DC Council 71: Wizards at Warriors — What Horror, That Third Quarter | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 71: Wizards at Warriors — What Horror, That Third Quarter

Updated: March 24, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 71:
Washington Wizards versus the Golden State Warriors in Oracle Arena.
Contributor: East Coast-livin’ Bryan Frantz.


Do you know how to tell when things are really, really bad? I mean aside from simply watching that dumpster fire of a second half last night, of course.

It’s not when Kevin Seraphin leads your team in made field goals for a quarter. It’s not when he earns that honor with one made field goal. It’s not when Steve Buckhantz has to inform viewers that said made field goal prevented the Wizards from tying the record for the fewest in a quarter. It’s not when Ramon Sessions throws the ball five feet away from any Washington player and into the stands, and it hardly registers as a blip on the shit-covered radar screen mere minutes later. It’s not when the team’s starting power forward has four turnovers in one half, and that was the good half. It’s not even when all this happens on national television in the midst of what was billed as a season-defining road trip.

No, you know it’s really bad when you stare at your computer screen as the game is winding down, getting ready to distribute grades for the trainwreck you just witnessed, and you wonder aloud which grades you can get away with inflating past an F.

And you realize you can’t get away with any. Not without a disclaimer, at least. And I’m not bound to a curve.

Not even one grade deserves to be above an F, because if a Kevin Seraphin vomit-toss is the only multi-point shot that passes through that regulation-sized cylinder in a span of more than 15 minutes, it was a full team effort. Even Toure’ Murry, he of 18 total minutes this season, managed to make an ass of himself (and roll an ankle) in the second half of this shitstorm.

Like I said, full team effort.

And I say effort without even the slightest hint of irony. I mean, you’ve got to try to be that bad, right? This is the NBA. And not the Philadelphia 76ers NBA, in which a 1FGM-quarter would be applauded because the end goal is bigger than any one game or even season. No, I mean the efforting NBA, in which the Washington Wizards, despite playing a second half that was less aesthetically pleasing than a Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich election, still hold a 40-31 record.

I know nobody on the Wizards deserves better than an F for that game. You know it. My guess is, deep down, most players, coaches and front office folks that wake up every morning and spew PR spiel about “effort” and “mental physicality” at the Verizon Center know it.

But come on, I can’t just give every player an F, right? There was a time—seemingly long, long ago—when the Washington Wizards were actually trailing the league-leading Golden State Warriors, in their home arena where they have lost just two games all season, by a mere three points at halftime.

There must have been some good. Let’s buckle up and dig deep, sports fans, and keep in mind that these grades are relative.

Washington Wizards



Box Score

Golden State Warriors


Nene Hilario, PF

29 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 7 PTS | -20 +/-

Aside from the four first-half turnovers, Nene was … still pretty terrible. He got completely and utterly dominated by Draymond Green, though he’s hardly the first to fall victim to that glorious manbeast, and was one of the few Wizards who was genuinely awful in both halves. Green went 5-for-11 with 13 points and six boards, and he added a trio of 3s on eight attempts in a sort of “Haha look what I can do and you can’t but also your coach won’t allow you to do” move, but he got his numbers in just 22 minutes.

Paul Pierce, SF

23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -8 +/-

Paul Pierce was one of the better players in a Wizards uniform Monday night, in that he was mostly uninvolved. Midway through the first period, Pierce passed up a semi-contested 3 to find Bradley Beal for an open 3, which Beal knocked down. This was an incredibly basic, fundamental basketball play; Beal is the team’s best perimeter shooter, numbers be damned, and no defender was in position to contest the shot.

Yet it’s worthy of praise because the basic fundamentals of offense routinely escape this team, and even the great Paul Pierce, a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the most reliable offensive weapons of the 21st century, seems to have forgotten some of them now that he’s spent some time with the Wizards.

Marcin Gortat, C

24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -21 +/-

I actually liked Marcin Gortat’s aggressiveness in the first few minutes of the game. He grabbed a handful of rebounds early, wasn’t totally atrocious on defense and all four of his shot attempts in the first stanza came within 10 feet of the hoop. He also had to deal with Nene getting beaten time and again on defense, on the perimeter, in the paint and everywhere in between.

But then the rest of the game happened. The good things Gortat had done earlier disappeared and Andrew Bogut had his way on the glass. Bogut finished with 12 rebounds—well above his season average of 8.0 per game—and needed just 23 minutes to do it. Gortat had five boards in the first quarter (he played all 12 minutes), then grabbed just two more in 11 minutes and 33 seconds of action.

As per usual, Gortat was also the only starter to not play in the final frame, yet this time the question was why any of the others were playing. Down by 24 against the best team in the NBA, on the road, with “offensive efficiency” rapidly becoming an ironic term? The Wizards had no chance at coming back in that game, and the starters shouldn’t have played a second between them.

John Wall, PG

33 MIN | 4-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -28 +/-

In the first half, a triple-double wasn’t out of the question for John Wall. While Golden State’s electrifying point guard was doing his thing, Wall racked up 11 points (all in the first period), five assists and three rebounds by halftime, and he actually hit a nifty buzzer-beater to end the first quarter.

Believe it or not, the second half was a slightly different story. Wall went 0-for-7, grabbed two rebounds and didn’t record a single assist. In fairness, I’d like to see you get credit for an assist when baskets come about as often as world wars. On the plus side, Wall didn’t turn it over once all game. On the negative side, which is exponentially larger than its counterpart, Steph Curry dropped 24 points on him in just 28 minutes, and it could have been so, so much worse.

Bradley Beal, SG

34 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -16 +/-

Hey, here’s a fun game. It’s called “Guess When It Was.” Here are the rules: I present a scenario and you try to guess the last time it occurred. Ready? Begin!

When was the last time Bradley Beal made 10 or more field goals in a game?

*do do do do do do do do…*

All set? And the answer is… December 3! Nearly four months ago, or 111 days before this game.

And no, he didn’t cross that threshold against the Warriors.

Beal has looked like a shell of his former self (which was a brief flash of a self) for much of this season, and by going 4-for-11 with no more than two of any other traditional stat, impressive outings from Big Panda are sadly becoming as extinct as his nicknamesake.

Drew Gooden, PF

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

Drew Gooden put the ball between his legs once (didn’t accomplish anything) and dunked it once (not on the same play). I also vaguely recall him trying to save a loose ball and falling over himself out of bounds, while also not saving said loose ball, but at this point, I could’ve just dreamt that.

Toure’ Murry, SF

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

In a game filled with so many moments of sadness, poor Toure’ Murry was unfortunately the focus of the saddest of all. RIP Toure’ Murry’s ankle and pride.

Otto Porter Jr., SF

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

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve officially crossed the halfway point. Randy Wittman applauds your focus, but your effort has been underwhelming.

This is where things get truly confusing. The neverending merry-go-round of Wizards small forwards took another interesting twist Monday night, as Martell Webster received the bulk of the minutes at backup 3.

For those of you following along at home, a quick recap of how Pierce’s backups have split the minutes on this four-game road trip:

March 18, at Utah: Butler-11, Porter-10, Webster-DNP-CD
March 20, at Los Angeles Clippers: Porter-11, Butler-4, Webster-2
March 22, at Sacramento: Butler- 20, Webster-12, Porter-5
March 23, at Golden State: Webster-22, Porter-6, Butler-3

In the final three games of the trip, each of the three backups at one point received the most minutes of the group and the least minutes of the group. I’ve given up on trying to explain this phenomenon.

Martell Webster, SF

22 MIN | 1-4 FG | 4-5 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -27 +/-

According to NBA.com, Webster set a season-high in playing time with 21:33, free throws made with four, and he tied a season-high with six points. So here’s your silver lining, folks: Martell Webster had his best game of the season. Swell.

Rasual Butler, SF

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

Not even gonna bother. See above.

Kevin Seraphin, C

24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -10 +/-

With 12 points, eight rebounds, two dimes, and a block, Kevin Seraphin at least padded the stat sheet. He did not play as well as those numbers suggest, and his defense is about as fun to watch as the team’s offense. Draymond Green could’ve put up 40 on Seraphin if the situation called for it, and he wouldn’t have been that hard.

DeJuan Blair, C

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

He missed as many shots as he grabbed rebounds (three), and his fouls fell just short of that mark (two). But hey, he played and didn’t truck anybody or curse out any teammates, I don’t think, so stop being so picky and take the win where you can get it.

Ramon Sessions, PG

20 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -4 +/-

Ramon Sessions should be so much better than he is. It’s remarkable that he’s as ineffective as he is, truly. He missed yet another layup, which is somehow still surprising every time it happens despite how common it is, but he nailed a spot-up 3. I don’t know. I just don’t.

You Sure You Want Vines? Alright, Here Goes…

Here we see the Wizards forgetting that other teams actually shoot and make 3s reliably:

Here we see the Wizards failing to offense:

Here we see the first and only Wizards make of the third quarter:

Here we see Ramon Sessions things:

And here we see the two best things about this game:

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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.