D.C. Council 68: Wizards 103 at Trail Blazers 116: Bon Jovi Does Not Approve of This Inglorious Blaze | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 68: Wizards 103 at Trail Blazers 116: Bon Jovi Does Not Approve of This Inglorious Blaze

Updated: March 21, 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. 68: Wizards at Trail Blazers, featuring John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from the Eastern seaboard.

Washington Wizards 103 at Portland Trail Blazers 116
[box score]


Wall-Eye to Webster.



Stat(s) of the Game.

Portland attempted eight more free throws, made five more.

The Blazers attempted eight more 3-pointers, made two more.

Washington attempted nine more field goals, lost by 13 points.

Math is fun, isn’t it?

The ‘fun’ equation came when the Blazers scored 9.5 percent of their points and 29 percent of their 3-point makes over the first 118 seconds of the third quarter—that’s just four percent of the entire game.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Key Legislature

Marcin Gortat was a late scratch. He messed up his extra large back before the game. A strain! The pain!

Let’s watch:


Kevin Seraphin got his first start of the year in Gortat’s stead. And, early on, the unreliable big man thanked Randy Wittman for trusting in him with a pair of big blocks … but those were followed by a pair of fouls, which relegated him to the bench. Seraphin was 1-for-5 from the field when he took a seat, shooting just about every time he touched the ball. Is he the only visible black hole in the (known) universe? Yes, probably!

Bradley Beal was doing that midrange eat-pray-launch dance routine we love to hate, for good reason, but also attacking the rim with more purpose and frequency than he had all season (not saying too much). John Wall was distributing better than he did against Sacramento (when it seemed like every other pass was deflected), and finished the half with 13 points on nine shots, plus six assists. Trevor Booker? He was there to clean up a lot of the mess the Wizards can’t help but make in the half-court offense: eight points, four rebounds, two assists. Janitor status.

Damian Lillard and friends led by just two at halftime, 53-51. Gatorade and orange slices were enjoyed in the locker room during halftime, putting D.C.’s Wizards at ease. But they were still in the Trail Blazers’ house, and the Wiz Kids were in for a rude awakening.


The sound of kitchen utensils on pots and pans from Portland’s kitchen? Nay, friend. The explosive sound of their 3-pointers lighting the net on fire. “An inauspicious beginning to the third quarter for Washington,” sighed Steve Buckhantz.

The Wizards, then trailing 53-64, called timeout.

John Wall, in very ugly shoes (suggestion: #BURN the entire cherry blossom collection), sensed the game slipping away from the Wizards and aimed to bring his team back with a barrage of 3-pointers. He hit a pair, but then Wes Matthews answered with one of his own…

Bradley Beal, the favorite volume shooter among Bethesda’s mothers (he took a game-high 11 contested shots on the evening, making four), finally hit HIS first 3 midway through the third quarter.

The West Coast fire-starters were up 86-73 by the end of the period. Wall was visibly frustrated. Wittman was making faces.

The final quarter was mostly a formality. The game was lost after three quarters. All credit goes to Terry Stotts’ offense (no jump-passes required) and the Blazers’ ball-movement … mostly quality shots from that squad.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Chair

There goes John Wall… John Blaze… John Cherry Blossom… Johnny Three-Time.

John Wall, unfathomably, is now in the NBA’s top 50 in 3-pointers made, totalling 96 (tied with Trey Burke for 48th most), which is one more than LeBron James (95 3s, but in five less games than Wall).

Amongst those 50 NBAers with 95 or more 3 makes, Wall’s make .364 percentage ranks 42nd, 0.4% better than James Harden, 0.1% worse than Paul George.

And suddenly—when we used to compare Wall’s path of progression to Derrick Rose, particularly in terms of improving jump shooting—Wall is shooting better from 3-point land (36.4%, 1.4-for-3.9 per game) than Rose ever did (33.2%, 1.6-for-4.8 per game in 2010-11, his third year; Rose shot 16-for-47, 34%, in 10 games this season).

But back to the matter at hand: While Wall was scoring a team-high 24 points, tying a career-high five made 3-pointers to go with 14 assists and three turnovers, the Wizards were losing. While Washington was getting out-scored 22-33 in the third quarter, Wall scoring half of those 22, the Wizards were getting beat. And while Wiz Kids were trying to come back offensively (but not so much defensively) in the fourth quarter, Wall was dropping six assists in the period, but not scoring a single point, and the Wizards lost.

Was it Wall’s fault? Hardly. But the burden of proof is a trap set on him, the red carpet team leader.

No, Wall was not responsible for the haphazard and sometimes disinterested interior defensive rotations (via Booker, Harrington, Gooden, and Ariza … mostly) that led to 3-pointer after 3-pointer from Portland. But Wall didn’t exactly set a defensive tone, either. And no matter how you slice it up, it’s his problem, mostly, to figure out tonight in Los Angeles … from the position of Council Chair.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)



DC Council Vetoed Participation

Guess the Wizard…

One rebound, two assists, one steal and no points (0-for-1) in 14 minutes…

Otto Porter? Good guess.

But nope. It’s Andre Miller. Vetoed.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Top Aide

Drew Gooden put up a quiet 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench. HUH? WHUT?

Exactly. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Gooden is just the 18th Wizard/Bullet in the past 25 seasons to put up at least 18 and nine off the bench. It’s been done by franchise players 33 times total; Gooden has done it twice in the last three games.

What does it all mean? It means that back-pats and reach-arounds over such success only prevaricates the precious, teetering condition upon which the team rested going into the season. We’re putting together torn toilet paper with Band-Aids over here.

But, alas, it is what it is, one dip-spitting Mike Miller once said. Gooden’s presence is a necessity, and welcomed. His ‘oh bother’ defensive rotations and cheese-dick shoulder shrugging, not so much. But, beggars can’t be choosers. If you ruin your own tomato plant, you’re not exactly going to turn down free packets of ketchup.

What does it all mean? Good question.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Session

That Session was… A Welper.

The Wizards, down two big helpers—Nene and Gortat—went down in a welper of a loss to a better-coached, more offensively savvy team that wasn’t totally unexpected (even if Portland was without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge).

You could tell in the way they played: the Wizards felt sorry for themselves. Hung heads after their own misses. Hangdog expressions after Portland makes.

‘Why bother covering them? … They’re only going to make it anyway. … Woe is us.’

The loss in Portlandia on Thursday compounded the quite terrible loss in Sactown, Cowtown on Tuesday, slipping the Wizards into potential playoff darkness—a game behind Brooklyn for fifth, 3.5 games behind Toronto for third, and just three games up on Atlanta for eighth. There are 14 games left, and not one of them will be easy—eight against playoff teams/playoff contenders; nine since Denver would be in that category in the Eastern Conference.

Go, team, go.

  —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)



DC Council Mayor

A five-man unit featuring Wall, Miller, Beal, Webster and Gooden tried to make it interesting in the fourth quarter … but the Wiz were already down double-digits, and the guys on the bench (including Ariza) were left shaking their heads with no answers.

Three minutes later, Ariza replaced Webster but the Wiz still trailed, 89-101. As I mentioned in the Key Legislature, this game was over long before the final buzzer.

Blame Wittman for taking far too long to trot out a small-ball lineup. But blame Grunfeld, too, and perhaps more.

With Gortat hurt and Nene out indefinitely, Wittman didn’t have many quality, reliable pieces to play with outside of John Wall.

Every roster has its flaws. But the Wizards often seem more flawed than most.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)




Man, Bear, Pig.


Hookah Back?



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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.