D.C. Council 54: Wizards 114 at Hawks 97: Everything's Peachy in the ATL | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 54: Wizards 114 at Hawks 97: Everything’s Peachy in the ATL

Updated: February 20, 2014

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. 54: Wizards at Hawks; contributors: Conor Dirks and Kyle Weidie from the District of Columbia.

Washington Wizards 114 at Atlanta Hawks 97
[box score]



The Shame.



DC Council Key Legislature

That John Wall steal and dunk above put the Wizards up 19 points with 1:50 left in the first half. Atlanta called a timeout, inserted Elton Brand and Jeff Teague for Paul Millsap and Dennis Schröder, both of whom played fairly well, and cut Washington’s lead to 11 points, 58-47, by halftime. Brand, Teague and Lou Williams made their way to the free throw line while the Wizards just missed shots—Nene at the rim, Garrett Temple wide open, and John Wall jacking an unnecessary 3. To start the third quarter, with #WittmanJava evaporated, the Hawks went on a 20-10 run, cutting the Wizards’ lead to a single point. During the entire stretch (30-12, Hawks), Nene and Marcin Gortat each committed two turnovers, and Atlanta went 10-for-14 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line, forcing the issue in the paint against Washington’s slow to react defense.

But as they say in the NBA, every team makes a run, and it’s all about sustaining that run. Sort of. Each run has a reason past an excuse from the heavens, which leads us to the ray of light that helped the Wizards sustain. Kevin Seraphin checked in for Nene with 1:50 left in the third, found Trevor Booker for an amazing dunk, and then soon after scored a hook shot over Millsap (after almost turning the ball over deep in the left corner in the process) to keep the Wizards up five points. Then Garrett Temple found Martell Webster for a 3 and then… Trevor Ariza’s 70-foot magic. Washington entered the fourth quarter up eight points and sealed the deal in the final period thanks to anemic Atlanta offense. The Hawks gave a lumbering punch and the Wizards countered with a dash of randomness. And that was that.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Chair

John Wall. He had 21 points, five rebounds, 12 assists, and zero (zero!) turnovers.

But let’s talk about his fourth quarter. Wall (who was 8-for-19 overall), shot 3-for-4 in the quarter, including an “Is this velvet?” step-back 3-pointer on Herr traurig, Dennis Schröder, in the final minute.

Wall’s three fourth-quarter assists (to Lord Threeza for a 3-pointer, to Gortat on the pick-and-roll, and a rare #HammerOop) put the Hawks on their heels, and then cow-tipped them over. John’s teammates (and James Harden, thespian) wasted an All-Star effort from him against Houston (14 assists, 0 turnovers) last week, but came out gunning against Atlanta.

Six assists from Wall in the first quarter had the Wizards looking like they had been featured on an episode of Coach Swap with Mike Budenholzer, he of the highly publicized Spurs-of-the-East-ball-movement-phenomenon. Playmaking like that is effort-intensive, though, and while Wall created opportunities throughout the game, keeping a 24-assist pace through four quarters is not realistic.

John Wall manages games. It’ll be easy to get used to once you say it a few times. Promise.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Hard to really peg anyone to be vetoed with seven players in double figures and everyone playing at least par for the course or better. Of those who played significant minutes, you can probably veto Nene’s five turnovers and signs of wear-and-tear, or the need for rest/games off (uh oh!). Otherwise, Eric Maynor and Jan Vesely were vetoed off the team after this game via trade, and only Jan got swan song playing time, kissing D.C. goodbye with a #SlapBound (to Garrett Temple and after an Otto Porter miss), perhaps passing some sort of baton to the next guy. Ciao.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Top Aide

The Wizards got help from a number of directions on Wednesday night. And that’s what it will take for this team to win. Despite Wall’s ascension into stardom (almost … working on it; let him get to the playoffs first), the Wizards do not have any one or two players they can ride to victory while everyone else tries to poop in the urinal. All hands on the deck need to be able to pitch-in. And while Trevor Booker proved himself continually handy in Atlanta, the top aide goes to Trevor Ariza. He didn’t just hit a 3-pointer from the opposite free throw line, he went 5-for-8 from deep, bouncing back after a very bad effort all around against Toronto (still, consistency), and also snagged nine rebounds. Trade Trevor Ariza? It was silly of people to ever think of it.

(/my how times have changed.)

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Session

This Session Was … A Deluge.

Pray for rain. Make it a monsoon. Shift your attitude to determine the latitude. (Kanye, we made it!) The Wizards shot 54.2 percent on their 3-point attempts against the Hawks, and no player who took a 3-pointer in the game (Wall, Beal, Ariza, and Webster) hit less than half of his attempts.

In Wizards wins, the team averages 43.9 percent on 3-point shots. In losses, a paltry 33.1 percent. As I mentioned in the preview to the Wizards-Hawks game, a certain amount of statistical deviation is expected when comparing the win-loss split, but for the Wizards, the most glaring difference is in 3-point percentage. The team actually attempts one more 3-point shot per game in losses, so even if you believe the Wizards should take more 3-point attempts in order to assimilate with the datamongers, there hasn’t been a correlation this season.

Here are the win/loss splits for Beal, Ariza, and Webster:

In wins:

  • Bradley Beal: 17.5 points, 45.5% FG, 49.5% 3P
  • Trevor Ariza: 14.9 points, 47.8% FG, 44.2% 3P
  • Martell Webster: 12.0 points, 46.0% FG, 45.1% 3P

In losses:

  • Bradley Beal: 16.4 points, 37.4% FG, 36.6% 3P
  • Trevor Ariza: 13.9 points, 41.2% FG, 37.2% 3P
  • Martell Webster: 9.5 points, 42.5% FG, 34.9% 3P

The rain metaphor that began this section was deliberate (tacitly admitting here that some are accidental). It pours when the team wins. But all three of Washington’s sharpshooters are about as hot as a lab rat corpse in a sterile test facility in the Arctic when the team loses.

No such lukewarm bloodmilk spilled on the hardwood against the Hawks, but the mystery (why are these three Wizards’ fates so irrevocably intertwined?) lingers on. Trade all the draft picks for a shaman.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Mayor

Randy Wittman’s 6th man has a new face every day. Change has been the only constant since Wittman took over for Flip Saunders what seems like an age ago. Against the Hawks, Washington’s 6th man (determined in this case by who, outside of the starters, played the most minutes) was Trevor Booker.

Booker moved into the starting lineup during Nene’s injury and subsequent period of play-time limitation, but has been in and out of the rotation since. It’s a difficult call for Wittman, who has suffered the criticism for a bench he had no part in drafting, or hiring. Easy as it is to criticize Randy for his oscillating rotations, it’s mostly fatuous and probably unfair.

Booker, for example, gets lost on defense quite often. When the Wizards don’t defend, they can’t be expected to beat other teams on the strength of their offense alone. But against the Hawks, Booker was electric on the defensive end. His four steals will overshadow the more subtly impressive moments, like meeting Paul Millsap mid-air to contest a shot at an elevation that Nene can no longer reach.

While Wittman has favored Seraphin in recent weeks, his willingness to deploy Booker instead against the Hawks is hopefully a sign that the coach feels comfortable with Booker’s improvement on defense. Or, hell, maybe he’ll bench booker in favor of the Chris Singleton stretch-4 experiment. This is still Randy Wittman, this is still the Wizards’ bench.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


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Stat of the Game.

30 assists.

Atlanta might have won the free throw game, going 25-for-30 from the stripe to Washington’s 9-for-11, but the Wizards won the ball movement (and then successful basket) game, tallying 30 assists (10 turnovers) on 46 field goals to Atlanta’s 20 assists (16 turnovers) on 33 made shots.  The win over the Hawks equaled the big win over the Miami Heat in D.C. in score, 114-97, and Wizards assists, 30, which is tied for the sixth most in a game for Washington on the season.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


End Vines.




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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.