D.C. Council Game 2: Wizards 105 at Magic 98: John Wall Goes Universal | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 2: Wizards 105 at Magic 98: John Wall Goes Universal

Updated: November 1, 2014

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council: setting the scene, providing the analysis, evaluating players, and catching anything that you may have missed from the Washington Wizards. Game No. 2: Wizards vs Magic in Orlando; contributors: John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie from as far away from Florida as possible.

Washington Wizards 105 at Orlando Magic 98
[box score]

DC Council Session

That Session Was … A Snoozefest Till The 4th.

It was a three-point game at halftime, but the Magic got outscored 28-15 in the third quarter…

The 18,846 fans at the Amway Center wouldn’t go quietly into the night, though. Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Ben Gordon (!) combined to score 27 points in the fourth quarter (the trio had 39 through three quarters) to make it a one-possession game … before The Truth and Wall put Orlando to bed and killed the lights.

“I like the way we responded,” Wittman said after the game.

If you say so, Coach.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

DC Council Chair

John Wall

4.5 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-16 | 30 pts | 10-21 FGs | 2-5 3Ps | 8-9 FTs | 5 rebs | 12 asts | 2 stl | 2 TOs

Great tweet. Smart tweet. Twice, John Wall pulled up from about 15 feet and hit nothing but glass. He forced the action at times, especially early in the game. Eight of his 21 field goal attempts came with more than 13 seconds left on the shot clock—he made just two of those shots.

But, sometimes, the wisest move a coach can make is to forget restraint and give his or her best player a license to kill. Randy Wittman, Washington’s “M,” did just that. Wall, playing 007, rewarded him by drawing five fouls, scoring seven points in transition, eight in the paint, and adding another eight from the free throw line. In total, he dropped 30 points (9 in the final quarter), 12 assists, five rebounds, and two steals on the Magic. (And made some nice jumpers.)

Wall was responsible for 55 percent of Washington’s offense (58 points out of 105). And his hesitation annihilation of Fournier put the Wiz up four points with 25 seconds left. “Most Professional.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

DC Council Vetoed Participation

Kevin Seraphin

0 out of 5 stars

2 mins | minus-6 | 0 pts | 0-1 FGs | 0-0 FTs | 1 reb | 1 TO | 2 PFs

“Why is Kevin Seraphin obsessed with the Curious Case of Benjamin Button?” tweeted TAI’s Sean Fagan the morning after.

Dying to know more, I followed up. Here’s Fagan again: “How does his game regress year after year? How do you go from averaging a double-double in the last 15 games two years ago to spazzing on the court?”

(For those unfamiliar, Button, born in Baltimore in 1960, is the protagonist in a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The hook? When he turns 12 years old, his family realizes he’s aging backwards…)

TAI’s Brooklyn guy raises a fair question. Seraphin currently has an Offensive Rating of 15. That’s horrible. It’s part #smallsamplesizetheather, of course, but it’s also symptomatic of Seraphin’s struggle to adjust to life in the NBA. While he was drafted as a banger-type defensive enforcer, he’s mostly been a black hole on the offensive end—as the #kslife legend goes, there are people in the DMV who’ve never seen Seraphin pass. The five-year pro has never once had an OffRtg on par with the team’s average. And this is a player who earlier this month said, “I think I’m a good scorer. It’s natural for me.”

All this is to say that Seraphin has not scored a point this season, and has grabbed just one rebound to go with four fouls in 10 minutes. Now, I’m not sure his game regresses with each passing season, but, as “Scottie” Fitzgerald once put it, I’ll let you judge for yourself.

(His fellow French national teammate Evan Fournier scored 21 points in 34 minutes. Laugh at his mini ponytail all you want, but it’s working for him. Maybe Seraphin would play better if he lost the close crop and went full Didier Drogba.)

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


DC Council Top Aide

Paul Pierce

4 out of 5 stars

30 mins | plus-2 | 16 pts | 6-13 FGs | 2-2 3Ps | 2-2 FTs | 4 rebs | 2 stls | 1 ast | 1 TO

“That’s why they got him.” That was the popular sentiment online about what Paul Pierce did with 2:22 left and counting.

“He’s ‘The Truth’ for a reason.” That’s what John Wall said.

The Wizards, up just three points after being up 11 with five minutes left and 17 early in the fourth quarter, were looking for offense after the Magic (yep, those pesky Magic) had come charging back. The Wiz first tried to exploit high-low action on the left side of the floor with Temple as the passer, Nene in the low post, and Gortat cutting to the same side high post, but that really isolated Pierce versus Ben Gordon on the other side—a patented dribble to the baseline and fade jumper was the answer, 98-93 Wizards. Of course, on the other end, Pierce let Evan Fournier get by him and sent to the free throw line, where he made both. But the Wizards continued to exploit Pierce against the smaller Gordon, and this time just straight fed him in the post (Nene did) on the right block. Pierce gave Gordon a shimmy, a dribble back-down, and another fading baseline J, 100-95 Wizards, 1:53 left. That’s why they got him.*

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

(Vine’d: Clutch 2x over Little BenPierce also hit corner 3s.)

* Wall force-fed Pierce on the next possession and Pierce managed to get to the rim, but just missed a layup. After that, Pierce started to post Gordon again, but Wall seemed to call his own number, so Pierce jumped out and set a ball screen instead. Wall didn’t really use it and ended up missing a free throw line jumper on a dribble drive. But hey, the Wizards won.

DC Council Players


3.5 out of 5 stars

34 mins | plus-2 | 12 pts | 5-10 FGs | 2-4 FTs | 4 rebs | 5 asts | 3 stls | 0 TOs

Nene looked damn rusty in the first half (of his first game of the season). He settled for jumpers (made some), took part in poorly executed exchanges with Wall, and even missed a bunny at the rim. And yet, he scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting (1-2 FTs) with three rebounds, a steal, and two personal fouls in 16 minutes over the first two quarters. The Wizards will gladly take that. Nene only took, and missed, one shot in 18 second-half minutes (also 1-2 on FTs), but he was a distributor with five assists. Oh yea, as seen above, Nene tried to head-butt Channing Frye’s arm. —Kyle Weidie

(Vine’d: Nene to Gortat for the dunk; Nene gets mad at Aaron Gordon tripping over him while Paul Pierce hits a 3.)


Marcin Gortat

4 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-15 | 20 pts | 10-13 FGs | 12 rebs | 1 ast | 2 TOs | 1 PF

Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier love to count double-doubles, apparently. They brought up last season’s totals no fewer than five times during the broadcast. Gortat? He had 37 last season, which was Washington’s highest double-double count since Antawn Jamison posted 38 in 2008-09.

A well-oiled Polish Machine recorded his first double-double of the season in Orlando, scoring 20 points on 13 shots and pulling down 12 rebounds. He did most of his damage in the first three quarters before all but disappearing in the fourth, as he is wont to do, and missed both of his free throw attempts.

Nikola Vucevic (23 points, 12 rebounds) was probably the best center in the Amway Center on Thursday night, though. —John Converse Townsend

(Vine’d: High dribble Marcin into post moves.)


Garrett Temple

3 out of 5 stars

34 mins | plus-20 (team high) | 12 pts | 4-8 FGs | 2-3 3Ps | 2-2 FTs | 1 reb | 1 ast | 3 PFs

Temple scored a fairly efficient 12 points on eight shots and didn’t do much else, at least if you only look at the stat book. NBA GMs drool over the guy who can finish on the break; Temple didn’t on one possession in the first quarter. But coaches love guys who can draw the foul, which Temple did. His defensive and general reliability has long been known; the 3-point shooting so far could solidify his career (#SmallSampleSizeTheater). Kyle Weidie


Drew Gooden

3 out of 5 stars

20 mins | plus-2 | 4 pts | 2-7 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 5 rebs | 2 TO

Sent to the sidelines once again with Nene back, Gooden still proved to be in the current top 3 of big men on Randy Wittman’s Wizards with just under 20 minutes off the bench, which led all bench players in Orlando. He’s both reliable (within context) and a wild card (without much context), in terms of offensive potential, and his pump fakes are liked by many. Sometimes he can look like all the older defender on the perimeter that he is, especially when trying to cut loose outside the arc against Ben Gordon on a switch, but Uncle Drew gives smart effort. Granted, he missed all his jumpers versus Orlando, but at least he’s best amongst the reserve bunch at being active around the basket.  —Kyle Weidie

(Vine’d: Drew Gooden LIVES!)


Glen Rice, Jr.

3 out of 5 stars

15 minutes | 5 pts | minus-13 | 1-2 FG | 1-2 3Ps | 2-3 FTs | 1 reb | 2 TOs | 4 PF

Rude box score. It doesn’t do Rice’s regular season debut justice. He fought through every screen in his path, switched when appropriate, and showed discipline in the halfcourt—perhaps most evident at the end of the first quarter when he turned down an open 3 from the top of the arc (offensive rebound) and hit Drew Gooden for near the rim for a routine score.

He made some mistakes, but he was physical, fired up more than frustrated, and finished third behind Wall and Nene in free throw attempts. —John Converse Townsend

(Vine’d: Glen Rice, in an Aaron Gordon poster, but he tried.)



End Vines.


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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.