Neither Good Nor Bad, But Worse — Wizards at 76ers, DC Council 57 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Neither Good Nor Bad, But Worse — Wizards at 76ers, DC Council 57

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Updated: February 27, 2016

The D.C. Council… TAI’s highlights, seen and heard, from each Washington Wizards game. Now: Wizards at 76ers Game 57, Feb. 26, 2016 from the Wells Fargo Center, via John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend).

M.V.P.

The fluffy, pastel pink reality that the Wizards got to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. Randy Wittman, an increasingly regular critic of the ineffectiveness of his very own coaching, said his team’s offense was “shit” in a post-game interview. Astute observation. Brett Brown’s Philly boys ran tighter sets resulting in some eye-catching action rarely seen from the underachieving Wizards. Had two or three more of their 25 3-point attempts gone in, or a couple more of their attempts at the rim resulted in points, they might have driven home with a win. One is left to wonder how Wittman would describe his FAMED defense, which through three quarters allowed Philly to shoot 45.8 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3.

The takeaway: It’s hard to imagine the Wiz beating any other NBA team besides last night than the one that’s now 8-50 this season.

L.V.P.

The harsh reality that the Philadelphia 76ers are, despite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-strong coaching efforts by Mr. Brown on a nightly basis, a professional basketball team with just 8 wins in 58 games. Even so, they arguably (and I will make the argument) outplayed the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

The LVP, then, is the least valuable play, instead of player.

Philly trailed by just five points, 94-99, with almost a minute and a half to play, after Nik Stauskas made a reverse layup (assisted by Jahlil Okafor). What happened next must have been both heart-rending and gut-wrenching to watch for Sixers fans, if not all too familiar:

  • Ramon Sessions Jump Shot: Missed — 01:03
  • Bradley Beal Offensive Rebound — 01:01
  • John Wall Driving Layup Shot: Missed — 00:44
  • Marcin Gortat Offensive Rebound — 00:44
  • Gortat Putback Layup Shot: Made — 00:44
  • 101-94, Wizards

Goddamn that’s rough. Philadelphia failed to secure two defensive rebounds which would have given them a chance to cut the deficit to four, worst case, or one, best case (four-point play). Instead, the Wizards were lucky enough to milk almost a minute off the game clock AND increase their lead to seven.

To add insult to point total injury, Ish Smith was then whistled for a five-second inbounds violation after a Philly timeout.

Unreal.

X-Factor(s).

John Wall, the number one reason the Sixers are not 9-50 today. (The second was offensive rebounds, where Washington owned the glass 17-7, helping them win second-chance points 9-2.)

As Bryan Frantz wrote in his Key Legislature, which has all the details you need on Jimmy Wall’s heroic save (two rebounds short of a triple-double), Wall “dominated the second half, leading Washington in points, rebounds, and assists, and if not for Robert Covington’s random 10-rebound outburst after halftime, he would have led the game in each.”

He was great in the second half and, again (not at all being facetious), his existence saved the Wizards from a loss in Philadelphia.

That Game Was … So Inspiring

If inspiring meant something entirely different. That game was the pits. Randy Wittman’s Famous Country Coaching was stamped all over this one. You know the stamp—it’s bright blue and reads “Homestyle Coaching From The Guts and Giblets.”

Rotations: below average.
Scheme: below average.
Execution: below average.
Opponent: so far below average they don’t even register on the competitive scale.

And yet this is what Wittman said after the game:

“They’ve proved to me they can do it. I’m going to continue to harp with our guys. Our offense will take care of itself. We’re going to score points if we get our defense to be active and help our offense.”

IT WAS THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS … WHO WERE MORE FUN TO WATCH.

The Wizards, in clear as day ACTUAL reality, proved nothing Friday night except that they’re a franchise lost in a waveless ocean, without a rudder, oars or sails. And, for the umpteenth time in the past few years, that they have a coach with little business calling the shots.

I’ll leave you with a Twitter rant, of sorts, from TAI’s own Chris Thompson. As you read, keep in mind that what Washington values above all else is players who have played professional basketball. (See: Ernie Grunfeld’s history with first-round picks.) Philadelphia, on the other hand, values professionals who understand a system and know how to play with each other. The distinction between the two is chasmic. The former is founded on gut feels and prayers (instead of information), favorites of Wittmans and Grunfelds and Leonsi, and sometimes results in the Brooklyn Nets. The latter breeds long-term success, although achieveing it is … well, a process.

 

 

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.