DC Council 50: Wizards at Hawks — Talons and Talent Too Much | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 50: Wizards at Hawks — Talons and Talent Too Much

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Updated: February 5, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 50: Wizards versus Hawks in the Dirty South.
Contributor: Bryan Frantz from the Dirty District.

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With the Wizards on their worst losing streak in more than 13 months, it’s easy to get critical. They aren’t communicating on defense, the effort is sometimes lackluster, the rotation is all over the place, the bench has been crippling, and everybody seems to be slumping at the same time.

Still, this same team, with a lineup that was not dramatically different, was happy to sit at .500 through 50 games last year. Even in the middle of a four-game losing streak, the Wiz still hold down the 3-seed in the East and maintain a very respectable 31-19 record. Even better, the Wizards only have one more regular season game against the Atlanta Hawks.

So there are bright sides to this mess, as aesthetically unappealing as it may be.


 

Atlanta Hawks

105

Final

Box Score

Washington Wizards

96


Nene Hilario, PF

29 MIN |  7-12 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +1 +/-

Nene was aggressive, he showed some of those slick moves down low that make him such a fun player to watch, and he was one of the few Wizards to mostly fend off the Curse of the 20-Foot Jump Shot. The big man missed all three of his midrange attempts but six of his seven buckets came right at the basket. On the other hand, Paul Millsap took the Big Brazilian to school a few times and the maddeningly functional offensive machine that is the Atlanta Hawks constantly pulled Nene out of position.


Paul Pierce, SF

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

For much of the season, The Truth has been the Leadership In A Can Wizards fans were promised in the offseason, and he’s been one of those players who can turn the tide of a game in the Wizards’ favor, even when his shot isn’t falling.

That didn’t really happen against the Hawks, when he couldn’t seem to find a rhythm. After bailing out DeMarre Carroll with a touchy foul on a desperation 3-ball to beat the shot clock—which led to a Randy Wittman technical and a sequence of exceptional #WittmanFace—Pierce missed a layup that would have cut the Hawks’ lead to six with two minutes remaining. Every other Wizards starter outscored him by at least 10 points.


Marcin Gortat, C

29 MIN |  4-5 FG | 6-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -8 +/-

It was a back-and-forth game for the Hammer. He put up 14 points on just five shots while also grabbing nine boards, at times played solid on-ball defense on Al Horford, and he helped spark the Wizards run in the third quarter to make it a game again.

Then there was the other end of the seesaw, which saw him foul out in just 29 minutes after only having one foul at halftime. One or two of the fouls were on the touchy side, perhaps attributable to Joey Crawford Syndrome, but Gortat needs to learn how to play while in foul trouble. His sixth foul was especially bad, a cheap little shove to Jeff Teague along the baseline that was wholly unnecessary. It was a stupid foul to pick up, especially when playing with five already, and it directly resulted in Martell Webster entering the game.


John Wall, PG

39 MIN |  9-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | -6 +/-

Mr. Wall had himself a game. Not only did he mess around and nearly get a triple-double, he flashed that sometimes-nasty jumper he’s been working on since he entered the league. The 24-year-old drained three of his five shots from distance, and with the exception of the final take of the second period, he didn’t take any really bad shots. Wall asserted himself early, set the pace how he wanted to, took care of the ball, and ran the offense exceptionally. He was one of the few genuinely bright spots in this game.


Bradley Beal, SG

39 MIN |  8-19 FG | 7-10 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | -1 +/-

About those “few genuinely bright spots.” Here’s the other one. Statistically, Beal was just OK. But on the court, the young guard was aggressive early and showed poise late. As the Atlanta defenders began to respect Wall’s jumper, Beal took more control of the offense. He drove to the hoop regularly, got to the line 10 times, and led the Wiz with eight points in the fourth quarter. He also missed all four of his 3-point attempts. But let’s move on.

Tragically, Big Panda’s legacy in this game will likely be one of shame, despite a solid performance, because the Internet never forgets.

 


 

Kris Humphries, PF

19 MIN |  0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -14 +/-

Deciding who the best Wizards bench player was in this game is like deciding between a plain tuna fish sandwich and a plain bologna sandwich: no matter what, you’re going to be disappointed with what you end up with.

Humphries was a mess offensively, and his defense could hardly be called better. After missing an awkward long jumper early, he passed up a number of the midrange shots that he often takes (and makes), sometimes not even threatening to look at the basket while the ball was in his hands.


Otto Porter Jr., SF

20 MIN |  1-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -8 +/-

OPJ missed open shot after open shot and failed to really stand out on either end. He put forth a quality effort, if nothing else, and perhaps he’s just got that midseason funk Pierce was talking about. But some of those shots were really ugly.


Rasual Butler, SF

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

Rasual Butler played just one minute against the Hawks, making all involved parties very sad. If F-pluses were things, he would get an F-plus, because one minute is still more than the average team gets out of its original 15th man.


Kevin Seraphin, C

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

Seraphin gets the benefit of the doubt here, as he was in part hindered by some lineup shenanigans. Perhaps he should have been more aggressive and he didn’t exactly bring the house down, but Temple, Porter, Humphries, Seraphin, plus either Wall or Beal? That’s not a lineup that’s built for success on offense or defense.

Seraphin is also suffering a cold streak from dunking range. Most people didn’t realize that was a thing, but Seraphin has proven it to be so. He seems to miss a dunk per game these days, and he’s 0-for-4 on shots within five feet of the basket in February.


Garrett Temple, SG

18 MIN |  2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -15 +/-

Generally speaking, if Temple plays 15 minutes or more, the Wizards either blew the other team out, or something less positive happened. The Wizards did not blow the Hawks out, so that leaves the latter option. Though he was never really in an ideal lineup for his skill set—if such a lineup exists—Temple didn’t do a lot to help out. He looked as uncomfortable shooting 3s as Randy Wittman at a Public Enemy concert, and his defense wasn’t much better.


Martell Webster, SF

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

Webster knocked down just his fourth 3-ball of the season, which some might consider “not worth five million dollars.” Then again, he hit every shot he took against Atlanta, so that’s something, right?


The Good

 

The Bad

 

The Ugly

 

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Bryan Frantz
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Bryan is a D.C. native with a degree in something or other from UNC. He has important, interesting hobbies, but mostly he just weeps over D.C. sports teams. You can find him on the Metro, inevitably complaining about Red Line delays.