D.C. Council Game 8: Wizards vs Pistons — Washington's Butler Shows Detroit the Door | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 8: Wizards vs Pistons — Washington’s Butler Shows Detroit the Door

Updated: November 13, 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. 8: Wizards vs Pistons in Chinatown, Washington D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen) from the District.

Washington Wizards 107 vs Detroit Pistons 103 [box score]

DC Council Session

That Session Was … Better Late Than Never.

The Pistons won 29 games last year and the year before. They haven’t been an above .500 team since 2007-2008. Their team identity appears to be “deep front line and zero shooters.” They actually pay Kyle Singler to play basketball, which is disturbing on many levels. None of that mattered on Wednesday night, as the Pistons nearly stole their first road victory of the season in Washington, D.C. Led by Brandon Jennings’ 16 first-quarter points, Detroit sought to exorcise their league-worst-shooting demons early, shooting 51.2 percent and tallying 59 points in the first half. On the backs of John Wall (27 points and 11 assists) and Rasual Butler (18 points on 8 shots?!?), the Wizards weathered the Pistons’ attack and overcame a double-digit deficit for the W. Wall was superb, knifing through defenders and attacking the rim with aggressiveness not yet seen this season. The franchise point guard had 10 free throw attempts in the first quarter and turned the ball over only once all game; the coaching staff must be giddy with excitement. Strength of schedule be damned, Washington is 6-2 for the first time since 1975-1976. And with a Saturday home tilt against the Magic on tap, the Wizards are staring 7-2 in the face. Enjoy it, fellow Wiz Bros.

—Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen)

DC Council Chair

John Wall

4 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-6 | 27 points | 7-19 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 13-16 FTs | 3 rebs |11 ast | 3 stls | 1 blk | 1 TO

If one were to apply the John Feinstein brand of logic, John Wall did not have a good game last night against the Pistons. The man he was guarding (Brandon Jennings) scored 32 points, Wall shot just 7-of-19 from the field, and seven of those 12 misses were layups. The Feinstein logic is flawed in this case.

Wall may not have had his offensive in high gear, but that did not deter him from relentlessly driving the lane and making a living at the free throw line—especially in the first quarter when all eight of this points came from that spot. Wall got his teammates involved (11 assists), but when the game was on the line, he hit a 10-footer to put his team up for good. Yes, Jennings still scored 32 points, and almost single-handedly kept the Pistons in the game, but only 11 of those points were scored in the second half, and two were scored in the decisive fourth quarter. More importantly, Wall did not attempt to go tit-for-tat with Jennings. He ran the team like the professional point guard that he is. Take THAT, Feinstein.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

DC Council Vetoed Participation

Garrett Temple

1.5 out of 5 stars

22 mins | minus-5 | 6 pts | 1-5 FGs | 0-2 3Ps | 4-4 FTs | 3 rebs | 1 ast | 2 stls

The Pistons first-quarter scoring flurry was a collective breakdown by the Wizards, and Garrett Temple was a part of it. Perhaps it was part of the Wizards post-centric defensive game plan, but Temple regularly went under screens and got caught watching the ball. After the defensive miscue above, Temple promptly missed a 3-point attempt on the other end.

—Arish Narayen (@arish_narayen)

  DC Council Top Aide

Paul Pierce

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

Comcast SportsNet’s Steven Buckhantz and Phil Chenier spent part of the first quarter harping on Pierce’s offensive struggles over the last couple of games—and how he remained unfazed due to his veteran status. That scenario played itself out once against the Pistons. Pierce started strong with five quick points in the first quarter. After that he was content to pick his spots—one of those spots resulted in this turn-back-the-clock dunk:

Pierce’s second and most important play of the game came on the offensive boards with seconds to play. He tapped out John Wall’s missed free throw to Rasual Butler, who won the game with two free throws of his own. Pierce is still struggling the way he did last year in Brooklyn, but the Wizards keep winning, which means he has plenty of time to work his way into midseason form.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)



DC Council Players


2.5 out of 5 stars

27 mins | plus-13 |8 pts | 4-9 FGs | 0-1 FTs | 4 rebs | 1 ast | 1 stl | 2 TOs

Though Nene didn’t score in the second half, it was his fantastic interior pass to Marcin Gortat that put the Wizards up three with 38.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After averaging 18 points against the Wizards last season, Greg Monroe (18 points) stayed true to form. Monroe has always caused problems for Nene, and Wednesday night was no different, as Nene’s plodding D was vulnerable to Monroe’s drop steps and other maneuvers. On the other end, Nene countered Detroit’s length up front by scoring six of his eight points on mid-range shots. —Arish Narayen


Marcin Gortat

3 out of 5 stars

27 mins | plus-3 |14 points | 7-12 FGs | 0-2 FTs | 13 rebs | 2 blks | 3 TOs

Gortat scored on an alley-oop from Pierce, he hit a 17-footer Tim Duncan-style off the glass, he played the two-man game with Nene with precision (as usual), and he scored two quick baskets at the start of the third quarter to help give the Wizards some separation. But his most important contribution came via the boards, where he outperformed Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. They combined for 14 rebounds, but none on the offensive end. Gortat grabbed 13 rebounds (five offensive) and, along with Nene, did not allow Drummond or Monroe to score in the fourth quarter. —Rashad Mobley


Kris Humphries

4 out of 5 stars

25 mins | even-0 |12 points | 0-0 FGs | 0-0 FTs | 9 rebs | 1 ast | 2 blks | 1 TO

Humphries’ impact for the Wizards against the Pistons can best be summed up by what he did between the 10:51 and the 9:13 marks of the fourth quarter, when the Wizards trailed 87-84. He was hustle personified during that span with three rebounds, four points and a block, and his play helped to momentarily give the Wizards a one-point lead, 90-89. He was able to accomplish this despite being taunted with Kanye West chants by some classy fans. Rashad Mobley


Otto Porter Jr.

1.5 out of 5 stars

19 mins | minus-7 | 2 pts | 1-3 FGs | 0-1 3Ps | 2 rebs | 2 stls | 1 blk

In part due to Rasual Butler’s offensive explosion, Porter didn’t find himself with nearly as many catch-and-shoot opportunities as he’s gotten in previous games. Otto gets an extra half star for blocking Kyle Singler, though. —Arish Narayen


Andre Miller

2 out of 5 stars

11 mins | plus-3 |12 points | 5-10 FGs | 1-2 FTs | 0 rebs | 7 ast | 2 TOs

The Professor’s job on a nightly basis is to keep the Wizards’ second team afloat when the starters (mainly Wall) need a rest. The first 5:39 of the fourth quarter, Miller did just that by registering five assists (one to Seraphin, two to Humphries and two to ‘Man of the Hour’ Rasual Butler). The Wizards trailed by two at the start of the quarter and that was still the deficit when checked out. But he helped Butler catch fire in the deciding quarter and he gave the team an opportunity to win. The man did his job. —Rashad Mobley


Rasual Butler

5 out of 5 stars

27 mins | plus-10 |18 points | 7-8 FGs | 2-2 FTs | 2-2 3P| 1 rebs | 1 stl

Butler wins the Garrett Temple/Otto Porter award for the most unlikely player to contribute. He did not miss a shot in the second quarter but his seven points were mostly uneventful because the Wizards trailed for the entire quarter. He one-upped himself by scoring 11 points in the final quarter, and nailing the game-winning free throw shots. More importantly, like a child getting to eat at the grown-up table during Thanksgiving, Coach Randy Wittman left Butler in with the starters in crunch time. Butler helped win the game, he presented himself as yet another option for Wittman’s rotation, and he won the confidence of his teammates. —Rashad Mobley


Kevin Seraphin

1.5 out of 5 stars

17 mins | minus-5 | 6 pts | 3-6 FGs | 3 rebs | 1 ast | 1 TO

Hook shots and providing no rim protection whatsoever … that’s what Kevin Seraphin does. —Arish Narayen



A Vine send-off!

Arish Narayen