D.C. Council 47: Wizards at Suns — By the Time Washington Gets Back from Arizona | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 47: Wizards at Suns — By the Time Washington Gets Back from Arizona

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Updated: January 30, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 47: Wizards versus Suns in Phoenix.
Contributor: Kyle Weidie from the District.

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For all of those who buy and sample the “tired legs” excuse as if you were spending your entire Saturday at Costco shopping for discount cliches, good for you. Your belly will be full with excuses and small trashcans abound filled with toothpicks. Also, you have just excused the lack of intangibles, such as pride. Phoenix took it to the Wizards in Washington. The Wizards also played below their capabilities, as they continue to do, in Denver and Los Angeles. You’d think that such would help numb already numb legs … or at least trick them into sucking it up for 48 minutes.

Trying to avoid beating the dead horse by merely talking about a worn out excuse. Plus, hell, four games in five nights is tough. Something (thankfully) my body will never understand. Actually, reverse that, something my bank account wish it could understand. Nonetheless, it’s all relative. The rich get tired, too. And the Washington Wizards are no exception. (At this point we’ll note that Steve Buckhantz, normal human shield for dead legs, did not call the game for CSN Washington. Per reports, he had to fly back to Washington to deal with a family issue. Some random dude replaced him.)

Washington has the eighth best record in the NBA right now. Take a step back, breathe, consider how much of an achievement that is. Forgive the Wizards if they have a penchant for tucking their tail between their legs, even if their inner thighs are starting to get rug burns. They ultimately won’t be able to succeed without failure, and bummer games like the one in Phoenix on Wednesday night are bound to happen. With this particular instance, television personality Mark Jackson perhaps even made his most salient point ever in observing, on the ESPN broadcast, that the Wizards looked the worst he has ever seen them … when he’s not too distracted by (and distracting with) his ‘Cat in the Hat’ preacher methodology.

No biggie, ultimately. No one will much remember this game in the spring. But on this night of sleep deprevation, the other side of the pillow won’t be cool at all if the Wizards, with two days off to rest said tired legs, come up short against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday as they’ve done time and time again in recent memory. The potential for pride lives to see another day. Until then, let’s break out the red pen and catch up with the Wiz Kids, several apples away from making a teacher proud.

 


Washington Wizards

98

Final

Box Score

Phoenix Suns

106

Kris Humphries, PF

33 MIN | 4-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | 0 +/-

Humphries crashed the boards hard in Nene’s absence. His jumper wasn’t completely on, but he did managed to make half his shots. He’ll be most remembered for being a victim of Markieff Morris late in the game. As the Wizards tried to do something with a comeback attempt that had fallen into their lap late, down four points with time ticking down to under 60 seconds, Morris calmly hit an isolation baseline jumper over Kris from 15 feet. Humphries didn’t give up much space and got a hand in ‘Kieff’s face, but there wasn’t much else that could be done. That swish put the Wiz out of commish, for good.


Paul Pierce, SF

24 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -1 +/-

Pierce started the evening by drawing a foul on Eric Bledsoe, but then was off in most regards after that. Him passing the ball to Kris Humphries’ leg on a roll stands out, as do the numerous missed shots. Pierce seemingly took a splash of 5-Minute Energy in the third quarter—scored on a rebound after his own miss and drained a corner 3 from John Wall. He’ll otherwise be better remembered for his stank face at the end.


Marcin Gortat, C

34 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -3 +/-

Gortat cooked early, seemingly thanks to his veteran confidence versus Alex Len—eight of his points and three of his rebounds came in the first quarter. The Wizards, however, could have used more from Gortat. Or maybe his team could have used him more, especially with Nene resting (or hurt), and especially with Gortat being rather familiar with Phoenix. At least he went out and had a little fun on the road trip, off the basketball court.

Vines? Gortat likes to spin, and Gortat likes to twirl, and Gortat likes to catch lob-dunks from John Wall.


John Wall, PG

36 MIN | 5-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 5 TO | 11 PTS | -6 +/-

If someone is peddling the dead legs excuse, I’m only buying it from John Wall. After carrying the Wizards on his back in Denver and L.A., he suited up once again in Phoenix. Wall started the game with good intentions—defensive ball pressure, vivaciously pointing, and calling out switches. But the muster soon disintegrated. There was a lazy pass or two, a bricked jumper, and letting Eric Bledsoe or Isaiah Thomas float into space to hit shots (Bledsoe also froze Wall once). Wall simply did not, perhaps could not, set the tone as he usually does. On this night, he really needed this teammates to pick him up. Washington’s final possession epitomized the draining of energy from Wall. The Wizards, down six with little chance and mere seconds left, inbounded the ball to Wall and … he just sort of held the rock until Thomas stole it from him. Somewhat strange, but hopefully easy to forget.

Wall, nonetheless, did some very cool basketball things. Let’s Vine: leg-sweeping layup; deceptive dribbling; open-court dazzling.


Bradley Beal, SG

36 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | 0 +/-

Beal nicely attacked the basket early in the game and then was virtually silent aside from a spurt in the third quarter. This was also one of those #SadPanda night for the kiddo, where he had more frowny faces in the box score than much of anything else: one rebound, zero assists, and zero steals in 36 minutes isn’t going to cut it. Beal shot 42 percent from the field (47% from 3) in 16 December games and, through 16 January games so far, he’s still shooting 42 percent from the field (but now 42% from deep). The Wizards are desperate for him to show a bit more improvement and a lot more consistency.


Drew Gooden, PF

15 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -8 +/-

I don’t mind Drew Gooden playing, especially when he knows he’s not the human victory cigar. He moved the ball, didn’t force shots (although he managed to miss three out of five), and he even earned a trip to the free throw line. Gooden is the physical, break-in-case-of-emergency type of guy that every playoff team needs. Plus, Kevin Seraphin thinks he’s a funny dude… Gotta appreciate those spastic moments—sometimes they end with an assist.


Otto Porter Jr., SF

24 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -7 +/-

Dear, sweet Otto jacked the ball like Kevin Seraphin and just happened to murder the 3-point line, by his standards. Going 3-for-4 from deep, he increased his previous career total by almost 19 percent. Good signs and good feelings abound. After a performance like this, why not just hand the keys to the Ferrari to Otto? Screw Wall and Beal. Twitter demands that Otto get playing time no matter what, and that he must play with the starters, ‘cause the environment must be perfect in order for him to succeed, leading to hashtag celebrations for every little thing he does. Amongst NBA players currently in their first or second season who have played at least 1,000 career minutes, Otto ranks 52nd overall in PER. Watch out, world.

The highlights: Barely moving the net on a 3; playing a two-man game with Drew Gooden—it was all a dream.


Rasual Butler, SF

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

Rasual Butler is dying a slow death, and has only shot 33.33 percent on 3-pointers in January. He played under four minutes, missed both of his shots, one of them a 3, and looked bad in committing one travelling turnover. Maybe there is no Martell Webster vs. Otto Porter playing time debate; maybe the Wizards will need both (instead of Rasual); and maybe that’s why Randy Wittman is trying to balance getting both of them time in the meat of the regular season.


Martell Webster, SF

8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0 +/-

Martell earned yet another trip to the free throw line on a 3-point attempt. He snagged a couple of key rebounds. He looked as bad as ever on defense, letting P.J. Tucker sneak off into the corner abyss for a 3-pointer or two.


Kevin Seraphin, C

13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -2 +/-

Mike Tirico called Kevin Seraphin the “big man from France,” which still sort of gripes me since Seraphin was born and raised in South America. Do we have to treat colonialism so quaintly? Otherwise, what was more impressive about Seraphin that him hitting a couple shots, per usual, was this one great defensive series in the fourth quarter. He twice helped Martell Webster contain Gerald Green off screening action, twice sprinted back to recover, and because of this contribution to the team defense, Phoenix missed a contested 3-pointer.


Andre Miller, PG

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

True Story: Andre Miller scored on a rebound put-back off a Drew Gooden missed 3-pointer.


Garrett Temple, SG

7 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +3 +/-

Garrett Temple breathed some life into the Wizards. And for a guy coming off the bench cold, he looked more competent and confident than ever. That one layup he hit was nice, perhaps his prettiest ever in the NBA.


Vine’d.

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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.