D.C. Council Game 5: Wizards 96 vs Pacers 94 — Wall Wills Wizards to Win over Jinxed Pacers | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Game 5: Wizards 96 vs Pacers 94 — Wall Wills Wizards to Win over Jinxed Pacers

Updated: November 7, 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. 5: Wizards vs Pacers from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) from the Verizon Center and Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) from his bachelor pad.

[Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]

[Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]

Washington Wizards 96 vs Pacers 94
[box score]

DC Council Session

That Session Was …  A Perfect Example of Nut Harvesting

On January 12, 2005, the Washington Wizards defeated a shorthanded Portland Trailblazers team (missing Zach Randolph, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Darius Miles), 104-100. The win capped a 5-0 home stand for the Wizards, and put them seven games over .500 for the first time since 1985. After the “seesaw finish,” Coach Eddie Jordan was asked about the win streak, and his response was classic:

“We have to build up the wins now for when things get thin later. We’ve got to be like squirrels. You’ve got to harvest your nuts right now, man.”

This season, after losing to the Miami Heat on opening night, the Wizards have rattled off wins against Orlando, Milwaukee and the New York Knicks—teams which currently have a combined record of 5-10. There’s nothing glamorous about those wins, but given that the Wizards have yet to play contenders in either conference, and given their struggles in year’s past to defeat the lesser teams, stockpiling wins now will likely keep them warm come winter.

The Indiana Pacers were the most vulnerable squad, due to the absences of David West, George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, and Paul George. But in the first half, the Wizards were truly playing down to their feisty, but undermanned competition. John Wall and Garrett Temple were playing well with 14 and 11 points, respectively, but the Wizards allowed Chris Copeland and Donald Sloan—two players who barely got off the bench last season—to combine for 21 points and the Pacers only trailed by five at halftime. This trend continued in the second half. The Wizards would score and build slight momentum, then Donald Sloan would snatch it away by driving into the lane with ease, where he would either score or get to the free throw line.

When the game went into overtime, the momentum favored the Pacers, who had the proverbial house money, but no star players (except for Roy Hibbert who only showed up to play defense). Paul Pierce threw down a thunderous dunk (!) in the first few minutes of the period, got fouled and hit a free throw to put the Wizards up three, but Lavoy Allen made a layup, then Hibbert hit two free throws to give the Pacers a one-point lead with 3:24 left in the game. John Wall finally ended the ongoing seesaw battle by scoring seven of the game’s last nine points via pull-up jumpers, fast break layups and free throws. When the buzzer sounded, the Wizards were victorious, 96-94.

The win wasn’t pretty, and all of the starters had to play 35-plus minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, but in the tradition of Uncle Miltie, they pulled out just enough to win—more importantly, the kept the squirrel tradition alive, and continued to harvest their nuts in the month of November.

Here’s what Drew Gooden had to say after the game:

“They are all not going to be easy. The good thing is we got the win and that it’s behind us. Now, we have to focus on Toronto. They are not going to all be pretty wins, there are going to be some ugly ones and tonight was an ugly one. There were games last year that were like this that we pulled off and that fell short and got the loss.”

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)


DC Council Chair

John Wall

4 out of 5 stars

42 mins | plus-7 | 31 points | 11-21 FGs | 1-3 3Ps | 8-9 FTs | 6 rebs | 10 ast | 3 stls | 1 blk | 5 TOs

John Wall owed the Wizards this type of game after scoring just 11 points with seven assists at Madison Square Garden in the previous game. He had his offensive game working in the first half, but Wizards as a team looked out of sync and terribly disjointed. To make matters worse, Wall could not stop Donald Sloan, and it was difficult to discern the All-Star from the bench player-turned-starter.

In the second half, and especially in the overtime period, Wall left no doubt that he was the best player on the court.  He got steals, he led fast breaks, and he hit the game-ending free throw, and he—not Paul Pierce—was the certified closer on this night. But he’s denied a five-star rating, because his man (the aforementioned Sloan) scored 31 points and single-handedly kept the Pacers in the game.

—Rashad Mobley (@rashad20)

DC Council Vetoed Participation

Paul Pierce

2 out of 5 stars

37 mins | plus-16 | 11 points | 3-15 FGs | 0-4 3Ps | 5-5 FTs | 4 rebs | 2 ast | 1 stls | 1 blk | 1 TOs

The strangeness of seeing Pierce don a Wiz uni has still not worn off and the fan joy now produced after watching one of his shots fall in still feels odd. On Wednesday evening, there was little euphoria generated by “The Truth.” He missed multiple layups and his jumper was way off. Pierce also missed a potential game-winner in regulation at the buzzer.

More concerning was his inability to stay in front of the vagabond players on the Pacers, however, the future Hall of Famer was not brought in for his defense—the guy is 37 so expectations are low. The game plan for the Wizards in crunch-time should be to attack whomever Pierce is guarding, but this just was not his night.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

DC Council Top Aide

Garrett Temple

4 out of 5 stars

43 mins | plus-1 |16 points | 6-14 FGs | 4-7 3Ps | 0-0 FTs | 7 rebs | 4 ast | 2 stls | 1 TO

G-Temp continued his outstanding November with another stellar outing. He rolled in four more 3-pointers and now is tied for third in the entire in NBA in total makes (14). [Ed. note: Trevor Ariza is first with 22. —JCT] For proper perspective of his blazing touch, Temple finished last season 6-for-29 from downtown. Temple’s confidence is so high that he even tried to dunk over a guy but came up short. Better go pick him up quick on your fantasy team.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)


DC Council Players


2 out of 5 stars

35 mins | plus-19 | 8 pts | 3-7 FGs |  2-2 FTs | 7 rebs | 3 asts | 4 PFs | 2 TOs

Nene has learned a concept that Kyrie Irving has to yet to grasp in Cleveland, and that’s how to be deferential. John Wall is leading, Garrett Temple is picking up Beal’s slack, Gortat is doing the heavy lifting inside, and Otto Porter is emerging.  Nene has become Floyd Mayweather: he picks his spots carefully, dazzles in brief bursts, and then retreats.

Nene had two great interior passes to Seraphin and Gortat, he played effective post defense on Luis Scola and Hibbert, and when an open shot presented itself, he took it. He’ll be called upon to contribute more as the season progresses, and maybe he should have been a bit more offensive-minded early in the game to put the Pacers away. But with the injury-prone Nene, it’s always a marathon, not a sprint. —Rashad Mobley


Marcin Gortat

4 out of 5 stars

39 mins | plus-1 | 14 pts | 4-10 FGs |  6-7 FTs | 10 rebs | 1 asts | 1 stl | 2 blk | 2 PFs | 0 TOs

The Polish Machine bounced back from a poor outing in New York by logging his second double-double of the season against Indiana. Gortat exerted a little revenge from the postseason by holding his center counter part, Roy Hibbert, scoreless from the field. He continues to find success in the two-man game and possesses an uncanny ability to use the rim shield defenders on his finishes at the hoop. —Adam McGinnis


Drew Gooden

0.5 out of 5 stars

15 mins | minus-15 | 3 pts | 1-7 FGs |  1-2 3Ps | 2 rebs | 1blk | 2 PFs | 0 TO

The marathon-not-a-sprint concept that applies to Nene also applies to Drew Gooden. But Nene knew when to put his imprint on the game offensively, and when his defense was needed. Gooden hit a 3-pointer towards the end of the third quarter to put the Wizards ahead 66-59, but he missed his other six shots and had little impact on the outcome of the game. He did step up in the postgame quote department:

“We are playing some thirsty teams. Tonight is a prime example of guys that aren’t starters in this league that are trying to showcase their skills in this league. Every night they are playing like their life is on the line. This is one of those team’s that is dangerous right now. They are trying to prove while those guys are hurt that they belong.”

Rashad Mobley


Kevin Seraphin

0.5 out of 5 stars

13 mins | plus-2 | 6 pts | 3-5 FGs |  0-0 FTs | 2 rebs | 1ast | 3 PFs | 3 TO

It may have been unrealistic to expect Kevin Seraphin to duplicate the 15 points he scored in 22 minutes at Madison Square Garden, but on the second night of a back-to-back, the bench is expected to successfully spell the starters.  Seraphin was a non-factor on offense, but he did pull the chair out from under Roy Hibbert. —Rashad Mobley


Glen Rice, Jr.

1 out of 5 stars

4 mins | minus-2 | 2 pts | 1-3 FGs |  0-0 FTs | 2 rebs

Glen Rice, Jr. got a little run in the second half and had an athletic tip-in of his own missed runner. Luckily, Glen was not crushed in the nuts again. —Adam McGinnis


Kris Humphries / DeJuan Blair

0 out of 5 stars

2 mins | minus-2 | 0 pts | 0-2 FGs | 0-0 FTs

Humph misfired on two long jumpers in his only two minutes of action. DeJuanBlair did not play at all. On a related note, Trevor Booker has been doing this in Utah (miss ya, Cook Book!):

Adam McGinnis

Rashad Mobley on FacebookRashad Mobley on InstagramRashad Mobley on Twitter
Rashad Mobley
Reporter/Writer at TAI
Rashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and he had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2009.