D.C. Council 57: Wizards vs Warriors — Winning Effort Perhaps Comfortably Found in Losing | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council 57: Wizards vs Warriors — Winning Effort Perhaps Comfortably Found in Losing

Updated: February 25, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 57: Wizards versus Warriors in Washington.
Contributor: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.


Where do we start?

The Golden State Warriors are a good team. Maybe a great team. Stephen Curry looks every part of an NBA MVP.

The Washington Wizards continue to stagger, losers of nine out of the last 11 games. We could go on. At least on this Tuesday night, against the NBA’s very best team, some players on the Wizards could take solace in the fact that they competed better, as opposed to the previous two games, which were lost by a combined 55 points.

“Our effort was great,” said Randy Wittman, head coach. “We play the way we played tonight, take care of the ball better, you’ll get back to winning games. But we can’t drop off from the effort that these guys game tonight. That was as hard as we’ve played in a couple weeks, probably.”

He derided the turnovers and later gouged his eye out over questions about Marcin Gortat not playing in the fourth quarter.

John Wall mildly took responsibility for his turnovers (8) contributing to a season-high count of 26. When he was asked about his frustration level, he said, “Just effort. We didn’t play with effort in the past. … We got one thing back and that’s having effort and competing, and now we just got to add the other parts together.”

It was part matter-of-fact, part cliché for the media, perhaps part hiding frustration, and seemingly part comfort in simply putting in ‘real’ effort. Teams with higher aspirations should hope for more. Hopefully the Wizards aren’t resigned to who there are. Let’s get into player grades…


Golden State Warriors



Box Score

Washington Wizards


Nene Hilario, PF

28 MIN | 3-4 FG | 3-5 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | +2 +/-

Nene started the game with the paint mentality, borderline reckless, that we’ve seen out of the oft-injured forward this season but not as often during his entire time with the Wizards. And it seemed to work. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about Washington’s “traditional bigs” and the conversation went down the path of Golden State’s Draymond Green being up to the task—he was able to check David West in Indiana on Sunday. Things didn’t go quite so well in the game’s first 80 seconds, however, when Nene scored five points and drew two early fouls versus Green, who picked up a technical en route to the bench. But after that, Nene virtually disappeared. The only notes I had on him over quarters two and three were that Green drew a charge against him in the second, a call that could have gone either way, and, in the third, Nene tried his best to defend Steph Curry on the baseline in a switch but there was really nothing he could do. Nene didn’t hit another bucket until the very end of the fourth, when he also went 2-for-4 on free throws. Sounds about right yet so wrong.

Paul Pierce, SF

28 MIN | 7-11 FG | 9-9 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 25 PTS | +11 +/-

Old man Pierce sprouted some gray hairs in the first half, almost got his ankles in the picture shows thanks to Curry (Pierce subsequently went under a screen and Curry hit a shot on him), and even once went tumbling to the floor after a missed 3 (which allowed Garrett Temple to get a chase-down block versus Pierce’s man, a streaking Harrison Barnes). Pierce woke up in the third, scoring 14 points in the period in a manner which could only be described as “pride ball.” He tailed off in the fourth quarter—maybe he hit a shot, can’t remember—and ended the game banging knees on the very last play. He had to be helped off the court by Nene and Seraphin, afterward indicating he’d be OK. When asked if he would be available to play Wednesday in Minnesota, he ended his media session by saying, “Steel don’t break.” OK, then.

Marcin Gortat, C

29 MIN | 8-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -2 +/-

Gortat didn’t play in the fourth quarter and apparently that’s a big deal. From Golden State’s perspective, neither did Andrew Bogut, who is making about $2.5 million more than Gortat this season … for reference. Warriors fans will also quickly point out that their team is 35-5 when Bogut is merely in uniform versus 9-5 when he isn’t. Otherwise, should Gortat not playing in the fourth quarter (specifically against the Warriors) be as big of an issues as some are making it to be? No, but I’ve covered all that in another post. Should the consistency in which Gortat isn’t playing in fourth quarter be nonetheless a concern? Certainly. Marcin otherwise ran the floor well, did his job, and was part of the reason why Washington was able to compete with the best team in the NBA for most of the game. You’d think that it would behoove Wittman and staff to figure out a way for Gortat to do his job late in games.

John Wall, PG

34 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 8 TO | 16 PTS | +2 +/-

This is Wall’s team and he needs to take more of the blame for the issues lately—it’s not merely on Wittman’s coaching, Grunfeld’s roster construct, or other players simply not making shots. Sure, Wall continues to put up numbers and make big plays, but the team coaching staff is also increasingly frustrated with his carelessness. He’s trying to make too many fancy passes that just aren’t there. Over the past four games he’s had 19 turnovers to 40 assists, and eight of those TOs came versus the Warriors.

Garrett Temple, SG

32 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | 0 +/-

Garrett Temple played just ‘OK,’ which is better than usual, so good. He, perhaps, had the best sequence of his long but short NBA career when he procured a chase-down block versus Harrison Barnes on one end and hit a 3-point shot on the other (setting a new season-high with 27 made 3s). We’ll probably continue to debate whether Temple and his ‘safe’ utility infielder-like qualities should be on the roster. The problem is that the Wizards count on him too much to do too many things that he’s subpar at—running a team, or 3-point shooting. It might be one thing if Temple was just relied upon for stopgap defense, but that’s not the case, especially with Beal out.

Kris Humphries, PF

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

Humphries didn’t do anything extraordinary or egregious during his time on the court. He hit some shots, grabbed some boards, and was generally his relatively consistent self. Of the five bench players who saw action, his plus/minus of minus-1 was the best. So there’s that.

Martell Webster, SF

16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -9 +/-

Webster played and Otto Porter didn’t. No huge deal, really. For one, the mere threat of Webster, along with Rasual Butler, works to help spread the floor (as opposed to Porter, who is often left wide, wide-open by opposing defenses). At least this seems like what Wittman is trying to do—generate more long-distance shots or drives to the basket. Also, back surgery is tough to come back from. Maybe Webster forced/rushed the issue a bit too much, maybe not, but it’s kind of hard to blame a coach for investing a little bit in a player whose shooting might be desperately needed in the playoffs. Otto has been given plenty of chances, anyway, it’s not like he deserves for anything more to be handed to him. That said, Webster continues to look especially bad, so you certainly wouldn’t blame Wittman for benching him for a couple games and letting Otto have a turn, which seems to be the coach’s M.O.

Rasual Butler, SF

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

Continues to exist, pressing a bit, at least he made more than half of his shots. Still, something isn’t right, or ripe, or whatever. If anyone might benefit from the return of Bradley Beal, it would be Butler. The Wizards are plus-9.3 points per 48 minutes this season when those two share the court.

Kevin Seraphin, C

18 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | -14 +/-

Seraphin was first off the bench and was pretty much the same guy who some team will throw gobs of money at this summer. Shot-shot-shot-shot-shot-shot-shot-shot-shot—he made five of nine attempts. Turnover-turnover-turnover-turnover—yep, the math is right, he coughed up the ball four times. Rebound-rebound-rebound—only three lonely boards. His hook shots, like much of Washington’s offense, are a beautiful struggle. He and Gortat saw action together for the second time all season (Detroit game was the first) and it was defensive disaster.

Ramon Sessions, PG

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

It took two games and three quarters, but Ramon Sessions finally made a layup as a Wizard. No big surprise, as the stats show that he had keys to drive but can’t parallel park. It’s otherwise hard to really dissect Sessions too much this early. He’s still an upgrade over Andre Miller, can get into the paint, and thus far has not tried to force too much. Against Golden State he had issues in the two charge calls that Marresse Speights picked up against him—both looked pretty B.S.; a third call that was closer ended up going Sessions’ way. Steph Curry’s deceptively smooth dribble also toyed with Ramon a bit and got him swaying, but also name a Wizard who Curry didn’t toy with.

The End.


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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 lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.