DC Council 22: Wizards vs Clippers — Shipwrecked in the District | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 22: Wizards vs Clippers — Shipwrecked in the District

Updated: December 13, 2014

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Washington players from Game No. 22: Wizards vs. Clippers in D.C.;
Contributor: John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), from the Verizon Center.


Pregame Doc Rivers stressed the importance of limiting turnovers and had high praise for his pick-and-roll combo: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. He called them “great,” adding that they should be even better. When asked about the familiarity between the two teams, Rivers laughed and said, “They’re screwed.”

Late-game Doc Rivers pulled his starters with more than two minutes left to play. The Clippers were down “just” 11 points, but the game had been long decided. The Clippers never led and trailed by double-digits for much of the action.

Post-game Doc Rivers went down with his ship.

“I thought they were into us. They didn’t allow us to run—they didn’t even allow us to run plays. They were denying. I thought they game-planned us very well. They kicked our butts. They were the better team tonight.

“Jamal struggled because of the Wizards. Chris struggled because of the Wizards. Blake struggled because of the Wizards. The team struggled because of them. I struggled because of the Wizards.”

Facts only: The Wizards had fewer turnovers (-4), more assists (+14), more fast break points (+10), and more points in the paint (+12). That’s how you dominate a basketball game—and scuttle an opponent’s nine-game winning streak.


Los Angeles Clippers



Box Score

Washington Wizards


Kris Humphries, PF

27 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +8

Humphries was deployed as a midrange jump shooter—no surprise—but he didn’t fare too well. He was 2-for-7 away from the basket, including three misses from one of his favorite spots on the floor: the right baseline. (He’s hitting just 28% from baseline, compared to 45% last season.) And that’s OK. His jump shot isn’t why the Wizards paid him, as Paul Pierce joked earlier this season. They paid him to be physical and grab boards, which he did, leading the Wizards in the rebounding department. Oh, he gets bonus points for this block on Jamal Crawford.

Paul Pierce, SF

29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +16

The Truth opened the scoring with an elbow jumper. He also blocked the snot out of Spencer Hawes, who tried to posterize Pierce with a two-handed jam—shame the refs (who blew a lot of calls) wrongly ruled it a foul. He had some lapses on the defensive side of the ball, especially in transition, but, overall, Pierce had a strong game and led the Wiz in plus/minus.“Paul was great tonight—defensively, too,” Doc Rivers said after the game. “I think Paul is really important for that team. They listen to him. It’s really cool, from afar, to watch that. They were good last year, they get a veteran like Paul … sometimes the young guys don’t wanna hear it, but you can see they’re hearing everything he says.”

Marcin Gortat, C

22 MIN | 8-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +9

Gortat hammered home an alley-oop from Pierce, which got the crowd on their feet midway through the first quarter. But then he went quiet.The Clippers made a point to prevent him from rolling to the rim all night, so Gortat was mostly a decoy, helping his sharpshooting teammates get open looks from 3. They knocked them down, finishing the first half 6-for-8 from behind the arc.The Polish Machine was humming in the third quarter, however. He played all 12 minutes and led all players in points during the period. Turnaround fadeaway over DeAndre Jordan? Cash. A finger roll around Jordan, to save a broken play? Got it. A running lefty hook shot over Turkoglu? Count it. A pump and pivot to beat Blake Griffin in transition? Easy. A 13-foot jump shot? Swish.

Witt, satisfied, parked Gortat on the bench for the fourth.

John Wall, PG

38 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 11 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +6

“Has Chris Paul ever, in his whole career, been dominated in a PG matchup? Tonight he is being dominated,” tweeted TAI’s Chris Thompson late in the second half. And he was right. Wall came to play, to prove a point, and that was obvious from the jump. He showed patience in the halfcourt, looking for seams but rarely forcing the action, and made the highlights with spectacular passing (Optimus Dime!) and at least one whirling foray into the paint. But Wall’s defensive energy is what everybody was talking about after the game. He stuck to Chris Paul like a mousetrap, forcing him into a season-high six turnovers. “John knows that Chris has been, over the last few years, the more heralded point guard, but he was up for the challenge,” Paul Pierce said. “It wasn’t comfortable for [Chris] Paul, even though he had a lot of points, a couple of assists, he wasn’t comfortable out there.”

Rivers gave Wall all the credit.

“I thought he was into C.P. most of the game—bodied him, blocked shots. He’s a freak, athletically. I thought in the past he used it only on the offensive end. Now he’s a two-way player, and that makes him a heck of a basketball player. I’m kinda happy for him.”

Bradley Beal, SG

39 MIN | 9-17 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 29 PTS | +7

Five points. Six. Eleven. Seven. That’s Big Panda’s scoring breakdown by quarter. He was locked in, finishing with with a season-high 29 points. “I was a little bit more aggressive … it’s just the way they were playing,” Beal said after the game. “I had a lot of open looks and I was running in transition. We got out in transition a lot and I was able to get some easy ones from John [Wall] and it was just within the flow of the offense. I wasn’t forcing anything, I was just playing my game.”

Fifteen of his 17 shot attempts came outside the paint, classic Bradley. And even though the Clippers were clogging the lane, he managed to get to the free throw line eight times, a season-high.

Nene Hilario, PF

23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +4

With seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Chris Paul inbounded the ball to Blake Griffin on the left wing. But the way Nene was defending, he could probably smell what Griffin had for dinner. Nene, dodging an elbow, forced Griffin to rethink his faceup move, put the ball on the floor, and ultimately settled for a shimmy fadeaway jumper from 15 feet. Nene didn’t even contest the shot. Instead, he turned and secured the rebound.That sequence summed up the night for both players. Nene, always underrated, is one of the Wizards most important players. He disrupted the Clippers offense all night with ball pressure and textbook pick-and-roll D, and showed he’s finding his form on the other side of the ball—slamming home a dunk in transition and finishing an acrobatic alley-oop layup. On two occasions, he even led the fast break.

Otto Porter Jr., SF

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

Just learning.

Rasual Butler, SF

25 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -6

Who says you can’t teach dogs old tricks? Butler came off a double-screen on the left wing, got Turkoglu off his feet with a pump fake, then stepped to the side for 3. Splash. That play had Paul Pierce written all over it.Butler shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3, including a big triple to extend the Wizards’ lead to 12 points with 4:30 to play in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Seraphin, C

15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -6

Seraphin seemed to be the only player to not realize he was matched up against DeAndre Jordan, one of the best defensive centers in the NBA. Even the Clippers commentators called him a “black hole.” Wittman, playing with a 16-point lead, threw him into game to start the fourth quarter. Two fouls, one turnover, and five minutes later, Seraphin got the hook. The Clippers had cut to the lead to single-digits.

Andre Miller, PG

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

Ten professional and productive, albeit unspectacular, minutes. Perfect.

  The Vines.


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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.