D.C. Council 19: Wizards at Celtics — Charge of the Light Brigade Sacked on a Sleepy Sunday | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 19: Wizards at Celtics — Charge of the Light Brigade Sacked on a Sleepy Sunday

Updated: December 8, 2014

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Washington players from Game No. 19: Wizards at Celtics in Boston;
Contributor: Sean Fagan (@McCarrick), from Brooklyn.


Sunday games at 1 p.m. have always been a bugbear for the Washington Wizards. They always appear to leave their shooting ability in their luggage and look the part of a team that hasn’t properly caffeinated before entering their place of business for the day. For much of Sunday, this was true for the ‘Zards, as they managed to fling up every imaginable type of jumper, only to met by harsh steel and bad bounces. On an afternoon where the Professional Washington Football team had managed once again to tear itself apart at the seams through infighting and “anonymous” reports, it was especially depressing to watch the city’s pro hoops team, which has its s**t more or less together, get taken to the woodshed by a below average Boston Celtics squad. However, unlike the the aforementioned football team, the Wizards attempted to rise to the occasion. They came within one point of erasing a 25-point deficit and nearly sent Boston fans home unhappy and prepared to front-run for their own football franchise. While the charge of the light brigade fell short, at least the charge was made, which is more than can be said for other professional sports franchises currently located in and around the DMV.


Washington Wizards



Box Score

Boston Celtics


Kris Humphries, PF

32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -16

Humphries continues to gobble up the rebounds, but one has to look at his usage and question if getting him 10 touches was part of the plan (as he demolished Kenneth Faried on Friday), or it was due in large part to no one else on the team being able to put the ball through the round cylinder.

Paul Pierce, SF

30 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -6

Pierce’s homecoming in many ways resembled Pierce’s career in the Hub—a good solid line and a sense of the moment. Pierce wasn’t quite able to summon the dagger which made him famous in his hey-day (he missed a 3 pointer with 45 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter), but perhaps it is better to save the soul-crushing bullets for a later date.

Marcin Gortat, C

26 MIN | 3-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -14

That … that is a ton of missed jumpers between 7-to-9 feet (he was 1-for-6 from range, 2-for-6 at the rim). The Polish Machine clanged his way through the first quarter along with the rest of the Wizards starters and, unlike his compatriots, never really got his footing in the game.

John Wall, PG

42 MIN | 5-13 FG | 7-8 FT | 8 REB | 14 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 6 TO | 17 PTS | 0

Wall was the second head of the two-headed Hydra that brought the Wizards within one point of eliminating the Celtics’ 25-point lead in the fourth quarter. Wall tore through the Boston defense and was responsible for the Wizards’ last 11 points in the quarter, scoring eight and assisting on yet another Rasual Butler bomb. Wall’s charge of the light brigade was cut short by having Rajon Rondo take his lunch money, but at that point the minutes burden (43) and sheer weight of offensive output may have worn Wall to a nub.

Bradley Beal, SG

36 MIN | 4-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | -13

One has to sit back and just hide under a rock and hope that games like this don’t happen too often, because it isn’t a sound offensive strategy to hope that Bradley Beal DOESN’T shoot. But starting off the first half with a truly dismal 1-for-9 performance had to leave even the most ardent Beal supporter clutching their pearls and looking for the fainting couch. The criticism of Beal’s performance is the same one that has been leveled against him all year (so much so that you could use it at as voice recording). If the jumper isn’t falling, then Beal has to find a way to get to the line or at least make an effort to attack the basket. The 0-for-0 no-show from the free throw line is telling.

Nene Hilario, PF

16 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +10

Nene has risen, but his free throw shooting ability still sits besuited on the bench, alternatively scowling and making faces at all who pass. Nene’s dormant sense of competitiveness came alive in the fourth quarter as he became more active in the post and swatted away an Evan Turner jumper, but he’s obviously only running at 60 percent. Getting rejected by Brandon Bass was a sign of that.

Otto Porter Jr., SF

12 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5

Otto has started to vacillate between looking like a competent NBA backup and then transforming into a wraith comprised of missed jumpers and head-scratching defense. That he has picked up Nene’s penchant for missing free throws is not increasing his stock.

Rasual Butler, SF

30 MIN | 8-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +8

One can almost hear a spry Tony Kornheiser, writing about the Wizards of yore, typing out “the incandescent REX CHAPMAN” on his word processor in the WaPo sports bullpen in regards to Butler’s fourth-quarter explosion. Butler truly did explode, nailing his first three straight 3-point attempts of the fourth quarter (all John Wall assists) and willing the Wizards back into the game. He may be a poor man’s Trevor Ariza, but the Wizards need someone to take advantage of those Wall looks beyond the arc.

Kevin Seraphin, C

10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4

Seraphin played in the game and did not offend, nor did he become a vortex of hook shots near the basket (he made a pass!). Credit Kevin more for what he did not do, rather than what he accomplished on the evening.

Andre Miller, PG

6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8

One can’t fault Andre Miller for the quiet box score numbers as John Wall was the part of thin red, white and blue line that almost dragged the Wizards through finish line. And based on his performance over the last several games, it may have been wise to give the Professor a light sabbatical as he will need to play heavier minutes against Boston tonight after Wall was run out for 43 on the evening. Miller, however, is always good for a slick move.

Randy Wittman, Coach

Wittman stated after the game that the team “came out as individuals,” which was a large part of why the Wizards found themselves down 25 points to a Celtics team still attempting to find effective ways to close out games. Credit Wittman for going with what was effective (Wall, Butler and Pierce … and a small ball lineup) and quickly pulling the hook on what was failing on the night (Gortat). Wittman will most likely put the blame solely on the lack of defensive effort, but even he can’t conjure up the ability to make open shots.



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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.