DC Council 31: Wizards at Mavs — Washington Beat Like They Stole Something
Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Washington players from Game No. 31: Wizards versus Mavericks in Dallas;
Contributor: Rashad Mobley (@rashad20), from Washington, D.C.
Perhaps the best course of action to take after witnessing the Wizards 114-87 loss to the Mavericks last night, is to make a New Year’s resolution to never speak of that game again.
One night after their impressive victory in Houston, and three nights after hitting the Celtics in the mouth at home, the Wizards took a substantial beating of their own in Dallas. They turned the ball over 22 times, they temporarily resurrected the careers of Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villaneuva (14 points each), and, by the start of the fourth quarter, the Mavs lead was 23. The starters for both teams were firmly planted on the bench.
If the Wizards bounce back in Oklahoma City and start the new year with a victory over the Thunder, this loss to the Mavericks could be chalked up to fatigue (even though the Rockets played the Wizards close on the second night of their back-to-back) or just “one of those nights.” But if the Wizards give another lethargic effort against the Thunder, heading into San Antonio the next night, this Dallas massacre will have to be revisited, analyzed and parsed.
Let’s hope for the former. For now, on to the pitiful grades.
Nene Hilario, PF
16 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -7
Unlike some of his teammates who had their rhythm in Houston only to completely lose it in Dallas, Nene continued his trend of spotty offensive performances with just seven points in 16 minutes. He did make a couple of nifty interior passes to Wall and Gortat, but that’s where the praise ends. To make matters worse, he left the game in the third quarter with yet another injury (ankle), and his availability against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday is in question.
Paul Pierce, SF
22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -16
Pierce was one of the few Wizards who had any offensive power in the first half: nine points and two assists. But he also turned the ball over, and once the Mavericks avalanche began, not even the wily veteran could stop it.
Marcin Gortat, C
21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -12
Nene and Wall were able to get Gortat going early with some easy interior baskets, but as was the theme with the Wizards the entire night, he was unable to sustain his momentum. Gortat also got himself in foul trouble thanks to a serious Chandler Parsons head fake on one end and a questionable offensive foul on the other. He picked up his third foul with 5:30 left in the second quarter when the Wizards were down just 12 points, and by the time he returned to the game at the start of the third quarter, the Wizards were down 20 and all but waving the white flag.
John Wall, PG
31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -17
Wall did his job in the first quarter by getting his teammates involved and picking his spots when there were openings—the result was a three-point deficit heading into the second quarter. When Wall returned halfway through the second quarter, the Mavs were up 11 points and Wall was neither able to re-establish control of the offense nor be disruptive on defense. He summed the night up perfectly after the game when he remarked, “They beat us like we stole something.”
Bradley Beal, SG
29 MIN | 4-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -15
Beal was unquestionably the hero on Monday night against Houston. Last night he was the goat, and not in the good, G.O.A.T. way. Beal’s a shooter, so there will be nights when he shoots 4-for-14 the way he did against Dallas. Even though eight of his 10 points came in the third quarter, the Wizards never got closer than 18 points. Defensively, Beal (and John Wall) allowed Monta Ellis to score 20 points in three quarters on a bum ankle, which made him a liability on both ends.
Kris Humphries, PF
22 MIN | 4-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -24
Humphries’ job is to rebound and provide a offensive spark of the bench. He did both within a minute after checking for Nene in the first quarter, by dunking home misses from Wall and Beal. Even more impressive is that he managed to play 21 minutes without a turnover—his colleagues combined for 22.
Martell Webster, SF
14 MIN | 0-4 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -6
The shooting stroke is not there yet, nor should it be in his first game of the season. His ability to Reggie Miller the man guarding him is still fully intact, however, which means Webster will return to his impactful self in no time.
DeJuan Blair, PF
12 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -2
Monday night against Houston, Blair watched the game in a suit. Last night, Drew Gooden was inactive with a sore knee, which meant Blair was the next man up. He made the most of his opportunity with nine points in 12 meaningless minutes against his former team.
Rasual Butler, SF
23 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -13
Much like Bradley Beal, Rasual was a liability on both ends of the floor, which is rare for him. His shot betrayed him, and on defense, Butler was late getting back, allowing Richard Jefferson to have any and every shot he wanted.
Kevin Seraphin, C
22 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -9
Seven of Seraphin’s nine points came in the meaningless fourth quarter, but he did play hard until the bitter end, so he deserves small praise for that.
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