Key Legislature: Wizards 99 vs Pistons 95 — A Ray of Light or a Last Stand | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 99 vs Pistons 95 — A Ray of Light or a Last Stand

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Updated: March 3, 2015

Truth About It.net’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s)
for Washington Wizards contest No. 60 versus the Pistons in D.C.,
via Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) from the Verizon Center.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Sean Fagan.

Historically, accountability has been a funny thing. It often comes too late, long after final judgments have been made and reputations, for good or for ill, have been cast in stone. Those that refuse to face the consequences of their actions often end up as historical jokes (think Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook”) or as cautionary tales for future generations.

When Randy Wittman faced the press before Saturdays’ game against the Detroit Pistons he took a different tack from the one he had stood by all season. He took full accountability for the recent failings of the Washington Wizards and threw himself under the bus, rather than employing the royal “we” that had been so noticeable in recent interviews. “I have not been doing my job,” stated Wittman. “I need to be better.”

These statements were perhaps easier to make in the safety of the knowledge that Wittman would have two vital parts of his offensive system (Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal) back in the lineup, or they could be seen as a frank assessment of a team whose moribund play could be directly correlated to one man’s stubborn refusal to adjust a rigid philosophy.

Whatever the reason, the Wizards of the first half in D.C. were a team that broke out of the paradigm they had fallen into since the All-Star break. Paul Pierce opened a game with a barrage of 3s, Nene aggressively went after Andre Drummond, and, instead of being allowed to clog the paint and force the focal point of the offense (John Wall) to take long jumpers, the Pistons were forced onto their heels, allowing Wall to slice to the basket at will.

The Wizards were clicking at max-Wittman, scoring a season-high 37 points in the first quarter. The #WittmanJava was so scalding that Drew Gooden was exhumed from the bench and immediately began drilling 17-footers, leaving scribes to wonder if all the pixels crafted over the past month had been wasted and all the Wizards truly needed was a dash of health and an offensive binge.

Accountability looks much better when one is proven right.

However, the second half provided a counterbalance to the successes of the first. The #WittmanJava cooled to room temperature, leaving an all too familiar and bitter taste dancing on the tongue of Wizards Nation, as Wittman was forced to rest his starters. The ineffectiveness of the bench almost cost the Wizards the game as the Pistons climbed back from a 21-point deficit to regain the lead. The strategy that had brought about such great gains in the early part of the game (spacing, a dash of 3-point shooting, interior scoring) were all but shut down as Ramon Sessions labored at the PG position and Garrett Temple and Kevin Seraphin meandered about the court without a sense of purpose or time. Wittman’s clockwork, steam-powered offense, so prone to breaking if even one spring is out of place, ground to a complete halt until the reinsertion of the starters. A thunderous Nene dunk finally brought the Pistons to bear, and Detroit eventually ceded the Wizards the game.

For which Wizards performance will you hold Randy Wittman accountable? Do you look at the offensive production in the first portion of the game and note that the Wizards with a healthy Bradley Beal are still a threat to the superstructure of the East. Do you take joy in the chants of the cadre of Boy Scouts who attended the game, who gathered outside the Verizon Center to chant “We’re number 4?” Or do you look at the disintegration of the second half and draw the conclusion that without permanent change, success in the long run is unsustainable?

And if the latter is the case … who is accountable?

Sean Fagan on FacebookSean Fagan on Twitter
Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and SI.com. He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.