DC Council 63: Wizards at Bucks — Please, Make It Stop | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 63: Wizards at Bucks — Please, Make It Stop

Updated: March 8, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 63: Wizards versus Bucks in Milwaukee.
Contributor: Bryant Frantz (@BFrantz202) from nowhere near the Cream City.


Well that was fun, right?

This Wizards team looks like it’s completely given up; whether it’s on Randy Wittman or on themselves remains to be seen. Though the final score read 91-86 in favor of the Milwaukee Bucks, it felt considerably more lopsided. The Wizards should probably send Thank You cards to Jason Kidd and his team, as they gave it their all to let the Wiz back in the game.

The loss drops Washington to 35-28, which is still good enough for a 1.5-game lead on the Bucks for fifth place in the East, but it’s a far cry from that glorious 22-8 record the Wiz held a little more than two months ago. For those looking for a silver lining, the Wizards were 33-30 through 63 games last season, so technically they’re still better than they were a year ago.

Then again, the Wizards were on an upswing at this point last season. John Wall, Bradley Beal and the rest of the squad were just hitting their stride and would carry their momentum into the postseason. This time around appears to be damn close to the polar opposite, and it’s been ugly.

Alright, let’s get this over with. Hang in there, guys.


Washington Wizards


Box Score

Milwaukee Bucks


Nene Hilario, PF

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

Nene knocked down two midrange jumpers in the contest, but he also passed on a handful of others without even a glance toward the basket. Nobody is going to argue that the Wizards need to take more long 2s, but Nene has hit 43 percent of his shots from 15 feet or further from the hoop since the start of last season. He doesn’t need to force contested jumpers, but he’s got to at least make the defender jump out at him when he’s open with the ball on the elbow. Also, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Brazilian snagged just four rebounds, continuing his gradual fade into obscurity on the glass. The last time he scooped up more than seven rebounds in a game was Jan. 13, when he grabbed 10 against the San Antonio Spurs.

Paul Pierce, SF

24 MIN | 4-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | -8 +/-

With the rest of the team looking a bit dazed and terribly confused for damn near 48 minutes, The Truth took it upon himself to get the Wizards going. It didn’t really work, except for that one time in the third period when it kind of worked. With the Wiz down 55-40 just more than two minutes into the second half, John Wall drained a 3. A minute later, Nene added a bucket, then Wall put in another 3-ball to make it 60-48. Next came a Garrett Temple triple, because this was a weird game. Then Pierce converted from distance the next two trips down the court and suddenly Washington had narrowed the gap to just four points. It was a huge sequence for the Wiz and turned out to be the best chance to turn the tide, but much like the rest of Pierce’s night, it didn’t go well. The future Hall of Famer went 2-for-3 in the third but 2-for-12 in the other three periods, simply adding to the Wizards’ woes. Perhaps Nene can blame him for stealing his rebounds, as Pierce recorded eight boards, the most he’s had in a game since Jan. 21.

Otto Porter Jr., SF

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

Does anybody know what the hell is going on with the backup 2 spot? No? Nobody? OK, cool. Otto Porter Jr. started the game in place of Bradley Beal, to whom Randy Wittman gave the night off, but was taken out less than five minutes into the opening period. In all fairness, OPJ played poorly in those few minutes. However, for reasons unbeknownst to all but the Great and Powerful Witt, the young forward did not play the entire second quarter. Or the entire third quarter. Yet sure as shit and cool as crud, out came the former Georgetown Hoya to start the fourth. Porter also played more in the final frame than any other (first-half) starter. No injury was reported, except to the second-year player’s pride, and the only thing close to an explanation on the matter was the idea that Garrett Temple was a more effective defender on Khris Middleton. Yes, Middleton did drop 30 points, why do you ask?

Marcin Gortat, C

35 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -6 +/-

Gortat played the entire first quarter and knocked down all four of his attempts in the period. Of the ensuing 36 minutes of game time, the Polish Machine played 22:30 and went 1-for-3 with just two points. He broke his streak of seven straight games with double-digit rebounds, albeit just barely, and finished with 427 dropped passes (that number might not be exact). There was also a miscommunication between Gortat and Paul Pierce in early in the third quarter that resulted in a short pass flying over the big man’s head, leading to an easy transition bucket for Milwaukee. Pierce had some words for Gortat after the play and it’s difficult to say who was actually at fault, but with the current state of the Wizards, nobody gets the benefit of the doubt. On the plus side, he played more than six minutes in the fourth period.

John Wall, PG

36 MIN | 3-14 FG | 3-5 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -13 +/-

In one of the ugliest games Wizards fans have seen out of their star point guard all year, John Wall was four dimes and a rebound away from a triple-double, so that should say something about how ridiculously good he’s been in 2014-15. He turned it over just three times, but it felt like so much more, and his body language was the worst it’s been all season. Wall looked like he did so often back in his first few seasons in the District: simply dumbfounded at what he was seeing. The first half was sloppy all around and Wall was perhaps the leader of the pack in that regard, but he bounced back with a fine third quarter, knocking down a pair of 3s and snatching four boards. But after sitting on the bench for more than seven minutes to begin the fourth, Wall came out looking lethargic once more and put up just two shots in the final frame.

Drew Gooden, PF

22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +6 +/-

For whatever reason, Drew Gooden continues to fancy himself an offensive threat. That’s not a good thing. Gooden’s strongest skill at this stage in his career is his rebounding, and it was one of the only reasons the Wizards hung around as long as they did in the fourth quarter. Gooden, 33, grabbed six boards in the final frame, including three on the offensive glass in the span of a minute. In an average game, he would be penalized for his 2-for-8 shooting and abysmal defense, but there needed to be a bright spot in these grades.

Martell Webster, SF

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

The man played a whopping two minutes and five seconds and didn’t record a single stat, so what grade would you give him?

Rasual Butler, SF

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

On offense, Rasual Butler was pretty bad. He missed eight of his 11 shots, including six of his seven 3-point attempts, and turned it over four times. He missed open shots and he missed contested shots. On defense, however, that was a different story—he was abysmal in every way. He couldn’t stop anybody and is at least partially responsible for Middleton’s outburst, he picked up three fouls in the second period alone and inexplicably played the final 19:22 of the first half (not his fault, but still). He also deserves at least some of the blame for allowing Chris Johnson (to which all who didn’t see the game reply in unison, “Who?”) to go 3-for-5 with seven points in his first game with the Bucks.

Kevin Seraphin, C

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

Kevin Seraphin was a nonfactor Saturday night. He played just 8:20, all of which came in the second quarter, and he’s now received fewer than 10 minutes of action in three of the last four games. The big man is in part a victim of rotations that vary game-to-game and are seemingly chosen out of a hat, but he also rarely helps himself by holding the ball anytime it comes to him.

Ramon Sessions, PG

16 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +2 +/-

Much like Gooden, Sessions’ grade gets bumped up slightly due to his teammates’ ineptitude. While the rest of the Wizards struggled to get anything going offensively, the newest member of the team converted a layup and sank a 3 in the fourth to help keep Washington afloat. His attempts to create weren’t always pretty—see his floaters for reference—but he deserves credit for at least bringing out the defibrillator.

Garrett Temple, SG

21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +8 +/-

Temple had one of his better games in recent memory, leading the bench with 11 points and adding a pair of steals. He started the second half in place of Otto Porter Jr. (RIP), presumably to help slow down the offensive powerhouse known as Khris Middleton. To his credit, Temple, who Randy Wittman dubbed this year’s perimeter defense specialist in Trevor Ariza’s absence, held Middleton to 1-for-3 shooting and just three points in the third period, while also putting up eight points himself. It was, perhaps, Temple’s best quarter of the season. Had Wittman finally figured out how to play the matchup game? Nah, Temple played less than two minutes in the final stanza while Middleton added a three-piece of trey-balls to bring his scoring total to a career-high 30 points.


That Vine Life.

This is actually the only necessary media
for that abomination of a sporting event.

You want more? Here, this was the first half:


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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.