D.C. Council Game 80: Wizards 104 vs. Bucks 91: Wiz Go Big Buck Hunting in Second Half | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 80: Wizards 104 vs. Bucks 91: Wiz Go Big Buck Hunting in Second Half

Updated: April 13, 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. 80: Wizards vs Bucks, featuring Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) and Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) from the Verizon Center.
Stats probably via the normal places, Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com/stats.

Washington Wizards 104 vs Milwaukee Bucks 91
[box score]


Bradley Get Buckets… The Before.



Stats of the Game.

The Bucks (47.1%) shot the ball nearly as well as the Wizards (47.6%), and made only three fewer 3-pointers (Milwaukee went 5-for-8) despite taking 14 fewer shots from that range (Washington went 8-for-22).

Fortunately for the Wizards, the Bucks turned the ball over 20 times, allowing Washington to take 84 total shots, compared to Milwaukee’s 68.

Despite taking 16 more total shots, the Wizards took 13 fewer contested shots (30, compared to Milwaukee’s 43). As Randy Wittman said after the game, the next shot after passing on an open look is often a terrible one. Washington took 54 uncontested shots, while Milwaukee only took 25.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Key Legislature
The pivotal moment was the raucous environment created by a rabid crowd, which caused Milwaukee to wilt under the pressure. Just kidding.

It was fan appreciation night and every attendee received a free Wizards cooler sponsored by Verizon (a free thought: fans in 2014 would appreciate functional WiFi). The arena was dead and only got excited for the perpetually embarrassing Chik-Fil-A free chicken promotion. It was hard to argue against people staying away when the weather in D.C. was finally gorgeous and the cherry blossoms were, and are, blooming. The Wizards hosting the worst team in the NBA is not exactly a draw.

After a boring first half, the Washington pulled away in a decisive third quarter. The Bucks started coughing up the ball and the Wizards took advantage. In the third quarter, the Wiz shot 12-for-18 from field (67%), and 3-for-4 from 3-point range, outscoring the Bucks 32 to 22. Once Washington built a double-digit lead, the game was essentially over. Milwaukee Coach Larry Drew spoke on the determining run:

“We turned the basketball over. One of the things we talked about coming into this building, just being patient and running our offense. We tried to make plays that weren’t there and they resulted in turnovers. One thing, against this team, you just can’t turn the basketball over. They’re just too good. We played well for two and a half quarters, but unfortunately the game isn’t won in two and a half quarters, it’s a four quarter game.”

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

"Just know your #WittmanPapa loves you."

“Just know your #WittmanPapa loves you.” (photo via @recordsANDradio)


DC Council Chair

Parallel universe Bradley Beal (26 points, 5 assists) may be the best Bradley Beal.

Hopefully, he’s also the future Bradley Beal. Or maybe this was the future Bradley Beal, and the Bradley Beal of the present is tied up in his own basement, attempting to discern whether the Bradley Beal that left him there is: a) a future version of his own self; b) a Cylon; c) a shapeshifter who wishes desperately to meet all of Brad’s Instagram friends and is willing to do anything to make it happen.

Many pixels, my own progeny included, have died etherized on the table in an attempt to bring attention to Beal’s poor, and voluminous, midrange shooting. Mourn these pixels, and hope they have not died in vain. But against the Bucks, Beal spitefully ascended the Mt. Olympus of midrange jumpers (arriving there to find Drew Gooden eating grapes and being fanned by Bethesda’s finest bikram yoga instructors), shooting 70 percent (7-for-10) on shots outside of the paint but inside the 3-point line. If you’re having trouble comprehending that feat, and how Beal got his 26 points, this should help.


Beal’s best games often come when he reminds folks that he’s a more complete player than “pure” scorers like Terrence Ross and Nick Young. Beal’s five assists are all the more important to this team because of his role in the rotation, a bridge between the first and second units. While Beal is often the first starter to take a seat, his early exit is only enacted to provide rest before he takes the floor alongside Andre Miller, Martell Webster, Drew Gooden (or Nene/Booker, depending on injuries), and Al Harrington.

Miller loves to handle the ball, but without Beal, the Wizards next best ballhandler on the second unit would be Webster, who is far better suited to receiving the ball on a cut or in the corner rather than with a call to create off the dribble.

This is Beal’s second strong game in a row, and hopefully it’s because he took the Charlotte loss, and his own subpar performance, to heart.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

In a contest where every Wizards starter was in double-figures, it difficult to single out a player for a disappointing outing. After grilling his former in Milwaukee, Drew Gooden didn’t do much with four points and three rebounds, but he only played 17 minutes. There were no “I told you so” tweets by Aaron Rodgers. Gooden logged the dreaded “DNP-Coach’s Decision” in Orlando on Friday night. With Booker’s recent stellar play and Nene being back in the saddle, there is doubt how much time Gooden will see in the playoffs. There is a strong likelihood that Drizzle might be the odd man out when Wittman tightens up his rotation.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)


DC Council Top Aide

Comcast play-by-play T.V. announcer Steve Buckhantz loves to discuss two particular stats. One, the number of 4-point plays that Martell Webster tallies, and two, how many double-doubles Marcin Gortat’s racks up. Add another one for the Polish Hammer (35th on the season), as he continues his excellent season of ball. The center finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocks. One of the main reasons the Wizards were able to stay above water (12-9) when Nene went out was largely due to Gortat’s increased work down low. Now, the pressing question is who, aside from DeMarcus Cousins, is the second NBA player in on Gortat’s dislike list.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)


DC Council Session

That session was … a Vaguely Pleasant Experience.

There must not be as much money in the D.C. area as people claim, or perhaps most Wizards fans spent their hard-earned (or trust fund) cash on playoff tickets, because the arena looked, and felt, as empty as it has all season. Fan appreciation night seemed almost unilateral, the team’s unrequited love (or rather lust) for fans manifested in the distribution of the smallest coolers one will ever find. So much for buzz generation.

Despite the Bucks’ insistence on keeping pace in the first half, Washington’s play never felt entirely frustrating, as it is wont to do under normal circumstances. And when the Wizards pulled away, there was for once no entrenched anxiety that they would allow Milwaukee to come back. Part of that was Milwaukee’s inability to make shots in the second half, and part of it was the fact that, undermanned as the Bucks were, their mental focus flagged considerably in the second half, where they turned the ball over 14 times, compared to Washington’s seven.

There was a basket by Otto Porter, there were good performances by all of Ted Leonsis’ rookie-contract starters, there were buckets by Trevor Ariza, who has looked dismantled recently, his scrap parts sold off to some shady character.

After this game, I’m no more or less sure about who this team is, or where they’ll go. But games against bad teams where the outcome is rarely in question are routine for the NBA’s best teams, so one shouldn’t be opposed getting used to that slightly amused, move-on-with-your-day feeling.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


DC Council Mayor

After the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, Randy Wittman had this to say about your so-called “playoffs”:

“I do not care who we play. We are not really concerned. We’ve proven that we have beaten anybody that we are going to have to face this year. I am not worried about that. We are in the sixth spot right now and if we just worry about ourselves, and worry about ourselves we are going to stay in the sixth spot.”

Randy Wittman is absolutely correct. The Wizards have beaten every team that they could possibly face in the playoffs. But unless he’s speaking in the royal “we,” it’s unlikely that every Wizard, or even Wittman himself, truly does not care who the team faces in the playoffs. Caring who you face in the playoffs is part and parcel with attempting to secure the 6th seed, but it doesn’t mean you can talk publicly about it.

What’s the alternative? Declare that you desperately want to face Toronto due to their playoff inexperience? Prepare for “bulletin board material” Toronto, a team that has beaten the Wizards three times and has looked like the third-best team in the Eastern Conference since the Rudy Gay trade. If Wittman were to say, in a pre-game scrum, that Chicago was his preferred opponent, and the Wizards ended up drawing Miami, there’s a chance that the Wizards would be even more deflated than they would be otherwise.

“We had good ball movement again. When we can go 25 and 10 or whatever the assist to turnover ratio is, that is us.”

Against the shorthanded and undertalented Bucks, the Wizards moved the ball as if it were sluicing through clouds built from the accumulated happiness of children. Surely, playoff defense will be more hornet’s nest than mosquito breeding pool, but it’s nice to see that the Wizards still remember how to move the ball. Against Orlando, the shots at the end of the swing weren’t falling, but fall they did against the Bucks. I’m still not wholly convinced that the Wizards identity is that of a 25 assist/10 turnover team, but it’s something to strive for at least. You’ve got to have goals in life.

As for Wittman leaving Wall and various other starters in the game long after it had been decided? Yeah, that probably wasn’t ideal. But Wittman feeds off of #WizardsTwitter rage like a Sith lord, and in a game where his Wizards played the second half like an actual NBA playoff team, Randy couldn’t go to bed without his supper.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)


#WittmanSees (photo via @recordsANDradio)


End Vines.



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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.