of their 14 games so far. Looking for answers, Wittman called on Garrett Temple, the reliable but unassuming D-Leaguer, who got a season-high 26 minutes of defensive run. Still, “there wasn’t a lot of defense played in this game,” Wittman said afterward

It didn’t really matter, though. Wittman’s short bench kept the Wizards and, more importantly, the team’s starters in the game, which was enough to eek out a win last night.

The coach on Nene’s career night:

“Nene was huge. We wanted to facilitate a lot through him tonight… He facilitates a lot. He is not a guy that looks to score every time he touches the ball. There are some players in this league that do that. He is a passer, he sets people up, he swings the ball, that’s why he is so valuable to us. It’s his IQ from a basketball standpoint.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Players

John Wall

4.5 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-8 | 31 pts | 10-18 FGs | 0-2 3Ps | 11-12 FTs | 6 rebs | 9 asts | 3 stls | 3 TOs

After the game, John Wall handed out affection like Oprah hands out automobiles. Said Wall: “I love my teammates, I love the city of D.C., I love my coaching staff and organization…” Far from the carefully worded disclosures of Wall’s beloved organization regarding his teammate’s muddled injury, Wall’s effusive adoration of all things Wizard is one part youth, one part dedication, and the rest good news. John notched a career milestone on Saturday against the Knicks with his second consecutive 30-point game, and now you can make it three in a row. For the second straight game, Wall was 10-for-18 for 31 points, and his jumper was as consistent as his scoring line. Barring disaster, which is no sure thing, you are looking at your first All-Star of the post-Arenas era. —C. Dirks

Martell Webster

4.5 out of 5 stars

43 mins | plus-12 | 20 pts | 8-15 FGs | 4-8 3Ps | 9 rebs | 3 asts | 4 stls | 1 blk

‘Twas a tale of two halves for the Wizards new starter at shooting guard. Webster was getting dirty in the paint like a first grader in the first half. Well-timed cuts off the ball led to all four of Webster’s first-half buckets, including a beautiful reverse layup and a tip-slam off a Nene jumper that fell off the left side of the rim. In the second half, Webster went 0-for-2 in the painted area, but took a few steps back, collected himself and filled up the bucket with 3-pointers. He hit three 3s in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, and found Eric Maynor open for a 3 of his own, to give the Wizards a nine-point lead. An excellent all-around game. —J.C. Townsend

Trevor Ariza

3 out of 5 stars

32 mins | plus-3 | 13 points | 6-14 FGs | 1-7 3Ps | 7 rebs | 3 asts | 3 stls

Trevor Arizona was as dry as the desert from deep, but his return to the lineup was more than welcome. He scored on a couple wiry forays to the basket, got plenty of rebounds, and seemed to add four extra hands and limbs to an already-active Wizards defense in the passing lanes. —K. Weidie


5 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-7 | 30 pts | 13-22 FGs | 4-6 FTs | 2 rebs | 5 asts | 2 stls

A career-high 30 points in one’s 12th season in the NBA calls for a five-star night. Dunk after dunk after dunk … no one on the Lakers could stop the Brazilian, especially not Jordan Hill. Nene must’ve also continued to appreciate the presence of his buddy Marcin Gortat and how he limits the times Nene has to matchup against someone like Pau Gasol. It was nice to see Nene relish being in the post (and the Wizards providing him with the ball to do such). Even nicer: in the locker room after the game, Gortat strolled a couple lockers over to Nene with his hands on his head and armpits exposed. Nene gladly participated by spraying Gortat’s underarms with deodorant. As some media members noticed with a chuckle, Gortat said, “What? This is teamwork!”—K. Weidie

Marcin Gortat

4 out of 5 stars

35 mins | plus-10 | 15 pts | 6-8 FGs | 3-4 FTs | 8 rebs | 1 asts | 1 stl | 1 blk

While Gortat was conspicuously absent from the second half of the fourth quarter against the Lakers (perhaps due to small-ball basketballing), he was fairly masterful on offense otherwise. The team misses Okafor’s defense (both Gasol and Jordan Hill shot over 50 percent) and overlooked on-court communication, but the Wizards have benefited from having a capable scorer at every position. After the game, an understandably jocular Marcin celebrated his frontcourt BFF’s big game and warrior’s soul with a Russell Crowe/history themed tweet anointing Nene as a “Brazilian gladiator.”  —C. Dirks

Jan Vesely

2.5 out of 5 stars

18 mins | minus-7 | 2 pts | 1-3 FGs | 7 rebs (3 off.) | 1 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk

Jan played another night of adequate basketball. He even confidently took a baseline jumper, but missed. Jan also got a close-range baby hook swatted into the Wizards’ bench by Wesley Johnson. But Vesely was active and he did use his length, which is mostly why he plays over Kevin Seraphin. Hopefully these little processes will continue to build confidence for Vesely (he still has such a long way to go), but also, that they will provide a better example to his teammates (Snakey) on how to make an impression upon the game without really scoring. —K. Weidie

Garrett Temple

3 out of 5 stars

26 mins | minus-5 | 2 pts | 1-3 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 2 rebs | 1 ast | 1 stl

Temple had the unenviable task of defending Nick Young. He forced Young to put the ball on the floor, dribble a lot (Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar would tell you Young dribbled too much), and take tough step-back jumpers. Trouble is, that’s Nick Young’s specialty as much as long 2-pointers are Temple’s. Young’s shots went in, they missed, and his shot fakes drew two fouls on Temple, but Young was 2-for-4 from the free throw line, so, even though you’re not supposed to foul a jump shooter, no real harm done! —J.C. Townsend

Eric Maynor

1.5 out of 5 stars

11 mins | minus-2 | 3 pts | 1-4 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 1 reb | 2 ast | 1 TO

Maynor, huh. What is he good for? Absolutely nothin’. Say it again, y’all. —J.C. Townsend

Chris Singleton

N/A out of 5

1 min | 1 close-out

Before the game, Randy Wittman mentioned that Chris Singleton might be available for “spot” duty. This was a spot of the microscopic variety. Still, it was good to see Singleton back out on the court, having earned his minute over Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker in only one day of practice. —C. Dirks


I can watch this all day…

[via gifdsports.com]

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.