D.C. Council 65: Wizards 105 at Magic 101: Heroics From Beal and Wall Save the #SoWizards | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 65: Wizards 105 at Magic 101: Heroics From Beal and Wall Save the #SoWizards

Updated: March 15, 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. 65: Wizards at Magic featuring Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) from his home in the District.

Washington Wizards 105 at Orlando Magic 101 (OT)
[box score]


Clutch Wall.



Stat of the Game.

Some things are free?

After attempting a season-low nine free throws in two consecutive games (6-for-9 against each Miami and Charlotte), the Wizards shot 23-for-29 from the line on Friday night (Orlando shot 8-for-10).

The magic number in this case seems to be 22.

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

Below 22 FTAs? The Wizards are 12-20.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Key Legislature

Bradley Beal has sneaky athleticism. Or maybe the rest of his smooth-stepping, shot-jacking offensive flow masks it. Marcin Gortat raved about Beal’s first step when I interviewed him:

“He’s got such an incredible, quick first step and changing direction—it’s so amazing and so fast—that he’s able to lose his defender in one step just by changing direction.”

Both Beal and John Wall tested out with a 39-inch max vertical at the NBA Draft combine (via DraftExpress.com). So Beal’s game-saving chase-down block should come as no surprise (especially since he has done it before—remember, Kyle Lowry?). Yet, it does.

Perhaps the surprise is that Beal does, in fact, have another gear. And no, he doesn’t use it as much as he should. Or maybe he just doesn’t know how to turn it on consistently yet. But he’s trying.

Beal is just as sizable and athletic as Dwyane Wade—with one exception: wingspan. Wade’s is 2.75 inches longer. But, that doesn’t mean that Beal can’t continue to learn how to use the skills he has to better get to the basket. He finished with 20 points on 19 shots (2-2 FTs) against Orlando, and yes, imperfectly went 1-for-4 from the midrange wing but 3-for-6 from the midrange elbows. He got inside the FT line area for four shots, made two. It is still a fact: he needs to learn how to maneuver defenders around him rather than settle for everything they give him. And that’s OK.

Until then, let’s just bask in that block that led to the hustling recovery from John Wall that led to a 3-pointer from Trevor Ariza that led to the Wizards taking a two-point lead with a minute left in overtime.

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)



DC Council Chair

As opposed to the game against Charlotte, John Wall found teammates early. The first nine minutes of the Orlando game went lovely. The Wizards led 27-13, they had 10 made shots on 10 assists, and Wall had six assists of his own (to zero turnovers); he also shot 1-for-2 from the field, making a 3.

But from that three-minute mark of the first quarter until 90 seconds were left in regulation, Orlando out-scored Washington by 20 points, 72-52, while Wall went 2-for-11 from the field with two assists and two turnovers. The Wizards as a team shot just 29.5 percent during the this stretch (but 14-for-19 on free throws), while Orlando shot 46.2 percent (6-for-8 on free throws).

After the game, via the CSN post-game show, Randy Wittman seemed to just ‘awww shucks’ chalk it up to mere missed shots and “stickin’ with it.” Maybe some of this was true.

But the stretch describe above (78% of regulation), speaks for itself. Those watching know what they saw: a sometimes OK but often befuddled defense and a sputtering offense not being led by their star.

But alas, as stars are won’t to do, Wall came through in the clutch. His two late shot-jacked/fuck it 3-pointers at the end of regular were CPR for a then revived Wizards. From with 1:30 left in regulation to the end of overtime, Wall scored 12 points on four made baskets. His teammates made four shots during that time period otherwise and Wall picked up three of the assists—a cross-court skip for an Ariza 3, a penetrate and kick-back to Gortat for FT line jumper, and hustling back to recover Beal’s block and ultimately find Ariza for the responding 3.

Yes, Beal’s key legislature block saved the game, but on this night, giving us amnesia about his poor effort for 30-plus minutes otherwise, John Wall was council chair of clutch.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Martell Webster went 0-for-4 from the field, 0-for-3 from 3-point land, in almost 20 minutes of play. And while Telly-Tell has been shooting a better over eFG% this season (.564, a career-high) in comparison to last season (.551, the previous career-high), his 3-point percentage is down 2.6 percent and his rebounding and assist rates and ratios are also down from last season. All three of his 3-point misses were open against Orlando, and when near the rim a couple other times, he just didn’t have the patience, athleticism, or Andre Miller-like savvy to finish (maybe he got fouled one time, too). The Wizards will need Webster healthy and hitting better from the corners as they approach the playoffs. Check out his shot chart from this season in comparison to last season below. This season, he’s finishing better at the rim and is—gasp—better in certain midrange zones, but his 3-point shooting percentage from both corners is down (3.4% in the left corner, 8.5% in the right corner).

 —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

[Martell Webster 2013-14 shot chart through March 14.]

[Martell Webster 2013-14 shot chart through March 14.]


[Martell Webster 2012-13 shot chart.]


DC Council Top Aide

Marcin Gortat had some flubs, as per usual, but you can’t really argue against 19 points (6-13 FGs), 14 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Gortat didn’t pick up a single offensive board, but he went 7-for-8 from the free throw line and led the Wizards in plus/minus at plus-17.

On one play, seen below, Gortat and Wall seemed to have an exchange as Moe Harkless broke free for a baseline dunk. But as go the intangibles of a veteran, Gortat didn’t pout and go for his as would have a JaVale McGee or Andray Blatche. Not long afterward, Gortat made the extra pass so Wall could take, and make, a 3-pointer. In general, Gortat’s ability (and willingness) to swing the ball from the center of the court is so underrated (also see: the Vine of Trevor Booker’s monster dunk below).

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)



DC Council Session

That session was … pretty ugly, but sort of pretty.

Call it an ugly win. Call it an immoral victory.

If you’ve seen what Wizards fans have seen, you’ll take it.

…Although, there was plenty ‘seen enough’, such as Bradley Beal going down, weeping on the floor, being carried to the locker room.

It turned out just to be a sprained ankle, which could mean days-to-weeks… But at least it’s not a something-or-another knee, which appeared that it could have been—when Beal went down, it was hard to completely see from most television angles.

So the young kid might have a flair for the dramatic. He’s gone down in a heap before, been carried off the court, left on crutches … and has been OK.

The Wizards will miss Beal’s shooting for however an amount of time. The aforementioned Martell Webster will have to step up.

The Orlando game proved that Washington has just enough talent to make amazing plays and win games, but also just enough youth (and also without Nene) to be on the cusp of losing in just about any affair. Will the team continue to grow and gel down these stretch? They’ll have to, else some of their play recently points to getting caught in the bright lights and the big pressure of the postseason.

  —Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)


Closing Vines.

Make ‘Em Slip Like Rod Strickland.


Cook Book Recipe.


Polish Hammer.


Shaqtin’ A Fool.


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.