D.C. Council 67: Wizards 111 at Kings 117: John Wall and the Wiz Kids Deposed, Hosed in Overtime | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 67: Wizards 111 at Kings 117: John Wall and the Wiz Kids Deposed, Hosed in Overtime

Updated: March 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. 67: Wizards at Kings, featuring Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), who watched the action on the screens in front of them.

Washington Wizards 111 at Sacramento Kings 117
[box score]


Boogie Laughs Last




Stat(s) of the Game.

Four and 57.

John Wall scored just four points In the second half an overtime (he was 0-for-1 from the field in the fourth quarter), grabbed no rebounds and recorded one (one!) assist. Games—no, second halves—like this are why some players still see Wall as “a skinny kid from Kentucky that got drafted No. 1, that hasn’t done nothing or proven nothing in this league.”

On the other side, two of Sacramento’s top three scorers, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, helped close a double-digit gap—fast—when it mattered most. (Isaiah Thomas is the third … he put up a triple-double.) Through three quarters the pair was held to 13 points on 13 shots and six rebounds. In the fourth quarter alone, Cousins and Gay combined to score 22 of Sac-Town’s 30 points on 10 attempts. In overtime, they added another 13 on 11 attempts, out-scoring the Wizards by themselves.

What about 57? That was Sacramento’s rebounding total. The Wizards had 41. All those rebounds led to a 23-10 disparity in second-chance points, obviously favoring the Kings.

 —John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Key Legislature

For three and a half quarters the Washington Wizards’ play could best be described as inconsistent.  

They shot 33 percent and committed six turnovers in the first quarter and trailed 30-19. Then, in the second quarter, they committed just two turnovers, while forcing the Sacramento Kings to shoot just 21 percent from the field with seven turnovers of their own. In the third quarter, the Wizards treated fans to a combination of their first- and second-quarter performances by jumping out to an eight-point lead in the first four minutes, then allowing the Kings to come back in the middle part of the quarter, and then rallying to lead by 73-70 going into the fourth.

Led by the unlikely threesome of Drew Gooden, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat, who combined to score 25 fourth quarter points (the Wizards scored 27 total), the Wizards finally seemed to put a bit of separation between them and the Kings. They led by as many as 11 points in the quarter, and even when their lead was whittled down to three points with 1:06 left, the free throw shooting of Beal and Gortat pushed the lead to a seemingly decisive five points with 24.3 seconds left in the game, 100-95. Then the bottom fell out…

First the Wizards allowed Isaiah Thomas to have two good looks at a 3-point shot (from the same spot), and when the second one connected, the Kings trailed by two. Then John Wall missed a free throw, Coach Randy Wittman subbed in the game’s coldest player (Garrett Temple) presumably for defensive purposes, and removed the hottest player (Drew Gooden) who had only missed one shot all quarter. Wall missed the second free throw, Rudy Gay hit the first of what would be many big shots over Trevor Ariza and Gortat, and the Kings tied the game at 100 going into overtime.

The Wizards remained inconsistent during the overtime period, and ultimately fell victim to Gay and Cousins en route to their loss seventh overtime loss. But the game was there for the taking in regulation, and costly mistakes resulted in an L.

 —Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)



DC Council Chair

Marcin Gortat, who scored 19 points and 14 rebounds to record his 28th double-double of the season. Wall has 24. No other Wizard has more than 11.

Gortat’s 19 points (7-for-12) left him tied for a team-high with the Wizards’ prized volume shooter, Bradley Beal…

Beal is averaging 17.1 points on 16.1 field goal attempts per game. Of the 19 NBA players this season who score 17 or more points per game and attempt at least 16 shots, Beal has scored the fewest points, has the worst FG% (.411), the worst 2P% (.410), and the second-lowest Win Shares (2.7), just ahead of Ryan Anderson, whose season was cut short due to a herniated disc after just 19 games. Alas, I digress…

Gortat played well—unselfish, efficient basketball—but wasn’t quite the rim protector the small-ballin’ Wizards needed late in the second half. He’s your Council Chair by default.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)




DC Council Vetoed Participation

If John Wall had gone scoreless in the fourth quarter but hit the game-winning free throws … the post-game narrative would have centered around his will to win and his ability to gut his team to victory. If Wall had gone scoreless in the fourth quarter, missed free throws, but prevented his man (Isaiah Thomas) from getting two wide open 3-pointers, his defensive prowess would be praised as would his ability to focus on the intangibles. None of that happened, though.

Wall had an average game with 12 points and eight assists, but he fouled out, had five turnovers, made just two of six free throws, and went scoreless in the fourth quarter. And for good measure, Thomas, the man he spent most of the game guarding, had his first career triple-double. It isn’t that Wall lost the game—in fact, his layup followed by an assist to Beal gave the Wizards their only lead in overtime—it’s just that he did not do enough to lead his team to victory. He did it in Orlando last week, but he fell short against the lowly Kings.

Said Wall after the game (via The Washington Post):

“I feel like I lost this game. Those are big free throws but they rimmed in and out and that really frustrated me.”

By contrast, here’s what Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay said after the game (via Cowbell Kingdom):

“To have the ball in my hands when it’s winning time, that’s second nature to me. It’s happened a lot in my career, and that’s the mentality I have to have.”

 —Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Top Aide

Drew Gooden, again. #ShrugLife.

Can’t argue with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 27 minutes off the Wizards’ previously horrendous bench. Gooden is scoring 1.36 points per attempt this season and 1.0 PPA on midrange jumpers (the NBA average is 0.81).

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

Drew Gooden Shot Chart

Drew Gooden’s 2013-14 Shot Chart



DC Council Session

That session was … a little bit of déjà vu.

And not just because the Wizards have now lost four straight games in Sacramento.

An undersized, unheralded point guard goes HAM vs. John Wall? Check.

Offensive possessions only a mother, or advanced analytics non-believers, could love? Check.

Randy Wittman and his Wizards blow a sizable lead in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter? Check.

An “interesting” coaching decision from Wittman (in this case leaving John Wall on the floor with five fouls in a situation where the Wizards not only had to foul but also where the Kings were going to try to get the ball into Isaiah Thomas’ hands)? Check.

The Wizards getting out-rebounded? Check.

The Wizards shooting a lower percentage than their opponent? Check.

The Wizards giving up more free throws than they earn? Check.

An overtime loss? Check.

The only surprising thing, really, was that John Wall missed two consecutive free throws with the game hanging in the balance.

  —John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Mayor

It isn’t Coach Wittman’s fault the Wizards lost to the Kings anymore than it was John Wall’s for missing those clutch free throws or Bradley Beal’s for shooting 7-for-23. However, there were a few questionable decisions in crunch time that can cause one to question whether Wittman is prepared for the playoffs and the playoff-type atmosphere the Wizards now find themselves in.

In the first quarter, the Wizards came out absolutely flat, and Wittman and his staff could not find a way to motivate the starters. He didn’t get a technical foul, he didn’t yell at his team, and he didn’t call for a mass substitution of bench players to get the starters to see the error of their ways. As a result, the Wizards were down 11 early and, by Wittman’s own admission, that zapped in the energy of his players.

In the final minute of regulation, Coach Wittman put Garrett Temple in the game and removed Drew Gooden, who had been providing a spark for the Wizards over most of the second half. Temple was a non-factor as Rudy Gay drove the lane, but perhaps Gooden’s presence would have forced Gay into a more difficult shot. Towards the end of overtime, when Wittman definitely should have inserted Temple for Wall who had five fouls, no such move was made. Wall committed his sixth foul on Isaiah Thomas, Thomas hit two free throws, and the game was all but over.

Even TNT and NBA.com columnist David Aldridge had to weigh in.

  —Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


[Ed. Note: The buck stops with Randy Wittman, but blame for John Wall fouling out when the Wizards needed to foul could be assigned to multiple parties. If Wall was a complete team leader, he would have realized what the coaching staff clearly did not and asked a teammate with foul bandwidth to switch. Instead, when the whistle blew for Sacramento to inbounds the ball up 113-111 with around 13 seconds left, Wall got caught with his shorts at his ankles just as much as anyone else. Plus, that foul became moot, anyway … because Sacramento made their free throws to seal the deal. Wall did not, as you know by now.

No, the baffling and stupid coaching (and player) decision that really did the Wizards in was what happened before Wall had to commit his sixth foul. After Rudy Gay hit a tough shot to put the Kings up two, the Wizards got the ball with 37.8 seconds left and proceeded to waste time. A quick Wall attack in the next 7-to-8 seconds would have at least ensured the Wizards an additional possession—2-for-1, they call it.

Instead, they ran a painfully slow play, Wall was reduced to an observer, and Beal and Gortat dicked around with screening action that left Beal attempting a 3-pointer with 11 or 12 seconds on the shot clock and 26-plus seconds on the game clock. By the time Sacramento retrieved Beal’s miss, the Wizards had no choice but to foul (instead of play defense for one more possession). Much more stupid than not having someone foul for Wall… But what do I know? —Kyle W.]


WTF Bradley Beal Post Game


*sound of Rudy Gay tearing up a box score*




No. 2, fast.


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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.