D.C. Council 20: Wizards vs Celtics — Wall Straps on Cape and Deposits Cowherd in Negative Zone | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 20: Wizards vs Celtics — Wall Straps on Cape and Deposits Cowherd in Negative Zone

Updated: December 10, 2014

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Washington players from Game No. 20: Wizards vs Celtics in D.C.;
Contributor: Sean Fagan (@McCarrick), from Brooklyn.


Revenge is a dish best served lukewarm, and the helping that the Wizards served the Celtics on Monday did much to assuage the pain of falling short to the same team on Sunday afternoon. With much of the attention (rightly) focused on John Wall’s emotional post-game interview and transcendent play, as well as Paul Pierce’s milestone of passing Reggie Miller on the all-time scoring list, the fact that the Wizards punted a 23-point lead and needed Wall to strap on Superman’s cape in the second overtime must be noted. But Superman would not be a hero unless he had some narrow escapes and these are the types of wins that the Wizards used to throw away with abandon. That the team overcame the morale crush of losing such a sizable lead, as well as being down by as many as seven points in the second overtime period, demonstrates both the team’s and Wall’s maturation process.


Boston Celtics



Box Score

Washington Wizards


Kris Humphries, PF

43 MIN | 8-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +10

It may be the point where the Wizards need to look at shutting Nene down for the foreseeable future in order to get him back to 100 percent, because Humphries continues to excel in his role as “poor man’s Brazilian.” Moreover, Humphries is willing to throw his body around with more abandon and put in the hardhat work down low. Randy Wittman has essentially distilled Humphries into a hybrid Booker-Nene, and as long as the usage does not continue to creep up, the Frankenstein experiment should continue to be effective.

(The Vine: Nice D.)

Paul Pierce, SF

39 MIN | 9-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 28 PTS | +8

Tommy Heinsohn loves to twist the knife into former Celtics whenever he gets the opportunity and Sunday’s game against the Wizards was his chance to put the screws to “an older, less mobile” Paul Pierce. On Sunday, Pierce had “no lift” and was “fighting Father Time.” On Monday, on his way to surpassing Reggie Miller at No. 16 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Heinsohn was left alternatively spluttering and getting sentimental for one of the best Celtics to wear the uniform. It certainly was a “vintage” Paul Pierce performance, as he dragged the Wizards back from their first quarter doldrums to seize control of the game.

(The Vine: Pierce ties the game in OT with a 3.)

Marcin Gortat, C

36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 9-9 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +1

To enjoy Gortat is to enjoy the operatic with all the highs and lows that a normal performance provides. A few early misses had Gortat flustered and cursing himself out, which later he was perhaps acting slightly too enthusiastic as he redeemed himself over the course of the game. Settling into the role of “needler” is an interesting side project for the Polish Hammer, but one that he may feel necessary with his petulant frontcourt mate Nene on the shelf.

(The Vine: P&R with Pierce.)

John Wall, PG

44 MIN | 10-17 FG | 5-8 FT | 7 REB | 17 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 9 TO | 26 PTS | +6

The importance of Monday night’s for John Wall game has been spoken at length. However, what is remarkable is how well Wall played considering the circumstance he labored under. Often, when an athlete dedicates a game in memory of someone else … the situation can go a bit awry. It almost did for Wall in the latter part of regulation, as he got a bit sloppy with the ball and tried to put too much on his own shoulders. However, his performance in the second OT was beyond exemplary. He scored the last 10 points for the Wizards, leading them back from a seven-point deficit. More powerful still was the raw emotion that broadcast across Wall’s face during this mini-explosion, which should be shown to the Colin Cowherds of the world anytime Wall is questioned as a “selfish” player.

(The Vines: Wall right elbow clutch jumpers; Speed ThrillsSpeed 2; More Speed.)

Bradley Beal, SG

46 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | 0

Beal’s horrendous shooting performance on Sunday didn’t carry over to Monday evening, but that is due in large part because Beal didn’t take quite as many shots. The Celtics were closing Beal off with as many as three defenders, intent on shutting down one of the main outlets of the Wizards offense. The point of concern is that Beal appeared to disengage more from the game when he realized that the Celtics were not going to stop hounding him and began to float outside the margins. Part of Beal’s maturation will be in learning that being a decoy can be as valuable as being the man on any given night.

Drew Gooden, PF

15 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -9

Randy Wittman’s roulette wheel landed on Drew Gooden on Monday and his bet did not pay off. Wittman continues to plug Gooden into the “instant offense off the bench” big man role, but his inability to convert from long range and lack of desire to bang down low should induce a quicker hook if the shots are not falling.

(The Vine: Poor Uncle Drew.)

Otto Porter Jr., SF

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



Summer League Otto? Are you there? Pick up the phone? I miss you.

Rasual Butler, SF

25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +2

It wasn’t incandescence but it was completely acceptable basketball. Butler continues to impress by being effective in both high- and low-usage situations. Perhaps the Wizards should have opponents dunk on their retread veterans in every debut because it seems to free both the spirit and the mind.

Kevin Seraphin, C

16 MIN | 5-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -7

One of the best parts about listening to opposing announcers is hearing how completely strange their fixations are with members of your own basketball team. The Celtics announce crew sounded enraptured with Seraphin, as if they had not once seen the 2013 edition of the same player. But if any game were to inspire star-crossed romance it was Seraphin’s, who jump hooked his way into Tommy Heinsohn’s heart.

(The Vine: #KSlife kisses the sky.)

Randy Wittman

It is one of those games that is hard to judge Wittman’s impact because he did what any rational coach would do—give his starters a breather with a 25-point lead—and hoped that the subs would simply manage to not give the game to the Celtics. Wittman’s gutsier call was leaving Paul Pierce in the game with five fouls during overtime and tightening up his rotation.


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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.