DC Council 76: Wizards vs Knicks — Taking Care of Business | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

DC Council 76: Wizards vs Knicks — Taking Care of Business

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Updated: April 4, 2015

Truth About It.net’s D.C. Council:
Grading Wizards players from Game No. 76: Wizards versus Knicks in Washington.
Contributor: Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnisfrom the Verizon Center.

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Wizards Knicks Tip

Over the years, two similar threads normally occur when New York plays at the Verizon Center. The large contingent of overbearing New York media hover around like jackals and the Phone Booth is full of loud, obnoxious Knicks fans.

However, the malaise of their awful season has infected both parties as they were oddly silent in D.C. on Friday night. The New York beat writers had no questions for Knicks Coach Derek Fisher in his pre-game media availability and the Wizards fans completely drowned out their New York counterparts.

Washington jumped on New York early, running up a 20-point lead after one quarter. After allowing the Knicks to fight back in the second quarter, the Wizards pulled away in the third and finished the game on cruise control.

The Wizards easily took care of business by defeating a weaker foe and got rest for key players. They’re in Memphis tonight to go against one of the top teams in the NBA.

Let us council this one.


New York Knicks

87

Final

Box Score

Washington Wizards

101

Drew Gooden, PF

23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +22 +/-

As the Wizards finish out the season, the high play of Gooden has been a pleasant surprise. He is turning into the stretch 4 this franchise has needed throughout the John Wall era. He continues to knock down 3-pointers, which is opening more space in the offense for off-ball cuts and driving lanes. “Drizzle” also brings the energy: his 13 rebounds against the Knicks were a game-high.


 

Otto Porter Jr., SF

29 MIN | 7-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +24 +/-

Throughout the season, people on #WizardsTwitter have been adamant about the team giving Porter more run. Another solid outing by the second-year player proves those online folks had a salient point. With Paul Pierce sitting out, Porter got the start and made his presence felt. He knocked down open looks, put down dunks on lobs from Wall, and wreaked havoc in the passing lanes. Two of his steals led to fast-break dunks.

Still unsure if Porter should start over Pierce (Wittman will never do that anyway), but he definitely deserves to be the first wing sub off the bench.

As the media gathered around to speak with Otto about his game, he joked with Gortat that Seraphin stole two of his rebounds, which prevented him from getting a double-double. John Wall correctly identified how this needs to play out for Porter post-game:

“When Otto plays with us (starters), he has to play that same way with the second unit.”

I asked Porter about playing with the starters compared to the reserves.

“It is not much different,” he said. “Sessions can push the ball too. Get out and run. Guys like make plays, too. When I am in there with the second unit, I try to do the same thing.”


Marcin Gortat, C

30 MIN | 9-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +22 +/-

Over the past few days, the pixelators were pixelating about Gortat’s comments after the 76ers victory. Simply, Marcin wants the ball more and the Wizards are a better team when their 60-million-dollar center gets it. The Polish man dominated the Knicks weak front line. He used angles to get free, rolled to hoop and finished effectively with both hands. Most importantly, Gortat’s confidence is sky high and the winter funk he went through is a thing of the past.


John Wall, PG

29 MIN | 3-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 18 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | +24 +/-

A few before hours tip off, I asked Knicks Coach Derek Fisher about John Wall, and about his game plan to contain the All-Star.

“He is a good player. He can score and facilitate. Our job tonight is to make that difficult for him,” said Fisher. “We respect him and respect what he is doing but we are not here to celebrate how good he is.”

John was ice-cold from the field, didn’t earn one trip to free throw line and finished the game with only six points. Considering Wall averaged more than 30 points per game last week, this would be considered a win for New York.

Yet Fisher’s squad failed to stop Optimus Dime Effect: the game turned into a celebration of how dominant a point guard Wall can be without scoring the basketball. John sliced up the porous New York Knicks with an array of dump-off passes, lobs, and kick-outs. He racked up a career-high 18 assists. It was similar to watching an elite NFL quarterback work two-minute-drill magic against a poor, prevent defense.

Had he not sat out the entire fourth quarter, Wall likely would have added to his assist total:

“Everyone on my team was telling me to try and get 20. That is one of my goals to get 20. I keep falling short.”


Bradley Beal, SG

36 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +11 +/-

There are a few signs that the Bradley Beal who burst onto the NBA scene last spring with outstanding playoff performances has returned. He is running the pick-and-roll better, his playmaking skills have improved and his sweet shooting stroke is still pure … although the frustrating aspects of his game often drown out the positive steps. He scored 18 points on 18 field goal attempts. He had no free throw attempts and took only three 3-pointers versus the Knicks.

It is offensively absurd that Beal, a 41 percent shooter from downtown, attempts so few 3s. Beal seems to lack a plan on offense about where he wants to go with the ball, and defers to teammates at the last minute. The Wizards rarely get good looks in these situations. If Washington is going to make a deep postseason run, Beal has to put up big numbers.

Beal scored 14 of his 18 points in second half and I asked him what was the difference. “I don’t remember having a slow first half. I just remember the second half,” he said.


 

Kris Humphries, PF

25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -8 +/-

The rust was still showing in Kris Humphries’ second appearance after missing almost two months with an injury. His passes were a tad off and his generally solid midrange game lacked polish. Coach Wittman admitted that he still is trying get back into game shape. Humphries is a key contributor to this team and the quicker he can roll back in top form, the better it is for Washington’s postseason chances.


Rasual Butler, SF

20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -12 +/-

The most memorable contribution from Butler was him dunking at the end of the game, which put the Wizards over 100 points and earned fans half-priced pizza. Knicks Coach Fisher was furious and called a timeout with 1.3 seconds left. The New York media LOVED the silly timeout and ripped into Butler.

TAI’s Rashad Mobley broke down the entire situation.


Kevin Seraphin, C

18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -8 +/-

Kevin had a few nice moves around the hoop, but his impact was minimal. I will give Seraphin credit for having the strongest hand shake game on the team. (He basically has a different one with every player.)


Ramon Sessions, PG

27 MIN | 4-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -5 +/-

With less than 3 minutes left in the game, New York cut Washington’s lead to 12 and Coach Wittman looked hard down his bench. You could see him pondering whether he might have to put the starters back in. Sessions, however, rewarded Wittman with an assist, a steal and a made jumper to close out the victory.

Sessions continues to go under the radar with his production. He rarely takes a bad shot and he’s the team’s second-best slasher behind Wall. I would like to see Sessions play more with Wall, because that could shake the offense up when things get stagnant.


 

Pictures.

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Wale Wizards

 

 

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.