DC Council 65: Wizards vs Grizzlies — Memphis JV Make Washington Varsity Look Elite | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 65: Wizards vs Grizzlies — Memphis JV Make Washington Varsity Look Elite

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Updated: March 13, 2015

 Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 65: Wizards versus the Memphis Grizzlies in Washington.
Contributor: Dan Diamond from D.C.

DC-Council-Logo-2

What a weird game. What a necessary win.

There were essentially three parts to the Wizards vs. Grizzlies tilt on Thursday, the Verizon Center’s first regular-season appearance on TNT in seven years.

  • A lackluster first quarter, when the Wizards couldn’t solve the Grizzlies’ unusual starting lineup. (More on them in a second.)
  • Then, a dominant stretch when Memphis couldn’t convert a play and Washington couldn’t miss. At one point, the Wizards were on a 44-14 run.
  • Finally, a limp to the finish filled with chippy fouls and anonymous NBA players—and with TNT’s commercial breaks, it felt like the game would never end.

There was less star power than normal. Washington was without Nene, whose wife had bebés, and Grizzlies Coach Dave Joerger gave Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Tony Allen the night off, while Mike Conley was out with an injury.

And for the first 18 minutes or so of the game, it seemed like Memphis’ nominal starters—including rookie JaMychal Green, getting his first career start—drove the Wiz nuts.

But the Grizzly Cubs ran out of magic, especially once Memphis had to tap its D-League-level reserves. Entering Thursday’s game, raw rookies Jordan Adams, Jarnell Stokes, and Russ Smith had about as many career minutes combined (224) as John Wall gets in six games—yet against the Wizards, Adams and Stokes ended up playing nearly half the game, and Smith got 15 minutes of court time, too.

So. The Wizards won, in a laugher. (Justifying some post-game laughter in the locker room.) But keep in mind: It’s easy to get an A when you’re getting graded on a curve.


 

Memphis Grizzlies

87

Final

Box Score

Washington Wizards

107

Drew Gooden, PF

27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +12 +/-

Gooden was cold on offense and MIA on defense to start the game, two reasons why the Wizards fell behind in the first quarter. (Gooden has no business being a starting NBA forward at this stage in his career, and it showed last night.) But as the game progressed, Gooden chipped in with a few stops, several buckets, and general veteran savvy.


Paul Pierce, SF

24 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +21 +/-

There are three members of the 1998 Draft Class still left in the league: Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Pierce. Maybe taking the floor with his one-time rookie rival (Carter) rejuvenated Old Man Pierce, because he was frisky: 15 points in the first half, including several deep 3s. Pierce also presented the Grizzlies with an interesting matchup at the power forward position, after the Wizards went small.


Marcin Gortat, C

40 MIN | 10-16 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | +22 +/-

The Polish Hammer had a vintage game, at times looking unstoppable in the post. His big night was a little deceptive—rather than be guarded by Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph, Gortat faced the immortal troika of Kostas Koufos, JaMychal Green, and Jarnell Stokes—but you’ve gotta take what the defense gives you.


John Wall, PG

30 MIN | 8-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +24 +/-

Wall made memorable plays—a jumper to beat the buzzer in the first quarter, a nifty slo-mo layup in the second—and more routine ones like finding Gortat and Seraphin around the basket and Pierce from the perimeter. The best news: With a bit of rest, he looked springy and like the John Wall of 2014. Two blocks in six seconds is special athleticism.


Bradley Beal, SG

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

Beal did almost nothing in the first half, after elbowing Memphis rookie shooting guard Jordan Adams in the nose and earning his third foul. (There appeared to be some debate over whether Adams flopped, but at Verizon, it certainly looked like there was contact.) Yes, Bao Bao generated a few exciting sparks, including an effort to steal the ball from Memphis on the inbounds. But overall, it was the latest disappointing game in what’s been a surprisingly disappointing season.


Toure’ Murry, SF

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

Murry scored his first points of the 2014-15 NBA season, and now has a round 50 points for his career.


Otto Porter Jr., SF

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

What a tease Otto can be. At times, flying to the cup … at another point, getting rejected by the rim. His shooting is terrible, but the effort is at least watchable.


Martell Webster, SF

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

It’s tough to watch this version of Martell Webster: A total non-factor, after last season’s solid sixth man campaign.


Rasual Butler, SF

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

Butler has regressed back to the mean and kept sinking. He missed several wide-open jumpers, and shouldn’t be playing more than a few minutes of garbage time at this point.


Kevin Seraphin, C

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

What a turbulent third quarter: After the lumbering Frenchman was slammed to the floor by Jarnell Stokes, he seemingly retaliated by knocking Jon Leuer off the rim in a scary foul. Wittman said he liked Seraphin’s anger—but this is the NBA, not the WWE. No place for that.


DeJuan Blair, C

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

DeJuan Blair was … there.


Ramon Sessions, PG

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

Sessions seemed to do just one thing on offense—get to the rim—but if he can just do that, it’s enough. His fiery play seemed to help jog the Wizards in the second quarter, when they most needed a lift.


Nene Hilario, PF

DNP PERSONAL REASONS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

Nene was out for childbirth. (His wife’s.)


Randy Wittman

Playing another team’s JV is enough to make any Varsity coach look brilliant. But to his credit, Wittman did a good job of finding a lineup that worked on offense and stifled Memphis on defense. (He was also extremely jovial with the press afterward, which doesn’t technically factor into these grades—but let’s be honest, it makes it easier for everybody.)


 

The Vines.

Wall’s nifty finger roll.

KSLife’s hard foul.

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Dan Diamond
Contributor at TAI