D.C. Council 61: Wizards 104 vs Jazz 91: AARP #WizVets Chase Jazz Off Capitol Lawn | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 61: Wizards 104 vs Jazz 91: AARP #WizVets Chase Jazz Off Capitol Lawn

Updated: March 6, 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. 61: Wizards vs Jazz, featuring Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) from the District.

Washington Wizards 104 vs Utah Jazz 91
[box score]



[via @LedellsPlace]

[via @LedellsPlace]




Stat of the Game.

56 points in the paint on 70 percent shooting (28-for-40 FGs)

Sometimes, a lopsided scoring advantage in the paint indicates a dominant low-post performance by a big man, or strong work on the offensive glass, or that you have Tony Parker on your team.

But other times, it simply means that your opponent played undisciplined defense and gave up uncontested shot after uncontested shot at the rim. This was one of those times. Utah left so many men wide-open that it appeared to be by design. On one first half play, Trevor Ariza was not covered for an entire possession. At first, he instinctively floated to the 3-point line and stood there alone for a few seconds. After getting bored, he trotted toward the rim and was spotted for an uncontested layup.

 —Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) 


DC Council Key Legislature

Washington won a very boring game over the Utah Jazz with the outcome never really in doubt. And that’s exactly what should happen when a home team fighting for playoff position squares off against a last place Western Conference team playing its third game in four nights.

Coach Randy Wittman certainly enjoyed the easy win. “I’m tired of drama,” he said afterward.

But, as Kyle Weidie pointed out on Twitter, for those who protect and serve fans of this team on a nightly basis, no win is an easy win until the final horn sounds:

Usher to fans leaving a 5-point #Wizards lead with 8:30 left: “C’mon, the game ain’t over… they haven’t blown it yet.”

After Utah closed the gap to five points for a second time with 7:48 remaining, Drew Gooden and Al Harrington put on an impromptu 60-second, two-man show, starting with a Gooden layup assisted by Harrington, a Bradley Beal dunk assisted by Gooden, and punctuated by a thunderous two-hand slam by Harrington that brought the bench to its feet and summoned a primal scream from the 34-year-old veteran.

“You thought it was the end of the game the way he dunked it. Like the game was over after he dunked it. That’s the way he was screaming,” said Bradley Beal.

There were still six and half minutes left in the game but for all intents and purposes Harrington’s dunk—which capped a 6-to-1 run and extended Washington’s lead to 91-81—put Utah away for good.

 Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) 


DC Council Chair

Trevor Ariza is on quite a run. He hit 9-of-14 field goals (including 4-of-6 3-pointers) and all four of his free throw attempts for 26 points in 36:25 minutes against Utah. He’s shooting 65 percent from deep over his last six games.

Asked how he was able to stay hot against the Jazz, Ariza offered a simple explanation: “I got a lot of open shots.”

Utah is not a very good defensive team. Actually, they are ranked dead last in defensive efficiency. It showed versus Washington. Most of Trevor’s shots—as well as his teammates’—were wide-open. On one first half play, Gordon Hayward double-teamed Wall at the top of the key leaving Ariza on an island with no defender within 10 feet. Maybe Hayward expected a weak-side defender to rotate to Ariza. Maybe not. Either way, Wall tossed the ball to Trevor for one of his four 3-pointers. It was like that all game.

After the game, Ariza offered a little more explanation for his torrid shooting pace:

“Definitely been ball movement. We’ve been moving the ball really well as a team, rebounding on the defensive end and getting into transition has been big for us as a whole, not only myself but Brad, Al and everybody else that shoots 3s.”

—Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Chris Singleton spared Otto Porter, or even Trevor Booker, from being vetoed off the floor.

Porter went back to thinking that shooting the basketball is connected to the illegality of handguns in D.C. (or the banishment of “Bullets”) with his 0-for-1 from the field (Jeremy Evans for the block) performance. (He also had two rebounds, two steals, and three fouls.)

Booker got the start at the 4 (against quite a different look than Memphis with Utah’s Marvin Williams starting as a stretch-4), took one shot (made it) and grabbed four rebounds in just 16 minutes. Not completely considered for veto, perhaps Booker’s sparse showing was more a result of #WizVets needs to grease their wheels.

Nope, here lies Chris Singleton, who didn’t totally try to do too much to ‘get that contract’ (like in the Memphis game), because he took zero shots. But Singleton put up a lot of zeros otherwise in his box score and just about negated (or more so) his three rebounds with three turnovers and one foul. One particular turnover came with 0.9 seconds left in the first quarter. After an official review, it was determined that it would be Wizards ball, side-out. Singleton was to inbounds the ball. Instead, he travelled when he was not allowed to move … immediate turnover. Utah would inbound near the Wizards bench. Utah’s Jeremy Evans proceeded to hit a turnaround bank shot before the buzzer. Doughpe!

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Top Aide

John Wall wasn’t on his ‘A’ game, creating the continued suspicion that he really only gets up for ‘big matchups’ and sometime too much at that. But the kid is learning, and he did do enough to control and ‘own’ the game in the end. Four of Wall’s 10 assists came in the third quarter. He found Bradley Beal for two consecutive 3-pointers from each corner early in the period to give the Wizards a double-digit cushion. He missed some shots, he hit some shots, he dished two more dimes to each Gortat and Ariza, and when he checked out toward the end of the third period to get rest, the Wizards still held a double-digit lead.

John Wall did just enough. As Utah continued to hang around early in the fourth, Wall spelled Andre Miller at the seven minute mark with a six-point lead. A couple of layups and a dime to Ariza later (amongst a couple things that might’ve gotten the Wizards beat against worse teams), and Wall was putting the Jazz to bed, making ready to go off into the night to do whatever young max-contract stars do when they have a day off on Thursday before practicing on Friday to then fly out to Milwaukee on Saturday for a game against the lowly Bucks. Conclusion: we’ll take it.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

Also, this:



DC Council Session

That Session Was… Who the Hell Cares?

One of the beauties (or the warts) of sports is that no matter what, they often and mostly always give the cynical a reason to complain. The Washington Wizards, in many ways, provide an exceptional example. There have been downtrodden examples of other franchises, although perhaps not as craftily downtrodden as the Wizards—spare me the #KnicksTape, the 2009-10 locker room guns season was much, much worse and 100 times more miserable; don’t care about your big apples. And four straight playoff appearances ending in 2008 isn’t that long ago (OK, so Bradley Beal was still 14 then). But, alas, only one of those appearances got past the first round and two of them were rather moot due to injury.

So from Abe Pollin’s obliviously quaint ineptness, to the Michael Jordan debacle, to Ernie Grunfeld’s rudderless floating and even bailing out of water that he, himself, splashed into the boat, the franchise has been an utter shit show. But now … they are good? They are winning? There is some semblance of hope? (Even though, as we know, uncertainly about the future is still a bedfellow…)

Cynics will be cynics, myself included, but when the Wizards plod their way through a win against a bad team, one essentially willing to just hand the Wizards a win, you take it, you enjoy it, you embrace the W but quickly move on, you don’t take a dump in someone else’s shoe. Seems elementary. Just enjoy.

  —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Mayor

This was a game of strange lineups. Randy Wittman dove deep into his bench with ten players logging at least ten minutes, including the now infamous “AARP group” (Andre Miller, Drew Gooden and Al Harrington) who, along with Beal and Otto Porter, played five solid minutes in the second quarter extending the Wizards lead from four points to 11 points with five minutes remaining in the half:

“We had the AARP group in there that was doing pretty good. We talked, you can see it each day where it is in practice or out here on the floor, they are getting their legs under them more and more each day. I thought Dre [Miller] came in and battled. Obviously, we know he is capable when he gets into shape to make that 18-foot jump shot that he made tonight. Al [Harrington] obviously stretches the floor for us, at that 4 spot that opens and creates driving lanes for John [Wall], Brad [Beal] and those guys. Dre just does his steady self. The numbers aren’t going to wow you, but he just controls that group out there.”

Wittman said after the game that Martell Webster is close to playing, so there will likely be a return to more traditional lineups (read: less Otto and Chris Singleton) but it sounds like Miller and Harrington have carved out a nice role on this suddenly very veteran team.

 —Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) 


The Other Side.

TAI spoke to Utah coach Tyrone Corbin and veteran Richard Jefferson before the game about John Wall’s speed and pace (read here). After the game, Corbin spoke further about Wall and how, exactly, his team let a hot shooter like Trevor Ariza get off again… Video below.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)



Adam Rubin on EmailAdam Rubin on Twitter
Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.