D.C. Council Game 17: Wizards 108 vs Hawks 101: Wall Ballhawks, Nene's Tendons Bounce Back | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 17: Wizards 108 vs Hawks 101: Wall Ballhawks, Nene’s Tendons Bounce Back

Updated: December 1, 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. 17: Wizards vs Hawks; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.

Washington Wizards 108 vs Atlanta Hawks 101
[box score]

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DC Council Key Legislature

“They” say that styles make fights, and never was that more evident for the Washington Wizards than in their back-to-back contests against Indiana and Atlanta. Indiana had the personnel that gives the Wizards fits: the strength of David West, the size of Roy Hibbert, the length of Paul George, and the quickness of Lance Stephenson and George Hill. The Pacers held Washington’s fast break attack, second-best in the NBA, scoreless and they frustrated John Wall by limiting him to eight points on 4-for-14 shooting and minus-15 in plus/minus.

The Atlanta Hawks do have versatile big men in Al Horford and Paul Millsap, and the lightning quick Jeff Teague at point guard, but they also roll out a starting lineup that includes DeMarre Carroll and Cartier Martin—both respectable players, but neither is known for defensive prowess individually, nor are the Hawks known for such collectively. This noticeable difference in personnel freed the Wizards’ offense (they scored 11 fast break points, which is six below their average, but better than the goose egg they produced against the Pacers), and more importantly, Wall was free to do franchise player type things, especially during one 40-second stretch in the second quarter.

From 7:01 to 6:21 of the second, Wall lived up to his moniker as the one-man fast break. First, he rebounded a Millsap miss, dribbled full speed down the court, but missed a reverse layup by putting too much English on his shot. Six seconds later, he rebounded a miss by Shelvin Mack, dribbled at full speed and converted the finger roll layup with no problem. Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer decided he had seen enough, called timeout, and reinserted the remainder of his starting lineup. And in their first possession at full strength, Wall stole a Millsap pass and scored on yet another layup. In the second quarter alone, Wall’s exceeded his individual scoring output from the previous night, as well as the Wizards’ fast break totals.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Chair

John Wall really does everything. I mean look at this stat line:

39 mins | plus-16 | 26 pts | 9-18 FGs | 2-6 3Ps | 6-11 FTs | 6 rebs | 12 asts | 5 stls | 3 TOs

He usually shoots better from the free throw line (career-best .831 this season), but you’ll always take 50 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3, and a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Plus, Wall’s steals plus rebounds equalling more than 10 is simply amazing. His maturation process might not have happened as fast as Derrick Rose, who won the league’s MVP award in his third season, but we are really seeing consistent growth out of Wall now in season four. Just over 20 percent of the season is out the way, so plenty of time for more necessary growth, but if Wall keeps this up and the Wizards keep winning, you’ll see him at the All-Star game in New Orleans.

—Kyle Weidie  (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

We could rename this section after Eric Maynor. We really could. But we won’t, because it would sound silly to always give Eric Maynor the Eric Maynor Award.

Participation vetoed? Maynor’s immune to veto, because the Wizards, unfortunately, have no other choice but to keep riding him out and hoping for the best. By the way, Garrett Temple is not an answer, either. Sure, Temple is sometimes more of a confident, steadying force than Maynor (and a much better defender)…

But Temple is still minus-13.6 points per 48 minutes on the season, which will get the Wizards beat on most nights when he has to play a bunch. Maynor is minus-27.7 per 48 minutes, which will get the Wizards beat on all nights. Meanwhile, Shelvin Mack, Washington’s 34th overall pick in 2011, looks like he’s developing nicely as a backup point guard … for Atlanta.

—Kyle Weidie  (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Top Aide

Nene. From an offensive perspective, Nene’s fourth quarter performance was average. He made just one of three shots—his two misses were a layup and a six-foot jumper—and he missed a free throw, which kept Atlanta close. But it is in the intangibles department where Nene helped will the Wizards to victory. He played all but 1:20 of the quarter, he blocked a DeMarre Carroll layup, he had key putback of a missed Marcin Gortat layup, and he did his part to limit Atlanta’s offensive possessions with five defensive rebounds. Nene is not exactly known as an iron man, but considering he missed the previous night’s game against Indiana, and was a game-time decision against the Hawks Saturday night, he deserves some consideration. Just ask Marcin Gortat:

“Fifty percent of Nene is sometimes more than other [guys at 100 percent]. He’s a great player. He fights every possession. He played hurt out there and, quite honestly, you could only imagine what would happen if he played 100 percent [healthy] today. We would not win this game without him. He was the X-factor tonight.”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Session

That Session Was … Unfortunate.

Shelvin Mack probably would not have admitted it before the game given his quiet, reserved personality, but this game against his former team was a big deal. Not only did he want to look good for his former team, but he also probably wanted to outplay Eric Maynor, who has the job he was once drafted to have. Mack had 11 points, six assists and four steals against the Wizards before fouling out (Maynor had four points, an assist, a steal and a turnover). When Atlanta went down 66-48 early in the fourth quarter, Coach Mike Budenholzer removed Cartier Martin from the game, inserted Mack, and the Hawks immediately went on a 9-0 run. Unfortunately, Mack also made two costly mistakes that cost Atlanta the game.

With 2:01 left in the fourth quarter, right after Mack assisted on a Paul Millsap 3-pointer to cut Atlanta’s deficit to 97-92, Mack hit Trevor Ariza on the arm during a 3-point shot. Budenholzer was so distraught that he walked from the scorer’s table to the end of his team’s bench with his hands over his head. Ariza hit all three free throws to extend Washington’s lead to 100-92. With 27 seconds left in the game, the Hawks trailed 102-97 and Mack threw the ball away before the his team could get a shot off. He immediately fouled John Wall, who hit two free throws, which put a dagger through the Hawks’ comeback chances.

Said Mack after the game about the two mistakes:

“I gotta do a better job at the end of the game, that’s on me. I tried to close out [on Ariza] and run him off the line, but he shot before I got there and my momentum kept me going, and it definitely was a foul. That was my fault.”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Mayor

Randy Wittman got a technical foul called on him at the five-minute mark of the second quarter. His Wizards had entered the period with an eight-point lead, let the Hawks whittle it down, built their lead back up to eight points at the six minute mark, and then lost it in 60 seconds. Washington mostly dominated the night, but it was a back-and-forth affair throughout.

Wittman was salty about a loose-ball foul called on Trevor Ariza. Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll lost the ball (a pass to him) on the break and as it rolled to the corner on the Hawks’ end, both players dove after the free ball. Carroll’s body scooted under Ariza’s in the scrum, and Ariza, for a millisecond, was sitting on Carroll as the two slid across the floor. The foul was called on Ariza, the ball looked like it might have been out of bounds on the Hawks, and Wittman, going into his subsequent timeout, had some strong words for the referee. He knew what he wanted and went after it: a technical whistle.

After Jeff Teague brought the Hawks within one point at 37-38, Wittman’s Wizards went on an 8-0 run, ended the half up by 10 points, and started the third quarter by building an 18-point lead within the first four minutes. The Wizards, of course, blew that lead and let Atlanta get within four points with 1:11 left in the third and as close as three points with 6:10 left in the fourth. But the Wiz Kids are learning how to win close games against decent teams, and, hey, it showed.

—Kyle Weidie  (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Players

John Wall

4.5 out of 5 stars

39 mins | plus-16 | 26 pts | 9-18 FGs | 2-6 3Ps | 6-11 FTs | 6 rebs | 12 asts | 5 stls | 3 TOs

Have you noticed that Wall has become much better at finishing on the break and at the rim? Well, he has. Last season Wall shot 55.5 percent in the restricted area (RA). This season, he’s shooting 64.9 percent Of course, this season just 27.8 percent of his field goal attempts come in the RA, in 2012-13 it was 34.1 percent. —K. Weidie

Martell Webster

3.5 out of 5 stars

40 mins | minus-1 | 19 pts | 6-11 FGs | 5-9 3Ps | 3 rebs | 1 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk

John Wall and the Wizards were running again, which meant there was room for Webster to launch, and that’s exactly what he did as Washington’s leading scorer through three quarters. Even the few times Cartier Martin was actually successful in running him off the 3-point line, Webster was able to drive and dish or score. However, he did miss two out of three throws when Martin fouled him behind the arc, and except for two personal fouls, Webster did not accrue a single stat in the fourth quarter—no shots, rebounds, steals or anything in 9:15. —R. Mobley

Trevor Ariza

5 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-19 | 24  pts | 7-10 FGs | 5-6 3Ps | 5-5 FTs| 3 rebs | 3 ast | 1 stl

Ariza missed three shots all night was the model of efficiency en route to 24 points, and he came up particularly big in the fourth quarter. When the Hawks closed the lead to 81-79, Ariza hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead. A few minutes later, the Hawks were within three points, and Wall found Ariza open for 3 yet again. And four minutes later, when Shelvin Mack fouled him beyond the 3-point line, Ariza calmly hit all three of his free throws to effectively put the game out of reach. —R. Mobley


3.5 out of 5 stars

36 mins | plus-13 | 13 pts | 4-12 FGs | 5-6 FTs | 12 rebs | 3 asts | 2 TOs

Nene is seemingly a warrior, and while he’s not immune to criticism (nor ailments), it does mean a lot to the Wizards brass and his teammates when he plays hurt. If Nene needs to miss games like the one against Indiana to preserve himself for the long run, so be it. Also, the Wizards are doing a nice job of getting him the ball in the high post, where he’s become comfortable with that free throw line jumper, can take advantage of passing lanes, set screens at the elbows for Wall, and, most importantly, limit his movement on the offensive end. —K. Weidie

Marcin Gortat

3 out of 5 stars

40 mins | plus- 8 | 12 pts | 6-11 FGs | 0-0 FTs| 7 rebs | 3 ast | 3 blks

Gortat and his running buddy Nene did a little bit of everything against the Hawks. With Wall able to get in the lane at will, the Game Changer and Gortat were able to execute their two-man game that has been so effective. Gortat also had two pretty passes to Ariza after getting tied up in the post. Gortat held his own against Al Horford. The both found ways to score against each other, but Gorat operated mostly on the inside while Horford hit some well-contested jumpers. Gortat did leave too much space for one of Paul Millsap’s 3-pointers, but the block-rebound below makes up for that. —R. Mobley

Jan Vesely

2 out of 5 stars

15 mins | minus-3 | 4 pts | 1-3 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 1 reb | 1 stl | 3 PFs

Jan once again got time because he is an active player and his positioning and awareness in terms of perimeter pick-and-roll defense, as well as secondary help defense, is much more advanced than either Kevin Seraphin or Trevor Booker’s. Thus, we have another @JanVeselyStats statline, which we’ll just take. He made a runner in the lane, he got fooled by a Pero Antic pump fake, he looks like his name should be Pero Antic: Jan Vesely. —K. Weidie

Chris Singleton

2 out of 5 stars

17 mins | minus-3 | 4 pts | 2-4 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 0-2 FTs | 5 rebs | 2 stls | 2 TOs | 2 PFs

Singleton spent more of his time at the 4 on this night and is slowly working his way into form. He nicely hit a couple baseline jumpers, but other attempts, such as his long 3-point fire, looked more mechanically uncomfortable. Previously spending time as a somewhat converted 4, Singleton spent less than a minute at that position against the Hawks. Singleton’s length at the 3 spot (Atlanta starts the 6-foot-8 DeMarre Carroll at the 3) helped the Wizards maintain on defense a couple times. —K. Weidie

Eric Maynor

1 out of 5 stars

9 mins | minus- 9 | 4 pts | 2-6 FGs | 0-2 3Ps| 1 stl | 1 ast | 2 TOs

Too often in this particular part of the D.C. Council, my colleagues and I will discuss the shortcomings of Eric Maynor, and we’ll pepper in a series of pointed opinions designed to make you the reader see just how bad this man’s play has been. This time, I will not give my opinion, I’ll just list some things that happened to Maynor last night:

1) He allowed Shelvin Mack to blow by him on more than one occasion.
2) Randy Wittman stared him down right after the Mack play.
2) He airballed a floater, the same shot that is supposed to be the best part of his offensive game.
3) The crowd gave him the Andray Blatche treatment and booed two of his misses loudly.

All this in only nine minutes of play. #MaynorTime is real, ladies and gentleman, and it is not spectacular. —R. Mobley

Garrett Temple

0 out of 5

1 min | plus- 8 | 0 pts | 0-0 FGs | 0-0 FTs| 0 rebs | 0 ast

Garrett Temple’s unimpressive stat line is not at all surprising. But given that the Wizards were playing their second game in as many nights, Wall was playing heavy minutes, and Eric Maynor was not contributing at all, it is a bit surprising he played just one minute—Temple’s shortest appearance since his DNP-CD against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 10. —R. Mobley


John Wall on the Hawks with an interesting shout-out to two free throws made by Jan Vesely that put the Wizards up five with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter…

“We knew [Atlanta] wasn’t going to quit, and we just had to find a way to keep fighting. Millsap hit a couple tough 3s, and banked one in, and made it closer and closer. You’re just like, ‘Man, well we gotta make a play, and we gotta keep making a play.’ But we took our time and we made credit in making big shots, and Jan made two big free throws for us to keep the lead up there. And we just have to get certain stops, and Gortat did a great job of protecting the rim.”

Marcin Gortat on defending Al Horford…


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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.