Key Legislature: Wizards 102 vs Hawks 106 — Washington Leaves Early for Thanksgiving Vacation | Wizards Blog Truth About

Key Legislature: Wizards 102 vs Hawks 106 — Washington Leaves Early for Thanksgiving Vacation

Updated: November 26, 2014

Truth About’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment for Washington Wizards contest No. 13 versus the Atlanta Hawks in the District of Columbia, via Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace) from the Verizon Center.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Adam Rubin.

The easiest way to explain the loss to Atlanta is turnovers. The post-game quotes certainly support that narrative:

“We just had too many turnovers. I had six careless ones, and some easy ones that I let go. I mean we had 25 turnovers in the game and only lose by that much is where you lose the game.” —John Wall

“I am so upset at myself. I have never seen myself turn the ball over that many times.” —Bradley Beal

“That was as bad as we could play offensively for whatever reason.” —Randy Wittman

“25* is a lot of turnovers. A lot.” —Dominique Wilkins succinctly explaining the outcome of the game to Phil Chenier.

[Note: Team turnovers for Washington later reduced from 25 to 20 per statistical errors.]

As a wise professor once said, “I know that’s the popular version of what went on there and a lot of people like to believe that …”

But that only tells half the story. Washington’s defense was just as bad. The odd thing is after the game Randy Wittman did not seem too concerned about the defensive end of the court.

“Defensively we were pretty solid,” exclaimed the coach. “It was 73-70 and then we turned it over three out of four, or four out of five times and it was 80-73. We got into a panic defensively and gave up some layups and back doors … things of that nature.”

Washington’s defensive dysfunction may have been most evident in the final minutes of the game but it was present all night. The Wizards pick-and-roll defense was particularly troubling. Jeff Teague consistently found himself guarded one-on-one by Marcin Gortat or another big man after ill-conceived defensive switches. Shelvin Mack created similar mismatches en route to 13 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

John Wall neatly identified the issue in his post-game comments: “They just kept running pick-and-rolls, and we had to switch in situations, so most of the time we had our big man on him, and he was just attacking and getting to the basket.”

Wittman was asked specifically about Teague’s ability to isolate Washington’s big men in his post-game press conference. Given Wittman’s usual attention to defense, it was surprising that he responded, in essence, ‘it happens.’

But let’s not squabble over whether to blame the loss on bad offense or bad defense. The answer, indubitably, is both.

The Bullets.

  • Amid all the negativity, it should be noted that Kris Humphries played another solid game. He was Washington’s best pick-and-roll defender and rebounder. On the few occasions when Humphries was isolated on Teague and Dennis Schröder, he was better at containing their penetration than Wall. All of which makes it very surprising that after Humphries exited the game with 3:08 left in the third quarter, he never returned.
  • One fan wore a shirt reading, “Kris > Kanye > Kim.” I agree.
  • History will show that Washington made four consecutive 3-pointers to make it a one possession game with 2.7 seconds remaining. This is one of the rare times when history is better left forgotten. The barrage of 3-pointers was exciting but it simply delayed the inevitable.
  • Kyle Korver exited the arena wearing a sweater/turtleneck combo that can only be describes as Tom Brady-esque.
  • In the third quarter Paul Pierce passed Jerry West on the all-time scoring list. He now sits at No. 17. Who would have thought Paul Pierce and Michael Jordan would both enter the Hall of Fame with “Wizards” on their résumé.

The Vines (Jeff Teague Edition).



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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.