D.C. Council Game 7: Wizards at Pacers — Washington Outplays Indiana's Song of Solomon | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 7: Wizards at Pacers — Washington Outplays Indiana’s Song of Solomon

Updated: November 9, 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. 7: Wizards at Pacers in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis; contributors: Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) and Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen) from the District.

Washington Wizards 97 vs Indiana Pacers 90
[box score]

DC Council Session

That Session Was … Function Over Form.

There will be games like last night’s that take place during the season where a viewer is left to take one of two impressions:

A) The Wizards took care of business against a depleted Pacers team and won the game. In the end, there is a nice fat check mark in the win column. It had all the makings of a “November evening in Milwaukee” game in which the Wizards manage to sleepwalk through most of the game, lose, and the implications of that loss only become clear in March, when the team finds itself staring up at the likes of Charlotte. Disaster avoided, move on and accept that this will have little bearing on the narrative.

B) This Wizards almost blew a 22-point lead against a team that was down six players prior to the game and further lost Roy Hibbert with 56 seconds left to play in the first quarter. One could state that the Wizards got incredibly sloppy with the ball starting in the late-second quarter, that Garrett Temple flew close to the sun, and that Kris Humphries should probably spend a bit more time learning to catch the orange round thing that thrown towards him on the offensive end.

The truth is somewhat like Janus, the god with a dual nature. The Wizards are equipped with enough veterans (read: old guys) now that closing out a win against the Rio Valley Pacers is more or less an 80 percent certainty. However, this is the bright shroud that can be cast on the overriding problem that is going to persist all year: Randy Wittman’s offensive scheme.

A scheme that is reliant on 17-foot jumpshots is going to sputter at points during games, which makes it imperative that the Wizards have some sort of Plan B on hand to turn to when the jumpers begin rimming out. Against the Pacers, without Hibbert or any significant rim presence outside Ian Manhimni, the Wizards stubbornly stuck to their jumpers and almost coughed up the game, until the team woke up and realized that the Pacers had no effective way to stop Wall/Gortat screen-and-rolls.

Assuming that the Summer of Temple has turned to winter, there are going to be a lot less corner 3s for Wall to be dishing out over the next few weeks until Beal is upright and moving. Without that spacing—and the inability of Glen Rice Jr. to see any time on the floor—the Wizards are left with some serious spacing issues, stationed within the arc and hoping that John Wall can initiate something/anything on the offensive end. At the moment it is entirely functional, but the form leaves much to be desired.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


DC Council Chair

John Wall

4 out of 5 stars

35 mins | plus-8 | 18 points | 7-13 FGs | 0-0 3Ps | 4-6 FTs | 3 rebs | 4 ast | 4 stls | 4 TOs

A nice game from Wall, leading a balanced scoring attack and hitting some jumpers from his favorite spots around the free throw line. Disrupting the passing lanes (three steals in the first quarter) and setting up Nene for easy baskets early paid dividends in a game that nearly got away from the Wizards late. The dribble-drives ending in turnovers should hopefully be mitigated as the season progresses.

—Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen)

DC Council Vetoed Participation

Garrett Temple

1 out of 5 stars

31 mins | plus-12 | 3 points | 1-4 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 6 rebs | 2 ast | 1 blk | 1 TO

The 3-point shooting regression continues unabated, and Solomon Hill had a career game on Temple’s watch. However, anything the Wizards get out of Temple is gravy.

—Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen)

DC Council Top Aide

Kevin Seraphin

4 out of 5 stars

20 mins | plus-4 | 13 pts | 6-8 FGs | 0-0 3Ps | 1-2 FTs | 6 rebs | 0 asts | 1 blkl | 5 PFs | 1 TO

Honestly, I’m not going to question it. Whatever dark arts are allowing Kevin Seraphin to not only go 6-for-8 from the field but also PASS OUT of coverage need to be invoked by Randy Wittman on the rest of his suddenly ineffective bench mob. You desperately may want to look away, but it appears that #KSLife is back from the dead, and he is bring Snakey with him.

—Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)


Is that you, Rasual?


DC Council Players


3 out of 5 stars

31 mins | plus-6 |17 pts | 8-16 FGs | 1-1 FTs | 7 rebs | 5 asts | 1 stls | 1 blk | 5 TOs

It was almost the event we had been waiting for as Nene erupted in the the first quarter for 12 points and regained some of his lost swagger. However, swagger is often a two-edged sword for Nene—it cut him deeply for the remainder of the game. Nene hoisted some outrageous jumpers, committed five turnovers and basically morphed into Boogie Cousins as he swore and complained his way to the finish. My concern is that Nene’s histrionics have less to do with the import of the game and more with the fact that his body isn’t responding the way he thinks it should, so he is a second late on everything.

The real issue here is that there is no need for “playoff” Nene in a November game against the Pacers and if he keeps up the antics, the T’s are going to follow sooner rather than later. He saves himself a star with his game-sealing steal, but one can’t help but be concerned about the big Brazilian. —Sean Fagan


Paul Pierce

2 out of 5 stars

28 mins | plus-10 | 12 pts | 2-13 FGs | 0-5 3Ps | 8-10 FTs | 5 rebs | 3 asts |0 stls | 1 PF | 0 TOs

Paul Pierce was angry with himself for his 2-for-13 performance from the field, but his teammates (notably Nene) patted The Truth on the head during the fourth quarter and let him know that everything was fine. The looks were good, the shots just weren’t falling. More important than Pierce’s FG% was how he took control of the game in the fourth quarter, even without the ability to hit a jumper. Free throws calmly drained, a nifty look to Gortat under the basket, and the Pacers improbable run was all but snuffed. —Sean Fagan


Marcin Gortat

4 out of 5 stars

26 mins | plus-5 | 12 points | 6-8 FGs | 7 rebs | 2 stls | 0 blk | 4 PFs | 0 TOs

After not attempting a shot in the first half, Gortat came through with his typically efficient stat line. As one does, Gortat made scoring on Luis Scola look easy on multiple occasions. The limited playing time was due to some foul trouble that was of the questionable variety. Arish Narayen


Otto Porter Jr.

1 out of 5 stars

20 mins | minus-1 | 4 pts | 2-4 FGs | 0-0 3Ps | 0-0 FTs | 0 rebs | 0 asts | 0 stls | 0 PFs | 2 TOs

I’m not sure whether Steve Buckhantz was making a clinical observation or merely praying that his eyes were telling him a different tale when he exclaimed that “Otto Porter is sticking to Solomon Hill like glue.” I’m pretty sure that glue-like defense wouldn’t allow (along with Temple’s less-than-adhesive effort) Hill a career-high 28-point performance and the ability to cut to the rim like Gilbert Arenas in his prime. Whichever epoxy Porter resembled, it wasn’t terribly effective as he put in a reminiscent “ghost” performance on the offensive end while human-turnstyling on the defensive side. —Sean Fagan


Kris Humphries

3 out of 5 stars

19 mins | minus-3 | 7 points | 3-5 FGs | 1-2 FTs | 9 rebs | 3 ast | 1 stls | 1 blk

In the second quarter, when it appeared we were headed for a blow out, Humphries spent a lot of time playing the mid-range complement to Kevin Seraphin’s post game (i.e. numerous hook shots). This role is a perfect fit, as he can drain elbow jumpers with regularity and step in whenever Nene or Gortat need a rest. A solid performance. —Arish Narayen


Andre Miller

1 out of 5 stars

13 mins | minus-1 | 2 points | 0-3 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 3 rebs | 4 ast | 0 stls | 0 TOs

Every game, I silently pray for The Professor to jack up about 20 3-point attempts. And every game, I am disappointed. —Arish Narayen




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.