D.C. Council Game 7: Wizards 95 at Mavericks 105: Free Throw Blood on the Hardwood | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 7: Wizards 95 at Mavericks 105: Free Throw Blood on the Hardwood

Updated: November 13, 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. 7: Wizards at Mavericks; contributors: Conor Dirks, Rashad Mobley, and  John Converse Townsend, watching the broadcast from the nation’s capital.

[Game 7 #WittmanFace: 'Short-term memory? Gotta have one. Otto Porter? Don't know 'em. ... Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow... You're always a day away.']

[Game 7 #WittmanFace: ‘Short-term memory? Gotta have one. Otto Porter? Don’t know ‘im. … Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow… You’re always a day away.’]

Washington Wizards 95 at Dallas Mavericks 105
[box score]

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DC Council Key Legislature

Marcin Gortat hit a 12-foot jumper to bring the Wizards within five points of the Mavericks, 89-84, with 8:37 left in the fourth quarter. Rick Carlisle quickly called timeout, and he must have implored his team to get the ball to Monta Ellis, and move the hell out of the way, because for the next six minutes, the Wizards had a front row seat to his offensive wizardry.

The Mavs went on a 12-2 run, and Ellis scored or assisted on all of his team’s baskets during that span (eight points, two assists). Bradley Beal—who played stellar defense on Ellis for three quarters—simply could not stay in front of him, and neither could Trevor Ariza. The Wizards’ inability to stop Ellis was compounded by their inability to run a functional half-court offense. Beal had his shot blocked by Shawn Marion, Nene missed free throws and turned the ball over, and Wall and Ariza lost their ability to hit outside shots. When the dust settled, the Mavericks were up 101-91 with 2:46 left, and the Wizards were never closer than 10 points for the remainder of the game. And this time, there was no ejection or blown call to blame. The Wizards were simply inefficient and sloppy at the worst time.

—Rashad Mobley  (@rashad20)


DC Council Chair

Johnathan Hildred Wall, who had 14 points and 10 assists. If you were to look at the box score, you’d see Trevor Ariza’s 27 points, seven boards and four steals and, perhaps, assume he was the game’s MVP. But you would be mistaken. Wall was in command, setting up half of Ariza’s baskets (14 points). And without Wall leading the comeback charge, the Wizards would have been toast in Texas. Down 56-71 in the third quarter, Wall dished five straight assists to bring the Wizards within four points, 74-78.

The Mavericks, of course, would go on a 5-0 run after a 20-second timeout, Wall would get subbed out for Eric Maynor, and the rest is history.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Kevin Seraphin and Nene were both ineffective in their own unique ways. Seraphin committed three fouls in 2:46 of second-quarter play (two on DeJuan Blair, one on Jae Crowder) and was the sole reason why the Wizards lead went from five points to one. He did not play for the remainder of the game. But let’s not forget to mention Nene, who went 8-for-14 from the free throw line (after going 4-for-10 on Sunday against the Thunder) and added six turnovers (three in the fourth quarter). Seraphin killed the Wizards’ first-quarter momentum, but Nene blocked them from having any in the last quarter.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Top Aide

Trevor Ariza. Wall has excellent court vision and, more importantly, knows where his teammates are most likely to be successful. More than once in transition, with an eye on each corner, Wall barreled down the court from one end to the other in a seemingly treacherous game of chicken with defenders. But here he wins either way: either (a) the backpedaling defenders eventually collapse into the lane to stop Wall’s breakneck drive to the hoop, and he kicks it out to Ariza; or (b) a defender stays home on Ariza, and Wall has one man in a compromising position to beat. The Mavs picked option (a), and Ariza was the beneficiary.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Session

That session was … swaddled.

Have you ever seen the independent film “Babies?” Well, if you haven’t, you probably don’t need to … just check out Washington’s offense under Maynor, which resembles the Mongolian baby in the film, swaddled so tightly that none of his limbs can move. A typical set with Maynor features him dribbling for 7-to-12 seconds five feet behind the 3-point line, then passing to another player who has come back behind the 3-point line to provide a passing valve, which moves the offensive set forward by an increment of zero. With 10 seconds (or sometimes much less) left on the shot clock, the Wizard left holding the bag has relatively little choice but to improvise.

It’s interesting … even though Maynor was far more successful last season with Portland when he was paired with Damian Lillard (another “Quick Ain’t Fair” point guard), he is being used almost exclusively as a backup to John Wall. Historically, that has been a bad role for Maynor.

More than anything, though, the takeaway is that the second unit’s limitations provide the Wizards with an almost trivial margin for error. In the “other guys’ ” first burn, they wasted an excellent effort by the starters, and in their second appearance they put Dallas in the bonus just four minutes into the fourth quarter. It may be time to loosen up the bench rotation. And hope Chris Singleton and Otto Porter can give this team something when they return from their respective injuries.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Mayor

Randy Wittman has a lot of problems. The second unit is one*. And it’s not his fault.

This roster is as deep as an inflatable kid’s pool, despite all the summertime talk about versatility and mix-and-match rotations. Only the starting five has a positive plus/minus this season.

Beal, Wall and Ariza, to this point, are in the NBA’s top 10 in minutes played per game, Gortat is not too far behind, and Nene is averaging 30 minutes of run.

Yesterday, Wittman said his nine-man rotations had been “pretty effective.” But now the Wizards are 2-5 and have the worst record in the Eastern Conference. “I have to change up our bench,” he said post-game. “There are some things that need to be done rotation-wise.”

Today, Wittman’s Wizards will play the best team in the West, the 7-1 Spurs, in San Antonio, where they haven’t won since 1999.

What’s a head coach to do?

*A terrible defense is another. The Wizards have allowed opposing teams to score more than 100 points in every game this season.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) 


DC Council Players

John Wall

3.5 out of 5 stars

34 mins | 5-10 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 3-4 FTs | 14 pts | 5 rebs | 10 asts | 1 stl | 3 TOs

Trevor Ariza will get a lot of credit for his performance, as well he should (he still had to knock down all those open looks), but Ariza’s banner night should be just another reminder in a long list of reminders that John Wall runs this Wizards team. Washington’s ineptitude without Wall isn’t dispositive of the necessity of his presence, but half-court sets run via Eric Maynor’s “change of pace” make you wonder about Wittman’s ability to teach non-transition basketball.

Aside from an important late 3-point miss, which could have easily been a fully explored possession and led to a more efficient look, I have few complaints with Wall’s offensive game. On the other side of the ball, though, Jose Calderon played the part of the matador, goading Wall into overplaying pump-fakes while Calderon created open shots for himself. The tools are there for Wall, but defense is the next aspect of his game that must improve. —C. Dirks

Bradley Beal

3 out of 5 stars

37 mins | 2-10 FG | 0-2 3P | 9 pts | 7 asts | 3 rebs

Beal was aggressive at the start, putting the ball on the floor, taking it right into the heart of the Dallas defense and looking to initiate contact. He got calls, missed two and-1 opportunities, but made 3-of-4 free throws to help the Wizards jump out to an early lead. However, Beal (with Gortat behind him) did have issues corralling Monta Ellis, who warmed up as the night went on like a can of beans over an open campfire.

Ellis was just 3-for-10 through three quarters, but in the fourth quarter, the Wizards down five, 84-89, Ellis scored eight of 10 Mavericks points (plus assisting on a Shawn Marion bucket), beginning with a jumper over Beal on the wing.

Ellis finished with 10 points in the final frame, 19 points on the game, and added seven assists to his line. Beal was left eating dust. —J.C. Townsend

Trevor Ariza

4 out of 5 stars

37 mins | 10-17 FG | 5-11 3P | 27 pts | 7 rebs | 4 stls | 4 TOs

Ariza started the game with a bang. He had three steals in the first five minutes and four in the first half. He was also creating quality shots, for example, a pair of baskets in the paint, one of which was created by his best move of the season. Ariza got a closing defender off his feet with a pump-fake before using his long strides to beat the help to the hoop. He was the high point man at halftime with 14.

Ariza then scored nine points on six corner 3s (the only 3-pointer he should take) in transition to finish with 24 points through three quarters. But by the time he checked in for Eric Maynor with just under eight minutes to play, the Mavericks were in control and Ariza was running on fumes. —J.C. Townsend


2 out of 5 stars

33 mins | 3-7 FGs | 8-14 FTs | 14 pts | 7 rebs | 3 asts | 3 stls | 6 TOs

Nene knew he had advantages in both size and strength over the Mavs’ front line of Nowitzki, Marion and Dalembert, but he failed to capitalize. He aggressively drove to the basket, but he missed four or five point-blank shots, then missed six free throws to make matters worse. Even John Wall was visibly frustrated with Nene at one point when Nene travelled while trying to maneuver for a shot five feet away from the rim.

But the sequence that best sums up Nene’s night came between the 7:43 and 4:35 marks of the fourth quarter. He lost the ball out of bounds, travelled, missed a free throw, threw a low pass to Gortat which led to a turnover (as a big man, he should know big men can’t do jack with low passes), and travelled again. —R. Mobley

Marcin Gortat

2.5 out of 5 stars

35 mins | 6-11 FG | 12 pts | 12 rebs | 4 blks | 2 TOs

With 12 points and 12 boards, Gortat has double-doubled in four of the Wizards’ last five games. But his loaded stat line against the Mavs is a bit deceiving. He was torched by Samuel Dalembert from the tip. Dalembert is as old as the Mojave Desert sand but still scored 11 first-quarter points (10 in seven minutes) and Gortat could be seen clapping his hands in frustration after a Dalembert put-back.

The Polish Machine looked out of sorts on defensive rotations throughout, just wasn’t the paint protector the Wizards needed, despite four blocks, and the Mavericks’ big men seemed content to let Gortat float in space away from the hoop and collect the rebounds that came their way. —J.C. Townsend

Eric Maynor

0 out of 5 stars

14 mins | 1-5 FGs | 2 pts | 3 rebs | 3 asts | 1 stl | 1 TO

The Wizards team store should license a series of #MaynorTime stopwatches that start counting the opposing team’s run as soon as Maynor and the rest of the bench mob check in.

What makes watching Maynor so frustrating is that he is wasteful: with the clock, with possessions, and with the opportunity. There should be minutes available in Washington.  —C. Dirks

Martell Webster

1 out of 5 stars

20 mins | 2-5 FGs | 0-3 3Ps | 8 pts | 4 rebs | 1 asts

In an ideal world, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster would alternate having the hot hand, which would render opposing defenses helpless and confused. Ariza held up his end of the bargain, but in what seems to be a trend this season, Webster did not consistently find the range with this stroke—oh, and by the way, he had an abysmal plus/minus of minus-25. —R. Mobley

Al Harrington

1 out of 5 stars

19 mins | 3-8 FGs | 2-5 3Ps | 8 pts | 2 rebs | 2 asts

Under normal circumstances, it would be acceptable for 33-year-old Al Harrington to score eight points in 19 minutes and draw a charging foul on the red-hot Monta Ellis late in the fourth quarter.

When you throw in this move:

… it all seems to add up to an OK night for Harrington. But when we take a glance over at the Mavericks’ side of the box score and see that 36-year-old Vince Carter—drafted in 1998 just like Al Harrington—played 26 minutes and scored 16 points (12 from the 3-point line), you can’t help but wonder why Harrington could not provide more offense, especially in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were clearly discombobulated. —R. Mobley

Kevin Seraphin

0 out of 5 Stars

3 mins | 3 fouls | (seriously that’s it)

Not much to say here. Seraphin entered the game late in the first quarter, committed three fouls in less than one minute, and was the stepping stone for a 7-point play. That he was summarily benched should come as no surprise. Nor should his general incompetence. File it under “room for improvement,” if you’re optimistic. But it’s probably more like “can’t get right.” —C. Dirks


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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.