D.C. Council Game 24: Wizards 113 at Nets 107: Wall Blocks, Beal Money Balls, Brooklyn Iced | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 24: Wizards 113 at Nets 107: Wall Blocks, Beal Money Balls, Brooklyn Iced

Updated: December 19, 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. 24: Wizards at Nets; contributors: Rashad Mobley, Sean Fagan and John Converse Townsend from a seated (or standing) position in their homes.

Washington Wizards 113 at Brooklyn Nets 107
[box score]

Jump to Council Player Ratings


DC Council Key Legislature

Any pessimistic Wizards fan (which is pretty much all of them) had to be watching the fourth quarter of the Wizards-Nets contest with the nerves of Charlie Brown about to kick the ball out Lucy’s tricky hands. John Wall had just missed a 18-footer—his ninth missed shot of the quarter—and the Wizards had gone from being up 12 with 9:52 left in the game to leading by just one point after a Deron Williams jump shot. Then, all of a sudden Wall received a little help from his friends (cue the “Wonder Years” theme):


First, Marcin Gortat was there to put back Wall’s missed jumper to extend the lead to three points. Bradley Beal then hit a 3-pointer to extend it to six, and Nene hit two free throws to extend the lead to eight points. Wall tried to give the lead back by allowing Deron Williams to score twice (including once after an errant pass), but he redeemed himself with this block:

After two Martell Webster free throws, former Wizard Andray Blatche put a minor scare in Randy Wittman’s heart by drilling a corner 3, but Wall sealed the game with two free throws of his own.

A win is always the best deodorant, and a road win smells even sweeter—in this case those sweet smells covered up yet another second-half stinker from Wall (3-for-12 with four turnovers in the second half). But when six other players score in double figures, the bench scores 45 points, and the team goes 60 percent (12-of-20) from the 3-point line, nothing else should matter.

The Wizards are getting healthy, they are on a two-game “winning streak,” and they have won consecutive road games for the first time this season.

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)


DC Council Chair

A Commitment To F*cking Hustle. The Wizards played such a well-rounded game on Wednesday night that it seems unfair to single out one player as the council chair. Instead, to slightly skew the words of coach Randy Wittman, it was the overall contribution of the team on both ends of the floor that eventually put the Brooklyn Nets down for the count.

First there was Trevor Booker gobbling up offensive rebounds and doing the dirty work, basically playing the part that most have wanted him to play since day one. Then there was Kevin Seraphin, of all people, demonstrating proper defensive positioning and swatting Nets shots away. Finally, there was John Wall who, with the Nets threatening to tighten the game in the waning moments, let Deron Williams drive slightly by him only to rise up from behind and reject his shot to seal the game.

Every Wizard who took part in the game (with the noted exception of Otto Porter) did exactly what their role called for in the circumstances provided. On this night, the Wizards looked like a team that was nine players deep instead of the “play the starters or we don’t have a chance” team that has appeared for most of the season.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Vetoed Participation
Fifteen to 17-foot Jump Shots From Bigs. The Nets are an old and proud team, so it wasn’t going to be terribly long before they dug up their pride and began to win a passel of games with the few things they can do well: playing defense and grinding the game to a halt. The Wizards for the most part did a good job of not playing into the Nets’ hands, driving time and again to the basket past the slower contenders to get to the line or collapse the defense for perimeter shooters. However, there were several times when the defense clamped down and a Wizards possession ended up with a long jump shot from the likes of Kevin Seraphin or Trevor Booker, neither of which is a high-dividend yield. This, however, is picking nits in an otherwise well-executed performance. Hopefully, the Wizards can iron out the remaining wrinkles to ensure that their worst shooters are not the ones who end up with the ball with three seconds left on the shot clock.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Top Aide
Trevor Booker. He pulled down 13 boards and had more offensive rebounds (9) than any Nets player had total. Wherever the Wizards needed Booker to be … well, there he was.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Session

That Session Was … Too Close For Comfort.

The Wizards had an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter, 85-77. But this team … see, this team always makes it harder than it needs to be.

The Nets, led by Deron Williams and Paul Pierce, clawed their way back. Turnovers, blown defensive assignments, and poor execution in the half-court by the Wizards played a part. Wall was 1-for-6 and created very little for anybody, besides enough space for him to rise and fire contested 2-point jumpers.

With about two minutes left in the game, Washington’s lead had shrunk to one point. Then Wall let Bradley Beal take control, which was Wall’s best decision of the evening, because Beal, unlike Wall, was assertive, confident, and closed the door on the Nets’ comeback attempt with a 3-pointer.

Then defense, rebounds, and made free throws in the final minute locked down the W.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Mayor

The return of Nene meant Coach Wittman had quite the juggling act to pull off, which the late Prop Joe (from The Wire) would call “one of them good problems.” Nene’s minutes had to be closely monitored, considering he had not played since December 6 in Milwaukee, and Beal, in just his second game back from a stress injury, was on a 30-minute limit. Wittman had to keep these two players’ minutes in mind, and he had to be mindful of the chemistry of his healthy players. And this was to be accomplished against the Brooklyn Nets, who had won four of their last five games.

Wittman limited Nene to just 22 minutes—eight of which came in the crucial fourth quarter, when he scored seven of his 17 points, and the coach continued to display trust in Nene even after a first quarter start when he seemed slow and out of sync. Wittman also continued to give Kevin Seraphin opportunities to slowly crawl out of his doghouse by playing him 18 minutes (10 points, five rebounds and two blocks). He even threw Otto Porter a bone by playing him three minutes in the middle of the second quarter.

But most importantly, with the exception of Al Harrington, who is out until January, and the recently injured Glen Rice, Wittman had all his toys at his disposal, and he used them wisely and correctly to find a victory against the Nets. As he said after the game:

“Through every run Brooklyn made we kept our composure and we had good execution. We had just a lot of really good play from a lot of people.”

—Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)

DC Council Players

John Wall

3 out of 5 stars

38 mins | plus-8 | 21 pts | 8-17 FGs | 3-4 3Ps | 6 asts | 4 rebs | 6 TOs | 1 blk | 1 stl

“They going underneath screens and I’m able to knock down shots tonight,” Wall told a curious Chris Miller at halftime. The Game Changer lived up to the billing in 17 first-half minutes—he was perfect from the field (5-5) with nine points from downtown. “Just gotta be aggressive in the second half—like, I wasn’t in New York the other day, that’s how we almost lost the game,” Wall continued.

Wall did stay aggressive, attempting more shots in the paint (3) than he did in the first half (1). But Wall, feeling himself, attempted twice the number of jumpers (8), making just one, and his field goal percentage, and impact on the game, took a hit as a result. Honestly, it was only a so-so game from the Wizards’ max-money guard, who all but disappeared late.

To close on a positive note (the Wiz did win), Wall kept up his intensity on the defensive end. The highlight was a blocked Deron Williams layup attempt with 20 seconds left in the game. —J.C. Townsend

Bradley Beal

3 out of 5 stars

28 mins | plus-14 | 15 pts | 4-10 FGs | 3-4 3Ps | 4-4 FTs | 4 rebs | 2 stls | 0 assts

Beal started off with eight first-quarter points, and it looked as if he was primed to pick up right where he left off against the Knicks when he hit the game-winning layup. He scored just two points the next two quarters, and he only made one field goal in the fourth quarter—although that one field goal was the dagger that put the Wizards up six points. And TAI’s Kyle Weidie would be happy to know that Beal followed up his 0-for-0 effort from the free throw line on Monday against the Knicks with a 4-for-4 performance against the Nets. He did go without an assist, however, and there was one occasion when he spent time complaining to the referees that Paul Pierce fouled him, instead of getting back on defense. —R. Mobley

Trevor Ariza

3 out of 5 stars

36 mins | plus-12 | 15 pts | 6-13 FGs | 3-8 3Ps | 3 rebs | 3 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 2 TOs

Ariza ran. Ariza jumped. Ariza made shots. Ariza missed shots. Ariza dribbled into trouble but managed to save possessions by passing the rock.

He did all his damage in the first three quarters, took the final period off, but somehow earned the Washington Area Honda Dealers “Drive of the Game” for a gliding finger-roll made well before the game was decided. Whatever. —J.C. Townsend

Trevor Booker

3.5 out of 5 stars

24 mins | plus-11 | 7 pts | 2-8 FGs | 3-4 FTs | 13 rebs (9 off) | 3 asts | 2 blks

When Booker grabbed his first two offensive rebounds, there was a feeling that something had clicked as to what his role should be on the team. When he outmuscled both Reggie Evans and Kevin Garnett on his way to nine offensive rebounds, that feeling was confirmed. Booker needs to continue doing exactly what he is doing now without adding any bells and whistles. It is the rebounds and hustle plays that are going to help the Wizards win basketball games. As for his big idea to take jumpers, hopefully he left that with his luggage after the Clippers game. —S. Fagan

Marcin Gortat

2 out of 5 stars

30 mins | even-0 | 10 pts | 4-11 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 10 rebs | 1 blk | 4 PFs

Gortat was visibly frustrated by the one-sided nature of the referees’ calls while he was trying to guard Brook Lopez. I was equally frustrated when I saw Gortat commit a foul by falling under the spell of Andray Blatche’s useless lateral dribbling. But Gortat had three big fourth-quarter rebounds: one was a tip that kept the Wizards’ possession alive early in the period; the second was a put-back of a missed John Wall jumper, which gave the Wizards a 103-100 lead; and his final rebound came via a tip, which led to Nene hitting two free throws to put the Wizards up 108-100 with just 56 seconds left. Seven of Gortat’s 10 rebounds came in the fourth quarter, and he was a big reason why the Wizards won the battle of the boards (51 to the Nets’ 31) —R. Mobley

Garrett Temple

1.5 out of 5 stars

10 mins | minus-2 | 5 pts | 2-7 FGs | 1-1 3Ps | 2 rebs | 2 asts| 1 stl

Garrett Temple did very little against the Nets, but the few things he did accomplish were impactful. He checked in for John Wall with 42 seconds left in the first quarter, and promptly hit a jumper to put the Wizards up four. In the second quarter, he hustled to follow up his missed shot, which led to Martell Webster getting two free throws, which gave the Wizards the lead. Temple followed that up two minutes later with a steal of a Paul Pierce pass. And did I mention he made his first 3-pointer of the season?  —R. Mobley

Martell Webster

3 out of 5 stars

29 mins | minus-8 | 13 pts | 3-6 FGs | 2-3 3Ps | 5-6 FTs | 3 rebs | 2 asts | 2 stls

Webster effectively sealed the game with his free throws in the final 30 seconds and was his usual efficient self on the offensive end. What was especially enjoyable however was Webster’s work on the glass, where he collected six rebounds, not normally a Webster forté. Every night he plays, Webster seems to find different ways to chip in, which only bodes well for the Wizards future chances. Paid the Man—S. Fagan


4 out of 5 stars

23 mins | plus-2 | 17 pts | 6-10 FGs | 5-7 FTs | 3 rebs | 2 asts | 2 stls | 1 TO

Once again Nene rose up through a sea of Brooklyn defenders to emphatically slam a ball through the hoop. Unlike the previous game against Brooklyn, there were no Nene dances. On every successful Nene conversion there was a little bit of a wince or scowl of pain through the smiles. As everyone is sure that Nene is the straw that stirs the drink on the team, a further limitation of minutes may need to be observed because the big Brazilian appears as if his muffler is about to fall off on the court. —S. Fagan

Kevin Seraphin

3.5 out of 5 stars

19 minutes | minus-3 | 10 pts | 3-6 FGs | 4-5 FTs | 5 rebs | 1 ast | 2 blks

Seraphin spent most of the game hovering around the basket, instead of floating 18 feet from the hoop, and was rewarded for his effort. He did get some help from teammates—Nene once hit Seraphin cutting baseline behind Blatche for the and-1 (he missed the free throw)—but his solid game was mostly a result of a consistent individual effort. A sign of maturity? A preview of things to come? The Wizards can only hope. —J.C. Townsend



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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.