D.C. Council 66: Wizards 101 vs Nets 94: Gooden's Night, And Good Luck | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 66: Wizards 101 vs Nets 94: Gooden’s Night, And Good Luck

Updated: March 16, 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. 66: Wizards vs Nets featuring Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), covering live from the Phone Booth.

Washington Wizards 101 vs Brooklyn Nets 94
[box score]


Yo’ city. My city. No.2’s City.



Stat(s) of the Game.

This section is brought to you by the number 2.

The Wizards handed the Nets just their second loss when leading after three quarters. The Men in Black were 31-1.

Free throws were a big part of that. The Wizards don’t often get to the line (26th in total free throw attempts) and don’t knock them down at a great rate (73.1%, 25th)… But when they take the fight to the defense and draw fouls, they usually win, as Kyle pointed out in the Orlando Magic D.C. Council:

When Washington attempts 22 or more free throws, they have 22 wins to 11 losses.

Below 22 FTAs? The Wizards are 12-20.

Make that 23 wins. The Wizards took 18 free throws through three quarters, making 17, and went 9-for-9 in the third quarter alone, finding themselves in the bonus early. The Wizards finished 21-for-25 (84%).

 —John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Key Legislature

“You guys joke about me being old, but I’m still Drew Gooden. That’s what I do.”

—Drew Gooden, March 15, 2014

Truer words have never been spoken. If you missed the fourth quarter of the game, do yourself a favor and watch it. That was 12 minutes of playoff intensity complete with hard fouls, stifling defense, big shots and a rabid crowd. In short, something that has not been seen at the Verizon Center in five years. It was … well, I’ll let Gooden explain:

“It’s definitely a statement game. You call that a statement game when [you see] these teams you possibly could see during the playoffs.”

It all began with the AARP group in the fourth quarter. After Brooklyn took an early 10-point lead, Gooden, Al Harrington, and Andre Miller turned up the intensity, turned back the, clock and willed their team to victory. There was signature play after signature play. In one 1:30 minute stretch Gooden hit a layup, drew a charge, and hit two 20-foot jumpers, the last of which gave Washington an 87-86 lead with 7:18 remaining. Gooden ran down the court after each basket with his arms outstretched à la 1992 Finals Michael Jordan screaming to the crowd, “What more do I have to do?”

The crème-de-la-crème came with 2:36 remaining and the game tied 94-94. Gooden found himself with the ball beyond the 3-point line on the right wing with four seconds on the shot clock and only Andray Blatche standing between him and the basket. Drew calmly rose and drained a 3-pointer. Timeout Brooklyn. Crowd goes crazy. What more does he have to do?

Washington played lockdown defense the rest of the way holding Brooklyn scoreless. John Wall sealed the win by grabbing a loose ball rebound, splitting Williams and Shaun Livingston at mid-court and throwing down a signature left hand slam. Wall stood near half-court as the buzzer sounded imploring the already deafening crowd to cheer louder. Game over. Statement made.

 —Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)



DC Council Chair

Jimmy Wall, who made a point to remind those watching that D.C. is, in fact, his city.

He came into the game leading the NBA in total assists (570), and added six more. Wall had also been leading the Wizards in points per game (19.1), averaging 10.3 points in the first half and 8.8 points in the second half. Against the Nets, he had 13 by halftime and added 20 more after it to finish with 33. He scored from all over the floor (nine points from the free throw line, 10 in the paint, and 12 from 3). Big time.

But it was his defense on Deron Williams that won the Wizards the game. Williams early on was popping behind screens for 3-pointers and drawing fouls—Wall was a step slow, chasing shadows. Williams had 10 points after the first quarter but scored just four more after that.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

You can’t bring me down after that game. I’m not going to play your negative games.

Every Wizard was special on Saturday night, like a butterfly or a snowflake. You need a name? Fine. Marcin Gortat. He was 1-for-8 with four turnovers and played zero fourth-quarter minutes. Happy now?

 —Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)


DC Council Top Aide

Drew (pronounced “long-2”) Gooden, Master of the Midrange and Protector of the Realm.

He played to the sellout home crowd all night, and all but planted his banner at center court after showing Brooklyn that his shot is as dangerous as a sword. He’s scoring 1.27 points per attempt in this comeback tour in D.C.

“That’s what I do,” he said after the game. “When I see a couple go in, I feel like I can’t miss. Tonight the ball was definitely on my side.”

Deron Williams was less amused:

“He hit some tough shots. I guess he has been working on it.”

Minutes per quarter:

  1. 1:45
  2. 7:40
  3. 4:40
  4. 12:00

Points per quarter:

  1. 0
  2. 6
  3. 4
  4. 11

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)



DC Council Session

That session was … a rite of passage.

The Wizards were down by seven points after one (could have been 10 had John Wall not buried a 3-pointer 0.3 seconds before the buzzer). They were down nine at half, allowing the Nets to zip the ball around and score more than half of their 57 points in the paint (30). They were down seven after three to a team that then had only lost once this season playing with a lead to start the fourth quarter.

But the Wizards, energized by a determined Drew Gooden, dug deep to produce an 11-2 run, twice taking the lead by the halfway mark of the fourth quarter. You could sense some uncertainty from Brooklyn’s players. In the final five minutes, the Wizards out-scored the Nets 10-2, holding the visitors scoreless over the last four. The Wizards shot 12-for-20 (60%) from the field in the fourth quarter while the Nets went 5-for-16 (31.25%).

Here’s Paul Pierce:

They are coming into their own. They are growing up right before our eyes. I mean, you have seen their struggles over the years. John Wall has matured as a player, obviously becoming an All-Star this year, taking on more responsibility, becoming a leader for that ball club. That is what the Washington Wizards have been waiting on, and you are seeing it.

  —John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Mayor

It appeared, to me at least, that in some of the most recent games Randy Wittman had been playing the second unit longer than usual in the fourth quarter, leaving Wall and/or Gortat on the bench for longer stretches. So I asked Wittman before the Nets game whether his willingness to ride the bench signals growing confidence in his second unit or if it is just a function of matchups. Wittman explained that I was completely wrong.

“I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about because I have not deviated one bit from our rotation so you must have been watching a different game than I have. I mean, it does, but we haven’t … guys have played their 36-to-37 minutes, bench has played their minutes. You ride it if a unit is going well you ride them a little longer than you normally would but that hasn’t really been the case.”

With the AARP group rolling against Brooklyn, Wittman rode the bench hard in the fourth quarter—Gooden played all 12 minutes, Miller played 6:25, Wall only played 5:35 and Gortat never entered the game. I think it’s safe to say at a minimum, without drawing the ire of Wittman, that he has a lot more confidence in the current version of the second unit than its earlier iteration—and with good reason.

  —Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)


Heard it through that great Vine…











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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.