D.C. Council 76: Wizards 90 at Knicks 89: Big Apple, Big Panda, Big Night | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 76: Wizards 90 at Knicks 89: Big Apple, Big Panda, Big Night

Updated: April 5, 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. 76: Wizards at Knicks, featuring Sean Fagan (@McCarrick), from NYC, and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), from D.C.
Stats probably via the normal places, Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com/stats.

Washington Wizards 90 at New York Knicks 89
[box score]


“It’s pretty cool, I guess.

“For them to go silent, that’s kind of, ‘Wow.’ “



Stat(s) of the Game.

Assists. Through three quarters, the Knicks had a 67-64 lead, and led the Wizards in assists, 19-13.

But in the fourth quarter, despite Pablo Prigioni’s best effort to keep the Knicks from reverting into their typical isolation exploration (he had a team-high seven assists in the game, two early in the fourth), they did just that.

The Knicks went nearly eight minutes without an assist in the fourth quarter. Gone was the unselfish ball movement that saved them from a blowout early and even gave them a seven-point lead in the second half, so too were the open looks from 3.

It wasn’t like the Wizards were filling up the assist column either, but they did win the fourth quarter, five assists to four, and the game with better team play and shot selection.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)



DC Council Key Legislature
The last time the Wizards’s went anywhere resuming “deep” in the playoffs they dispatched the Chicago Bulls in the first round and proceeded to celebrate like they had just won the championship. There were T-shirts. There might have even been confetti. It was a vastly overenthusiastic response to an empty accomplishment.

Last night the Knicks decided to honor Carmelo Anthony’s record setting 62-point performance at Madison Square Garden. In a dysfunctional year for a dysfunctional organization it seemed odd that the ‘Bockers would be celebrating an empty calorie achievement when the team was scratching and clawing to earn an 8th seed in a terrible Eastern Conference—and maybe avoid one of the more miserable New York sports seasons in recent memory. But hey, in NYC, you gotta do it big if only to justify your own self importance.

That Anthony pratfalled on the evening was telling because there were actual stakes on the line for ‘Melo to account for after the game. Injured shoulder or not, there was enough half-hearted effort on the defensive end, complaining to refs and general ‘Melo-ness to reveal that the King of New York actually wears no clothes.

Oh, hey, the Wizards. Yes, they did win the game. No, no one outside the tiny hamlet of Washington, D.C., will discuss the performances of Mssrs. Wall and Beal. That narrative would be new and not one that even this writer is willing to quite accept.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)



DC Council Chair

Bradley “Big Panda” Beal. D.C., Maryland and Virginia’s favorite volume shooter turned the knob to 11 in Madison Square Garden. But he was also surprisingly, pleasantly and even heroically efficient.

His 22 shot attempts were more than all but six games in his two-year NBA career. His 12 makes were more than all but two (it helps that 16 of his 22 attempts were uncontested). His 28 points were more than just one, his 29-point career night against the Nets in this past November.

Had J.R. Smith not leveled the playing field with napalm, Knicks fans would tell you, the Wizards would have run the ‘Bockers of the borough of Manhattan. But without Beal, the ‘Zards would have been toast.

His last shot, a 15-foot jumper, gave the Wizards a 90-89 lead with 22.9 seconds to go. It would be the game-winner.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Vetoed Participation

Dear Diary, it has been two months and there is still no sign of Nene.

When he left the camp to go find God there were vague promises of a speedy return and perhaps some nifty hats. However, his lack of presence has made other camp members restless. Drew Gooden is complaining about age. Professor Miller has developed some strange of fungal infection betwixt his toes. I fear that without his miraculous healing hands we are all doomed. I will, as always, tonight #pray4nene.

J. Wall, Esq.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Top Aide

John Wall was a stud once again, but it’s impossible to deny the top aide position to Marcin Gortat, considering how thoroughly he outplayed Tyson Chandler on both ends of the floor. Perhaps Polish Appreciation Night has Marcin giddy, but it’s always gratifying to see a solid defensive effort coincide with the usual offensive production.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Session

That session was … a heavyweight fight.

But not of the multi-million-dollar variety. This was a bar fight that spilled out into the street between two fat guys, whose only combat training was paid for with rolls of quarters in the ’80s (Punch-Out!!). The general strategy: swing, hard.

“We put the pressure on ourselves during the beginning of this season with the way we played,” said J.R. Smith. “We don’t have a choice but to come out fighting.”

The Knicks mostly threw overhand rights, connecting on 14 of 31 attempts from 3 (45.2%). The Wizards, avoiding knockout punches from predictable haymakers, countered with shots the body, outscoring the Knicks in the paint, 38-22.

How’d it end? The Knicks, winded from an uppercut to the gut, threw a wild right, which hit nothing but air. That desperation hook sent them—drunk, dizzy and exhausted—to the pavement. TKO.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Mayor

“We’re still learning the process of what it takes to be a really good team,” said Washington basketball’s head tactician, Randy Wittman, who is in the playoffs for the first time as a head coach, before the game.

Wittman described the closely contested game as a “physical war … a slugfest,” the type of battle his team find itself in during the playoffs. He gave a lot of credit to the big wing that’s having an even bigger year, a dead-tired Trevor Ariza.

“Our defense was pretty good but Trevor’s defense on Carmelo was outstanding. Trevor fought and fought him. At the end we decided to trap him and make someone else beat us.”

Carrmelo Anthony, who has averaged nearly 28 points per game, was held to just 10 (5-for-14 from the field), and committed nine turnovers. And outside of J.R. Smith, who was virtually unguardable, no other Knicks player scored more than 16.

Good game plan. Good win.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


Speed Kills

Point Out The Bounce


D.C. All The Way


Sean Fagan on FacebookSean Fagan on Twitter
Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and SI.com. He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.