Shredded by Schröder — Wizards vs Hawks, DC Council 71 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Shredded by Schröder — Wizards vs Hawks, DC Council 71

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Updated: March 24, 2016

The D.C. Council… TAI’s highlights, seen and heard, from each Washington Wizards game. Now: Wizards vs Hawks, Game 71, March 24, 2016 from Washington, D.C., via Kyle Weidie (@truth_about_it).

M.V.P.

It’s a tad batty to ponder how much Dennis Schröder affected the game in so little time on the court (20 minutes and 17 seconds), but it happened: 23 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers; 9 attempted shots (7 makes), and 9 attempted free throws (8 makes).

More #analytics: Schröder touched the ball 54 times and passed it 36 times, and he finished an almost game-high plus-27 (teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. was +30).

Counterpart John Wall touched the ball 106 times and passed it 76 times in 37 minutes, and he finished minus-7, which wasn’t even close to the worst on the Wizards. See, Washington’s bench was flat-out terrible on Wednesday.

Back to Dennis the Menace. His noteworthy impact started toward the end of the first quarter when the Hawks went on a 7-0 run to end the period, pulling within 22-25 of the up-to-that-point dominant Wizards. Washington generally aimed to continue to go under screens against Schröder, and neither he nor Atlanta really bit. Instead, Schröder got some isolations against Garrett Temple and Temple couldn’t check him, from one-on-one moves to fouls. Atlanta’s pick-setting bigs also seemed to slip more screens to the basket in order to further clog any Wizards guards going under. Also: Al Horford sets (/gets away with) a ton of illegal screens.

But early in the second quarter as Atlanta continued to pounce, Ramon Sessions and Jared Dudley switched against Schröder and Hardaway Jr.—Comcast’s Phil Chenier called out the Wizards for switching too quickly—and so Dennis hit an 18-foot jumper on Dudley.

Later, at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter, Schröder entered the game for Hardaway Jr. The Hawks were down 67-70. He proceeded to do this: hit a 3-pointer in Wall’s grill, abuse Temple for good measure, and get Atlanta rolling down the hill, close the third on a 14-5 run, and start the fourth on a 20-11 run before checking out at the 6:32 mark. It was all over from there.

Said John Wall, afterward:

“It really was the end of the first. They went on a 7-0 run when we were up 25-15 and, to start the second quarter, they got off to a really good start. In the third, we missed shots and they made shots and they got out in the open court.”

L.V.P.

We compare Wall’s “metrics” to Schröder’s above not necessarily to belittle Wall’s game, but if we’re being honest, he pretty much ghosted from the standards he’s set for himself—13 points on 17 shots, 0 free throws attempted, 10 assists, and 7 turnovers is not playoff cutting it.

But it’s really all about the bench. Washington’s starters, led by Wall, finished plus-2 in 17.1 minutes. The second unit—Ramon Sessions, Marcus Thornton, Bradley Beal, Jared Dudley, and Nene—played a mere 5.9 minutes together and lost 14 entire points to the Hawks (-14).

But amazingly at some (various) points, when Atlanta gathered no moss, a five-man crew of Wall, Temple, Porter, Dudley, and Gortat sported an amazing minus-12 in as few of 2.3 minutes together.

Two groups of Schröder-led Hawks did the damage:

  1. Schröder, Hardaway, Kyle Korver, Mike Scott, and Al Horford:
    +13 (9.3 minutes)
  2. Schröder, Hardaway Jr., Thabo Sefolosha, Paul Millsap, and KRIS HUMPHRIES:
    +15 (4.6 mins)

Atlanta’s starters were minus-7 in 10.9 minutes.

X-Factor.

After going 1-for-2 from deep on Monday, the Hawks made a concerted effort to get Kyle Korver more shots and he got off 10 of them from beyond the arc, making five. Randy Wittman was none too pleased with how his team was supposed to switch on defense.

“We didn’t have the same energy level. We allowed Korver ten 3s up, we allowed him two shots on Monday. Those are the things we were just a step behind everything, our switches weren’t good, we were not on the same page, just really different from Monday.”

But there’s also that part about all the Hawks making 17 3s. Eight different Hawks made at least one 3 and five different Hawks made at least two. Atlanta is sixth in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game, and 17 is their new season high in game 72. Matter of fact: 17 or more made 3s has happened 41 times in this 2015-16 NBA season going into Wednesday night’s games (13 such instances owned by the Golden State Warrios). The Wizards have allowed an opponent to make 17 or more 3s four times, previously tied for most with the Kings and the Pelicans, but now the Wizards have a dishonorable lead with five.

Said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer about Tolstoy and Chinese philosophy:

“I thought he was great. His attack was really good. His aggressiveness. It’s always a little bit of both. Paul [Millsap] made some shots, Mike Scott made some shots, Al [Horford] made some shots, now they’re a little bit worried about those guys Dennis can attack. It’s a little bit of a yin and a yang between making shots, getting in the paint and us opening up shots.”

But guess what: Marcus Thornton (a garbage-time x-factor in essence) went 5-for-10 on 3s (23 points in 23 minutes), so that negated Kyle Korver (yes, I said it).

And you could even say Morris’ 3-for-6 effort from deep negates Al Horford’s 3-for-6.

But the rest of the Wizards shot 4-for-14 on 3s, and the rest of the Hawks shot 9-for-18.

To all the x-factors of the world: 3-pointers, man.

That Game Was … A telltale heart of a third quarter that seemed seemed so fun, at first.

Markieff Morris, left with only enough time on the shot clock to look for his own attempt, used his shoulder and a side dribble to back Paul Millsap into the paint and sink a 9-foot mini-jumper. Millsap countered with a 14-foot fadeaway from the baseline. Then Horford pump-faked Gortat out of touch with the hardwood, drove to the rim, and found Millsap cutting for a layup. Morris answered with a 3-pointer. And so these teams dueled, and John Wall seemed in command, finding Otto Porter for a midrange 2 for his eighth assist of the game, keeping Washington ahead with a 65-61 lead at the 7:35 mark of the third (the Wizards ended the first half up four points). But then Wall turned the ball over twice in a row, Millsap knocked down a few more (17 points, 12 in the third), and the Wizards just started missing shots for the hell of it, or whatever Wall said about what happened in the period.

And then both teams sort of floundered—one field goal between them (Atlanta’s) from the 5:50 mark to the 3:11 mark when Schröder hit that aforementioned most valuable player 3-pointer on Wall to tie the game at 70. And then the game, for the Wizards, basically became trying to affix construction paper to velvet with Elmer’s, unglued.

And so the 10-seed Wizards sit 2.5 game back of each the 8-seed Pistons and the 7-seed Pacers; sitting in between are the Bulls, one game from the last seed and 1.5 games in front Washington.

To begin our conclusion, John Wall in the post game on earnest outlooks masking one of the four stages of grief:

“I wouldn’t call it a setback. It’s not a setback. Just the other game, we made the 3s and they didn’t make them. Tonight, they got the looks, they made them, and we didn’t. We played the same way. It was basically the same score as we beat them.”

 

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.