DC Council 30: Wizards at Rockets — BW Parkway Runs Through H-Town | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 30: Wizards at Rockets — BW Parkway Runs Through H-Town

Updated: December 30, 2014

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Washington players from Game No. 30: Wizards at Rockets in Houston;
Contributor: Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It
), directly from Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights.

DC-Council-Logo-2 The Narrative.

Washington Wizards


Box Score

Houston Rockets


Nene Hilario, PF

27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +17

Nene probably enjoyed the 35-minute stoppage in play after 48 seconds of game time. In fact, I know he did. Before the broken rim was discovered, and replaced, the only thing that happened for the Wizards on offense was a step-back, fading Nene jumper off one leg. Clang, goes the sound of the season’s bells. After play resumed, Nene hit an open jumper, put Josh Smith in a spin cycle (generally scoffing at such an over-paid basketball peasant matching up against the Brazilian god), and had himself a nice little first quarter—six points, three rebounds, a dime, and a steal. Nene’s hands, focus, and help-side defense were at some of their best levels since he’s worn the Wizards uniform. With Josh Smith so generally terrible, Nene was a big part of helping hold Dwight Howard to three shots, one make, and zero rebounds in 14 second-half minutes.

Paul Pierce, SF

30 MIN | 7-9 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +22

Pierce did most of his damage with a #WittmanJava-fueled start to the third quarter—he scored 11 points in the first six minutes. The vet generally frustrated the hell and hookah smoke out of Trevor Ariza, former Wizard, allowing fans to kick their feet back and smile at the fact that Ariza’s cheaper, older replacement (who also allows the Wizards to be more flexible cap-wise in the future) was unquestionably the better option. Not sure what was the better play: Pierce’s back-breaking 3-pointer that put Washington up seven points with 72 seconds left, or his calming presence at the very end when Washington was trying to inbound and protect the ball versus a frantic Rockets defense. Randy Wittman will gladly tuck both under his pillow in hopes that the tooth fairy notices.

Marcin Gortat, C

32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +17

Another curiously small effort from Marcin Gortat. He always seems to get man’d by Dwight Howard, this time just as we are regaled by television poets like Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier relaying how Howard was glad once Gortat left Orlando because it meant no more struggle in practice, behind closed doors. The Pole started the game by air-balling a hook shot. He proceeded to get shoved out the way on the glass and was frequently a step slow on defensive rotations. He also bobbled a bunch of shit. About the only thing Gortat did well on the night was run the floor, which netted him a couple transition buckets. He did defend Howard better straight up in the second half, but, man, if this play doesn’t represent the more typical Gortat, lately. Maybe he’ll find some toughness starting at those white walls.

John Wall, PG

37 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | +9

Wall was quiet for most of the game, even though he was setting up teammates the whole time and practicing the patience of a saint against the calculatingly out-of-control and always ready to injure someone Patrick Beverley. Wall finished the first half on just 1-for-7 shooting, but he had five assists and just one turnover. And just as Beverly is known for his aggressive defense, Wall returned the favor and made a point to—pardon the expression—get into Beverley’s shit. In the second half Wall went 3-for-3 from the field, including a nice floater, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line—two clutch ones coming with five seconds left after Beverly tried to whisper sweet nothings in Wall’s ear. In the end, Wall’s team got the win and Beverley was left looking like a dude showing up to a job interview in sweatpants.

Bradley Beal, SG

37 MIN | 9-17 FG | 10-10 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 33 PTS | +16

A young panda climbed a tree. The young panda had touched a hot wire and got himself shook. So he retreated. And then we made comparisons to Bradley Beal. And getting “shook” happens to him, often. Sometimes his jump shot isn’t falling (perhaps because he “takes what the defense gives him,” which is a hot wire) and he retreats to worse shots and hangdog expressions. Sometimes Beal drives but isn’t equipped to finish amongst the trees. And so he retreats, pulling the bus cord for the next step.

The question was posed on Twitter before the game: Why not have Beal and Wall cross-match—Beal on Beverley and Wall on Harden? Well, for one, it’s more important to conserve Wall on defense. (Beverley can, nonetheless, be a handful, too.) For two, you want to challenge Beal with the assignment of guarding Harden. Take that away from him and you could take away his confidence. And so Beal, as he has for recent games, rose to the defensive occasion. His discipline did not leave a window for Harden to exploit—past Harden’s natural, un-guardable talent.

For his part, Beal opened his floodgates with a banger off the glass (long deuce!) to start his offensive output and never looked back. He rained 3s thanks to John Wall, he hit a crazy step-through shot and found other action off the glass; and the best part: the young panda cub calmly sank 10-of-10 free throw, the best output of his career (8-8 in Nov. 2012 was his previous high in attempts without a miss; 9-11 in Feb. 2013 remains his career high in attempts).

Kris Humphries, PF

12 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Not the ideal way to follow a monster put-back slam in a convincing win over the Celtics. But, in going 0-for-6 with one rebound in 12 minutes, picking up some silly fouls to boot, Kris Humphries was the best warm body that he could be in Houston. Now let’s not speak of Drew Gooden ever again.

Drew Gooden, PF

9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -11

Lego Man Drew Gooden looked unprepared, unbalanced, ill-advised, out-of-sorts, and he might as well rolled a yoga mat onto the floor and got his 100-year-old ass in the half-moon, hands to feet pose instead of play basketball.

Otto Porter Jr., SF

11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -15

I care not for asking where Otto Porter is. He’s right there. He’s not invisible. But seeing him won’t last long. He’s not making any choices for Randy Wittman too hard as Martell Webster attempts to integrate himself back into the rotation. Selfless, perhaps. Youthful, definitely. Otto is still a break-in-case-of-emergency situation. And with a full roster approaching, aside from Glen Rice’s D-League assignment (where, by the way, Otto could still gather some seasoning), Otto could soon be relegated to the smell of a fresh, unused Band-Aid at the end of the bench next to DeJuan Blair. At least he’ll still be “active,” technically.

Rasual Butler, SF

20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -22

Trevor Ariza who? Butler went 2-for-2 on 3s. Ariza went 2-for-8. So that’s cool.

Kevin Seraphin, C

14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -15

Seraphin usually gives Dwight Howard all his money’s worth in physicality and on this night made another earnest attempt to do so. Unfortunately, Seraphin’s hook shot wasn’t falling at normal rates. Joey Dorsey seemingly scouted the #KSlife well. The rest, in comparison, seemed disastrous, but not as disastrous as Drew Gooden’s nine minutes. Five rebounds in 14-plus minutes is better than usual, and, hey, he made both of his free throws at a crucial moment early in the fourth quarter. Of course, this was sandwiched by Seraphin committing an offensive foul and a shooting foul. It wasn’t his night but that’s OK, as Seraphin has been a far more reliable player this season and his offense off the bench will undoubtedly be depended upon to save the second unit in the near future.

Andre Miller, PG

11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -8

The Professor once again taught lessons. One came via a tip-in basket to beat the shot clock on a broken second-unit offensive possession that almost ended with a Kris Humphries airball.

How ‘bout that?

Last Call.


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.