D.C. Council 74: Wizards 94 at Bobcats 100: Clumps of Basketballs in the Playoff Litter Box | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 74: Wizards 94 at Bobcats 100: Clumps of Basketballs in the Playoff Litter Box

Updated: March 31, 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. 74: Wizards at Bobcats, featuring Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) from disclosed locations in the District of Columbia.
Stats probably via the normal places, Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com/stats.

Washington Wizards 94 at Charlotte Bobcats 100
[box score]


Randy not too dandy.

[via @recordsANDradio]

[via @recordsANDradio]


Stat(s) of the Game.

Let’s reconcile the following truths: Kemba Walker was 6-for-22 from the field, and 0-for-10 on 3-pointers. He was also a team-high plus-16 in plus/minus differential. Huh?

The eureka factoid is this: Walker was 9-for-10 from the line, and the Bobcats as a team shot 29-for-34 from the charity stripe. The Wizards only attempted 13 total free throws, and no single Wizard attempted more than three.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Key Legislature

Randy Wittman’s Wizards had a chance to grab the playoffs by the balls. Instead they were sent home by Charlotte with crushed dreams and a pounding pain in their underpants.

Trevor Ariza made as many 3s (3) as the opposition, but—

[Note: Much of written record was lost in a pinewood forest somewhere in central North Carolina.]

The Wiz Kids had a 14-point lead late in the third quarter, but the Bobcats clawed back to get within five, 81-86.

Then Andre Miller hit Beal for a 3-pointer above the break, plus contact, and the volume-shooting sophomore guard hit the free throw to complete the four-point play. That big basket gave the Wizards a 90-81 lead with 6:59 to play.

The Bobcats immediately went on a 7-2 run, thanks to a set of second-chance points and a pair of free throws. Beal answered with a pull-up jump shot from mid-range, back iron and in … 92-88, Wizards.

Call it the beginning of the end? Yes, why not. That jump shot was the only field goal the Wizards made in the final seven minutes.

On the very next possession, Chris Douglas-Roberts, a bona fide acrobat Monday night, mixed it up and hit a deep 3-pointer which kicked off a 12-0 run, as Wizards were unable to score a single point in the final four minutes* of the fourth quarter.

I repeat: The Wizards were held SCORELESS over the last four minutes in the fourth quarter.

Beal missed a mid-range J (shocker!). Then the springy but undersized Trevor Booker had a layup blocked by Josh McRoberts. Next, Wall fumbled Ol’ Spalding out of bounds and missed a layup on consecutive possessions. Later, with 33 seconds to play, Gooden missed a corner 3. Ariza missed a 3 with 20 seconds to play, down six. Wall then missed another running jumper from about 11 feet and the game was over.

During that late-game offensive disaster for Wittman (yes, another one), the Bobcats scored on all but two possessions, lifted by six offensive rebounds (five more than the Wizards) which led to six second-chance points. The ‘Cats sealed the deal at the free throw line.

Oh, the Knicks also beat the Utah Jazz, making it official: the Washington Wizards are still NOT in the postseason.

(Soon, though. Soon.)

*Gooden hit a meaningless, garbage-time layup with 7.3 seconds to play, which I chose not to count in the recap. The final score was 100-94 … the Bobcats covered the three-point spread.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)



DC Council Chair

That big 16-point lead the Wizards had at the pinnacle of  their first half run? Its primary progenitor was Bradley Beal, who occupied the opposite chair (that of vetoed participation) just two nights prior. Some will remember Beal’s evening by the missed, off-balance mid-range jumper he fired up during those last four minutes of the game, during which the Wizards failed to make a field goal. But Beal, particularly in the second quarter, was every bit the lethal, pitiless shooter who I referenced in Saturday’s D.C. Council. Here’s his shot chart from that second quarter, where the Wizards outscored the Bobcats 40-19:


Four attempts at the rim?! Bradley, you shouldn’t have! Only one mid-range jumper, and it was of the “closer-than-usual” variety? Oh, Bradley, you really shouldn’t have! This is too much!

It seems so simple: every player, Beal included, should focus on what he is best at doing.  It’s what some might call “playing within yourself,” but that term has always disturbed me via its body-horror imagery. However, it’s far too reductive to say “Bradley Beal would have no problems, he’d be perfect, if he just took 3-pointers and shots at the rim.” I’m confident that it is the hope of both Beal and Washington’s player development staff that Beal’s game opens up more than, say, the offensive games of Trevor Ariza or Martell Webster, both of whom boast heady eFG rates (a metric that adjusts FG% by taking the additional (50%) value of a 3-point make). Beal is developing as a ball-handler as well as a scorer.

There are eight games left in the season, and it might be time to pause young Brad’s in-game development reel. The kid knows how to knock down a 3-pointer, and he’s a decent finisher at the rim. If the Wizards are going to enjoy any measure of success in the playoffs, they’ll need Beal to snipe and score well against defenses that will be both familiar with Washington’s offense and clamping down in typical “playoff-style-basketball” fashion. So cheers to you, and good luck, Panda-man. Ad fundum!

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)



DC Council Vetoed Participation

Dare we veto John Wall, the self-proclaimed First Son of Washington? We do! We shall!

Let’s start with his plus/minus: an unappetizing minus-24.

The main course, his play through three quarters: uninspired. He was 4-for-13 from the field (10 points), with a single rebound, six assists, but also four turnovers (which led to eight points for the

We’ll finish with the fourth quarter, where Wall played his final six minutes: a very bitter and not at all sweet 0-for-3 shooting effort the field, one turnover, one personal foul, nothing else … not even a free throw attempt.

His worst game of the season. Maybe. Retched either way.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)



DC Council Top Aide

The way Martell Webster was finishing at the rim made me think he memorized a killer button combo before the game. A team-high 14 points off the bench on seven attempts, plus a pair of rebounds and an assist … almost good enough for Top Aide.

But this accolade must go to professor Andre Miller … or is it Jedi Andre Miller (Phil Chenier said ‘Dre was making plays “with his mind”). Unfortunately, like most of the Wizards, Miller was only disruptive and effective during the first half, when he repeatedly forced his way past Kemba Walker in the post for both points and assists.

At halftime, Miller had four points on three attempts, three boards, and eight assists (which would be more than any Wizard would have at the end of the game). Seven of those assists came in a five-minute stretch during the second quarter, creating 18 points in a 23-4 Wizards run.

He sat for the entirety of the third quarter and, in six fourth-quarter minutes, could only produce a turnover, a personal foul, and an assist (Beal 3-pointer, and-1).

Miller ended with a game-high plus/minus of plus-18.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)



DC Council Session

That session was … the comeback handicap slider.

Sports video games have a maddening feature. It goes by many names (including the one above), but its function is to increase the difficulty for the team that is winning, and decrease the difficulty for the team that is losing, by either narrowing or widening the acceptable values which will compute as a successful action. Now, I’m wholly unconvinced that our galaxy is contained in but another globe in an alien game of marbles, so I won’t argue here that the Wizards game, and by extension, this planet, was a deep simulation on a cosmic LED display. But during the fourth quarter, and especially the final six minutes, the Bobcats could do no wrong. They drove relentlessly. They scored basket after basket at the rim. On the defensive end, the Bobcats slyly forced the Wizards to the left side of the floor (Washington took no fourth-quarter shots from the right side of the floor, John Wall’s sweet spot), and generated a black hole where the paint once was, swallowing up attempts made therein by John Wall, Andre Miller, and Trevor Booker.

The majority of Charlotte’s baskets in the fourth were too easy, pushing the ball after frustrating Wizards misses and not settling for long, unlikely shots. Only two of Charlotte’s 11 made baskets in the quarter were from beyond nine feet.

The only Wizards who scored in the fourth quarter were Bradley Beal (6 points), Drew Gooden (6 points), and Martell Webster (2 points). The uninspiring total, if you haven’t already surmised it, is 14 fourth-quarter points (compared to 40 in the second quarter). Somewhere, an incomprehensible, nerdraging entity smashes his controller against the floor.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)



DC Council Mayor

With his favored sons, the #WizVets (and Bradley Beal), playing incredible offensive basketball, Randy Wittman decided to leave his starters on the bench for the entirety of the second quarter. At the time, it looked brilliant. The Wizards outscored the Bobcats 40-19 in the quarter, and skipped to the locker room on top of their own unique, water-based little worlds.

The field of statistics has advanced quite a bit under the guardianship of the ever-watchful gargoyle known as the internet, but I’m not sure there exists a metric to measure the amount of “get-up-and-go” left in the legs of a long-time NBA veteran. Not that Wittman would have looked at that stat anyways.

It may have been a mark of how anxious Wittman is to qualify the playoffs (he’s never been the head coach of a playoff team) that he eschewed his normally strict rotation, and almost preternatural feel for consistent minutes distribution, to give Washington’s weary veterans their usual minutes in the fourth quarter despite their burgeoning, extended run in the first half. Unfortunately, the veterans looked spent and struggled to defend a resolute Bobcats team that repeatedly pushed the ball down Washington’s unready gullet.

After the game, Wittman pointed all his fingers at “selfish” play, and lamented his team’s unwillingness to share the ball in the second half. Wittman was correct: Washington tallied 16 first-half assists as compared to 10 second-half assists. Then again, as the coach of a team that has played 74 games this season, one might assume that Wittman exercises some kind of control over his team, or the plays they run, or their basketball-related habits. In any event, it’s become a bit of a chore to hear Wittman repeatedly levy the blame at the same quasi-mental excuses. Just once, it’d be nice to hear the coach take some responsibility for his team’s performance. He gets paid, too.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


They Were Once Happy.





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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.