D.C. Council Game 22: Wizards 97 vs Clippers 113: Chris Paul's Saturday Night Got Live | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 22: Wizards 97 vs Clippers 113: Chris Paul’s Saturday Night Got Live

Updated: December 16, 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. 22: Wizards vs. Clippers; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Rashad Mobley from the Phone Booth, and John Converse Townsend from Capitol Hill.

Washington Wizards 97 vs. Los Angeles Clippers 113
[box score]

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DC Council Key Legislature

With apologies to Blake Griffin (16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals), DeAndre Jordan (15 points, 10 rebounds), and the other Clippers starters who helped embarrass the Wizards, Chris Paul surgically and efficiently dismantled the Washington Wizards.

Before the game, he told the media that the match up against the Wizards was a “must-win” game for the Clippers, so they could have a winning record on the road trip (4-3) and feel “somewhat decent.”  He added, “we’ve got put everything into that game, we’ve got to win it.” Paul set the tone in the first quarter with 10 points and six assists, and ended up with 38 points (on 11-of-14) shooting, 12 assists, three steals, and 11 tries from the free-throw line. He hit 3-point shots from 26 and 31 feet, he threw alley-oops to Griffin and Jordan, and he got Jared Dudley and Jamal Crawford wide-open 3-pointers by commanding the Wizards’ attention in the lane. The only thing Paul did not do was stop John Wall (24 points and 12 assists) from having a good game, but considering Paul scored 14 more points on two fewer shots, it hardly seems fair to nitpick.

The irony of Chris Paul’s dominance was that Doc Rivers removed Willie Green from the starting lineup and replaced him with Jamal Crawford, so that Paul would not feel the need to carry the team offensively, and fill the void left by J.J. Redick’s injury. Paul carried the burden, carried his team, left the Wizards carrying his jockstrap, and then threw in this jab after the game:

“It’s always fun to play well, especially here in front of my family. I had two suites here tonight, I had 50 of my family members here. My family members only get to see me here once a year, so it’s pretty cool.”

Well played, Mr. Paul. Well played.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Chair

John Wall was the second-best player on the court on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, his excellent outing was overshadowed by Chris Paul’s dominant showing. Wall found open teammates and used his speed to push the ball effectively. When his outside shot was not falling, he found other ways to positively impact the game. It was not enough to overcome Paul’s greatness. Afterwards I prodded Wall about his “No More Excuses” season motto, and he still refuses to make any for his depleted squad on a four-game losing streak.

Coach Wittman said Wall could learn something from Paul’s amazing outing, but Wall did not have the same viewpoint when I asked him about his coach’s comments. “No, not at all. I think that I did a good job at running my team in the floor game, trying to get guys shots and making plays,” said Wall. “I think they just made more plays than us. He (Chris Paul) is a hecuka point guard and somebody you look at and try to take things from his game. But they have a system they run and we have a system that we run. They just made more plays tonight.”

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)


DC Council Vetoed Participation
There are nights when one team, before the game, looks at the other team and laughs. “This is going to be easy,” Team A says. “This is going to be fun.” Meanwhile, Team B can feel that they’re being looked at like dinner and the voice inside their heads sighs, “This is going to hurt.”

The Clippers were obviously Team A in D.C.

The starters, by far the Wizards’ most talented bunch, didn’t look great together in their 15 minutes of action. Washington’s top unit was minus-19 together. Trevor Booker, relatively new to the starting lineup, all hustle, put up the best plus/minus: minus-10. But it was the play from the second unit, specifically play from Otto Porter (minus-8), that disappointed most.

It’s true: Porter missed pretty much the entire offseason with injury. It’s true: Porter is being plugged into the NBA’s worst second unit. They score an league-worst 19.5 points per game and have the worst plus/minus: minus-3.6. But Porter was picked as a “plug-and-play” Rookie of the Year candidate, some well-paid pundits thought he could start, not as a project. He needs to give the team something more than “just learning.”

Porter doesn’t seem have the handles or quickness to create separation, but he’s still had some opportunities. If you haven’t noticed, it’s because he’s been largely invisible.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Top Aide
Kevin Seraphin is the top aide, out of nowhere, and despite being turned into mashed potatoes by DeAndre Jordan on an alley-oop. Seraphin played the most minutes (20) off the bench, had a positive plus/minus, and outscored (16) every one of his teammates besides John Wall.

As usual, Seraphin rebounded like a swingman and didn’t play particularly good D, but he was committed to finding his offense in the paint (taking 11 of his 12 shots in the key, making seven), and that prevented the Clippers from taking a 30-point lead … a small victory for morale.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Session

That Session Was … A Momentum Killer.

The Wizards spent the majority of the second quarter trailing by double-digits, but with 2:34 left, Martell Webster converted a 3-point play to bring the Wizards within 10 points of the Clippers, 53-43. Sustained strong play would likely have given the Wizards confidence going into halftime, and to quote Chris Paul, they could feel “somewhat good” about about erasing the 10-point deficit going into third quarter. No such thing happened.

First Blake Griffin completed the trifecta by blocking Marcin Gortat, getting the rebound, and then scoring on a layup at the other end to put the Clippers up 12 points. Then John Wall took an ill-advised 3, and Chris Paul found DeAndre Jordan open for a dunk to put the Clippers ahead by 14. Jan Vesely was fouled by Jordan on a weak layup attempt, missed both free throws, and then watched as Jordan scored on yet another dunk at the other end of the floor. With 34 seconds left, John Wall was able to seize a bit of momentum for the Wizards by scoring on a three-point play to cut the lead to 13, but Vesely turned the ball over on the last possession of the quarter when the Wizards could have cut the lead back down to 10.

The Clippers never trailed. So, it feels a bit silly to dwell on the Wizards’ failure to seize momentum, but when you consider the Wizards never cut the Clippers lead to 10 points again after Martell’s second quarter 3-pointer, it isn’t difficult to see where the game was lost.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Mayor

Before the game, Randy was in good spirits with the media. He was full of dry quips about his bestie and former teammate, Clippers coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers. A few hours later after “Point God” sliced up his Wizards, Coach Witt was a defeated and testy man. Washington had no answer for Paul and every defensive strategy they deployed proved futile. The maligned second unit that provided a needed boost in Atlanta regressed back to their usual negative self in a deciding first-half stretch.

I asked Wittman about this pivotal sequence where the Washington’s losing hole was dug and he basically blew off my question. He dropped, “I don’t know what you want me to say,” to three separate questions. The Wizards embark on an important four-game road trip and Wittman has to figure out how to stop this team’s downward trend.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

DC Council Players

John Wall

3 out of 5 stars

41 mins | minus-15 | 24 pts | 10-16 FGs | 0-4 3Ps | 4-5 FTs | 3 rebs | 12 asts | 1 stls | 6 TOs

JW2 went toe to toe with CP3, but the consensus top point guard in the world got the best of this exciting matchup. Unlike Friday night in Atlanta, Wall began by attacking the hoop and didn’t settle for long jumpers. Wall’s defense on Paul was actually decent and he was often switched off of him. Paul was just hitting unreal shots and his Clipper teammates helped him out much more than Wizards players assisted Wall. John has still has not defeated CP3 head-to-head in his career. Wall received extra treatment for cramps after the game, but he claimed his health is OK moving forward. —A. McGinnis

Martell Webster

1.5 out of 5 stars

32 mins | minus-22 | 12 pts | 4-9 FGs | 0-3 3Ps | 4-6 FTs | 1 reb | 0 asts | 0 stls | 0 TOs

Considering Nene’s reluctance to play hurt for more than a game, it is admirable that Martell Webster continues to fight through the pain in his sore left ankle. He hit some big shots in the second and fourth quarters, and he was on the winning end of some 50-50 balls—all admirable traits that coaches love. But Martell’s job is to hit 3s to help spread the floor for John Wall, and for the second night in a row, he went 0-for-3 in that department. —R. Mobley

Trevor Ariza

1 out of 5 stars

40 mins | minus-15 | 11 pts | 3-10 FGs | 1-5 3Ps | 3 rebs | 5 asts | 2 stls | 2 blks

Ariza got his hands on a few loose balls, but Chris Paul was running a point guard clinic, and the Clippers only committed 10 turnovers, so there wasn’t much havoc to wreak. He did have two blocks including one on former-Wizard Antawn Jamison, and he was a facilitator on offense at times with five assists. But he (like Martell Webster) left John Wall high and dry in the 3-point shooting category by going just 1-for-5. —R. Mobley

Trevor Booker

3 out of 5 stars

27 mins | minus-10 | 12 pts | 6-11 FGs | 0-0 FTs | 7 rebs | 0 asts | 0 blk | 0 TOs

This disappointing blowout had a few silver linings for the Wizards. One is the continued solid run of Trevor Booker. Cook Book took little time to go at his nemesis, Blake Griffin. Just 23 seconds into the contest, Booker was T’d up after exchanging shoves with Blake. “It is always a physical game with me and Blake. We just can’t seem to get along,” Booker said about their testy history. Booker is making his typical energy plays, but has been sprinkling in a reliable jumper and finishing moves. Hopefully when Nene returns to the starting lineup, Booker can keep this up on the second unit. —A. McGinnis

Marcin Gortat

1 out of 5 stars

28 mins | minus-21 | 6 pts | 3-10 FGs | 7 rebs | 0 asts | 1 blk | 1 TO

The Polish Hammer claimed the heart-breaking loss to the Hawks and three straight close defeats did not carry over to the Clippers game. But several Wiz players (Ariza, Webster) continued to look off, Gortat included. He never got into an offensive rhythm and provided little resistance in stopping Lob City’s dunk fest. Marcin was candid after game, saying that he feels out of synch in the offense and that the Clippers flat out destroyed them. “I think that was the first game where—truly, first game—where we had no chance to win the game,” said Gortat. “They were just way better.” —A. McGinnis

Jan Vesely

2 out of 5 stars

12 minutes | plus-2 | 4 points | 2-3 FGs | 0-2 FTs | 3 rebs | 2 stls | 3 TOs

Vesely’s understanding of both spacing and timing on offense seems to have improved a bit over the past year. Vesely was active in the first half. On one occasion in the opening quarter, he scooped up a loose ball (the result of a terrible entry pass from Ariza to Gortat) and immediately fired a baseline jumper—swish. In the second quarter, Vesely realized the Clippers switched on defense, pointed skyward, and Wall lobbed a pass where only Airwolf could get it. THUNDER. 

That’s about all he did… Jan Vesely. —J.C. Townsend

Kevin Seraphin

4 out of 5 stars

20 minites | plus-1 | 16 points | 7-12 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 3 rebs | 1 ast

Seraphin scored 1.33 points per play against the Clippers, well above his 0.83 season average. Yea, ol’ Snakey scored in all sorts of ways: cuts to the hoop followed by lefty finishes, power dribbles to set up two-handed layups, and twice he bounded to the basket through contact for a pair of and-1s.

Nice to see. —J.C.Townsend

Glen Rice, Jr.

2 out of 5 stars

17 mins | plus-5 | 6 pts | 2-3 FGs | 3 rebs | 1 stls | 0 TO

Chris Paul torched everyone on the Wizards, so there is certainly no shame in Glen Rice, Jr. being mentioned in that group. But of all the Wizards to guard Paul, Rice did the best job of making him change directions and take contested shots. Rice’s ankles were hanging on by the thinnest of sinews, but the rookie made Chris Paul work, which is more than reasonable. —R. Mobley

Otto Porter, Jr.

0 out of 5 stars

11 minutes | minus-8 | 0 points | 0-2 FGs | 2 rebs

*sound of snoring* —J.C. Townsend



Ending Vines…


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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.