DC Council 69: Wizards at Clippers — 3 (Point) Sheets to the Wind | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 69: Wizards at Clippers — 3 (Point) Sheets to the Wind

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Updated: March 21, 2015

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In a way, the Wizards’ 113-99 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers wasn’t as bad as the score suggests.

The first of J.J. Redick’s four 3-pointers came at the 9:55 mark of the first quarter and gave the Clips a 6-5 lead that they refused to relinquish no matter how many mildly-threatening runs Washington made. Los Angeles led by as many as 16 in the first three quarters, but the Wizards turned 16 Clippers turnovers into 21 points to stay afloat throughout. Despite trailing for 45 minutes and 55 seconds of a 48-minute game, the Wizards weren’t completely out of the contest until the Clippers went on a run to put it away in the final four minutes.

Yet no matter how close the Wizards got or how many slick plays John Wall made, one never got the feeling that Washington was going to suddenly surge out in front. It was the Clippers’ game to lose, and they never made much of an effort to give it away. Especially in the first half, it often felt like a varsity squad was taking on the JV team, but the JV team was allowed one player from the varsity squad to stay competitive (guess who that player was).

The Wiz got as close as 94-88 with just less than nine minutes left—an early indication that Washington’s 11-game streak of holding opponents under 100 points was soon to fall to the wayside—but the ensuing possessions didn’t exactly have the Clippers shaking in their booties.

Here’s what the next eight Wizards possessions looked like:

  1. Kevin Seraphin misses a nine-footer
  2. Ramon Sessions misses a 3
  3. Bradley Beal misses a 3
  4. John Wall misses a 17-footer
  5. Wall dunks
  6. Beal misses a 16-footer
  7. Nene misses a 15-footer
  8. Sessions misses a layup (oh, no way!)

While the Wizards were busy dicking around on midrange jumpers with a Wall-Sessions-Beal-Gooden-Nene/Seraphin lineup, the Clippers had their starters in and scored nine points to bump their lead from six to 13.

On that note, let’s get to some grades, shall we?


Washington Wizards

99

Final

Box Score

L.A. Clippers

113

Nene Hilario, PF

26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -16 +/-

It’s cool that Nene can make midrange jumpers with a fair bit of reliability, considering that shot is what this antiquated offense is built around, but he might just be an enabler. If the Wizards didn’t have any players who could shoot long 2s, would they still rely heavily on long 2s? If a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it….

Nene was certainly not the least inept of the Wizards on Friday night, but he wasn’t about to earn All-Star consideration with his performance either. He was tasked with marking Blake Griffin for most of the game—never an easy job—and that didn’t go well.

Griffin notched 22 points on 19 shots, but it wasn’t his high-flying act that did Nene in. No, Nene fell victim to his own game: the midrange game. Griffin was given open look after open look from the elbow, and he knocked down a fair share of them.

Still, credit to the Brazilian big man for refusing to let Griffin put him on a poster, and the flagrant he received for playing solid defense was bullshit.


Paul Pierce, SF

30 MIN | 2-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -20 +/-

This was not Pierce’s best game, and the 2-for-11 sorta speaks for itself. After draining a 3 to start the scoring, he then missed his next eight shots from the field. Some were good looks that just didn’t go in, others were forced shots that shouldn’t have been taken, especially when he was ice cold.

Credit the wily vet though. As Chris Paul tried to take him one-on-one in the first period, the 37-year-old Pierce stayed with the 29-year-old Paul, didn’t bite on his fakes, followed him under the hoop, blocked his reverse and secured the rebound. Kudos, ol’ timer.


Marcin Gortat, C

29 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -18 +/-

On paper, Marcin Gortat wasn’t bad. And he was aggressive early, shot the ball well, made a few nice passes near the basket, and stayed out of foul trouble.

Nobody likes going up against DeAndre Jordan (or the Clippers), but Gortat is listed at 6-foot-11. How can you be 6-foot-11 and be so unintimidating in the paint? Five rebounds for the game(1) is unacceptable when Jordan is out there pulling down 23(2).

Gortat grabbed the sixth-most rebounds in the game on Friday, behind Jordan, Nene, Griffin, Wall and Paul. That’s right, both starting point guards outrebounded the Wizards’ starting center. Even Otto Porter managed to grab three boards in 11 minutes, and Porter hasn’t been able to do anything well recently.

Gortat also made a brief appearance in garbage time, but Randy Wittman is so uncomfortable with him in the fourth that he came out before the game ended.


John Wall, PG

39 MIN | 7-18 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | -21 +/-

Ah yes, that one bright light, that shining beacon of hope. Not Wall’s best game by any stretch, but the thought of watching this game without him is shudder-inducing. Though he took too many long jumpers early in the shot clock, Wall did a nice job of distributing throughout the game and put his teammates in position to make shots or plays; they rarely made either.

The Wall-Star did everything he could to bring the Wizards back in the fourth quarter, and he nearly did, but it just wasn’t meant to be. He rarely pushed the ball in transition, perhaps because the team was exhausted, maybe because the Clippers excel in transition or possibly because he just didn’t have it in him. Whatever the reason, the tempered pace hurt the Wiz.

He also broke out his trademark 360° layup, which is always fun, and this one was especially enjoyable as he made Matt Barnes look like an ass in the process.


Bradley Beal, SG

37 MIN | 5-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -10 +/-

For a guy that put up 18 points on 10 shots, Beal was really quiet. Most of his numbers piled up at the beginning of the second period, when he led the second unit in a surge to get Washington within single digits. After that, he basically disappeared.

The only two plays that stick out after that are the alley-oop he tossed to Wall in transition and the ridiculous, tentative nonsense he pulled another trip down the court, also in transition. On that play, Beal found himself without any teammates on the break and had a look at an open 3. He opted not to take the 3, instead dribbled in about two steps closer(3) to a defender and fired up a long 2 that barely grazed the front of the rim.

Aside from that, Beal will be most remembered in this game for allowing shooters wide-open 3s. The Clippers would set a screen on Beal, who sometimes went over and took the wrong angle and sometimes went under and gave up an easy 3. It was an awful game for the Panda on defense.


Drew Gooden, PF

21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -4 +/-

Drew Gooden had himself another surprisingly effective game, his third such game in a row. It obviously wasn’t even close to enough for the Wizards, and Griffin had his way with the defensively-challenged reserve, but good(en) on him for not embarrassing himself. After all, it’s not his fault he was forced to cover Griffin, and nobody should expect that to end well for Gooden.


Otto Porter Jr., SF

11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6 +/-

Sigh. Remember when we all had so much hope for the former Georgetown Hoya? Those were better times.


Martell Webster, SF

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

Laugh all you want, this might have been Martell Webster’s best game in a month. Yes, I realize he played two garbage-time minutes and scored just two points, but have you seen what he’s done the last month? It hasn’t been good.


Rasual Butler, SF

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

Casual Rasual Butler played 27 minutes against the Sacramento Kings on March 14, 16 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers two days later, 11 minutes against the Jazz on Wednesday, and just four pitiful minutes last night against the Clippers. He played the final 47 seconds of the first period, missed a desperation heave at the buzzer, then didn’t re-enter the game until it was time to empty the bench. Randy Wittman’s Wild Rotation Extravaganza continues.


Kevin Seraphin, C

15 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +11 +/-

The good news is Kevin Seraphin hit a few of those hook shots that work for some inexplicable reason, and at least one came right over DeAndre Jordan.

The bad news is everything else Seraphin did on the court. Defense: awful. Rebounding: virtually nonexistent. Bothering the opposing bigs: Jordan and Griffin laugh at the suggestion.


Ramon Sessions, PG

27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6 +/-

Ramon Sessions etched his presence into the Wizards 2014-15 season highlight reel by chasing down the loose ball after Wall deflected a pass, then he found Wall streaking for his aforementioned spin cycle layup. That’s one thing I can’t knock him for: Sessions has impressed me with his hustle since coming to the Wizards.

Not much else has been very impressive, however. “Sesh” put up a long 3 early in the shot clock at one point, which is always a bad sign. He missed another layup and is now shooting just 45-for-107 (42%) from within five feet of the basket this year. His defense wasn’t exactly threatening, either.


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  1. On just eight rebound chances.
  2. On 24 rebound chances.
  3. #PandaRange!
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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.