[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 69, Washington Wizards at Golden State Warriors; contributors: Rashad Mobley, Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie via television broadcast.]
“Go to the basket?”
[John Wall kindly requests that Klay Thompson make his way toward the basket.]
As Washington’s dreary season slogs along, faithful followers of this 2-15 team should realize that no loss is a surprise anymore. Blowouts, overtime defeats, missed game-winners, unsuccessful comebacks, and so many—nay, too many—“moral victories.” Even the Wizards’ two wins caused discomfort throughout their conclusions. Personally, I expect the worst and then laugh at the absurdity of the outcomes to mask my disappointed sorrow.
Twitter hashtags #SoWizards and #BecauseWizards exist for a reason. And, somehow, the Wizards found yet another unique way to lose an NBA contest on Saturday night, falling to Golden State, 101-97. This squad continues to be stricken by late-game calamity.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry made two free throws to put Warriors up three points, 99-96, with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Warriors then wisely fouled Wizards guard Bradley Beal on the floor before he was able to get a potential game-tying 3-point shot off. Randy Wittman acknowledged in post game presser that it was a wise strategy employed by the Warriors since Washington was out of timeouts. Beal was surprised by the foul, believing that he was in the act of shooting.
“I didn’t know they were going to foul. I thought he was going to let me shoot, but the ref called it. He said that he called it before I shot it. But I didn’t take another dribble, so I thought it was three shots. … It was a smart foul because you shoot two free throws.”
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 17, Washington Wizards vs Golden State Warriors; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 17th game of the season at home against the Golden State Warriors are TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and guest Jordan Ramire (@JRAM_91), who writes about the Warriors for the ESPN True Hoop blog Warriors World
Wizards Starters (2-14):
A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Emeka Okafor
The hawk-eyed Sherlock Holmes once said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” While I can appreciate that bit of wisdom, the Wizards’ spit-roasting at the hands of the Golden State Warriors was no Boscombe Valley Mystery. The Wizards simply weren’t prepared to play — a truth so plain that even Mr. Lestrade wouldn’t miss it.
Precisely when the game was lost, however, is up for debate. I would point to the 12-2 run the Warriors made to end the first quarter, capped off by Monta Ellis’ 36-foot 3-pointer that ripped through the net at the buzzer. That 3-ball gave the Dubs a 41-24 lead, one they would never come close to surrendering.
But Randy Wittman, Flip Saunders’ stand-in, revealed that the game had been all but decided before tip off. In fact, his Wizards may have lost it in the locker room hours before the game.
“It was a vibe that I got from my team that didn’t sit well with me before we even hit the court tonight,” Wittman said in a postgame presser. “We didn’t look like we were ready to play, and that’s my job to have my team prepared to play.
[Remember when Nyjer Morgan, former Washington National and current Milwaukee Brewer, showed up at a Wizards game, in the tickets the team provided him, while wearing Warriors gear? We do. Photo: A. McGinnis]
The Golden State Warriors come to Washington this evening. And no, Andray Blatche, Kwame Brown is not playing to soak up boos from the D.C. crowd that might be otherwise directed toward you… because he is hurt. The Warriors announced in mid-January that Brown would miss around three-months of action due to surgery needed to repiar a torn pectoral muscle. Otherwise, between John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, there should be plenty of action and excitement to put the “U-N” back in ”F Street,” at least for this night. For today’s 3-on-3 we have J.M. Poulard (@ShyneIV) of ESPN TrueHoop blog WarriorsWorld.net, along with TAI’s Sam Permutt (@SammyVert) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) The Golden State Warriors are rumored to be heavy suitors for JaVale McGee, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that they are more likely to pursue McGee in restricted free-agency this summer rather than through a trade this season. Golden State has David Lee tied up for 4-years, $57 million after this season; Monta Ellis for 2-years, $22 million (ETO for 2013-14); and Andris Biedrins for 2-years, $18 million (ETO for 2013-14) [salary info via Sham Sports]. Knowing they might have to give money to other young players in the near future, such as Stephen Curry, how much can the Warriors afford to offer McGee so that the Wizards don’t match?
My column last week in the DCist got delayed due to my account, so it was posted this morning for you to kindly read. It’s all about how the “Our Time” motto worked out for the Virginia Commonwealth Rams, but not so much for the Washington Wizards. And as evident by the posters above from the crowd seen on television at VCU’s big win over Kansas yesterday, it was clearly a theme that resonated from when Rams coach Shaka Smart outlined it for his team at the beginning of their season. So a big congrats goes to VCU … go check out my DCist column … and the below screen shot captures how the ticket that I purchased in Las Vegas last July (while I was out there for the NBA Summer League) for the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA national title feels.
Randy Wittman seems to be a guy who likes to color within the lines. And sure there is an occasional twitch, a little jerk that sends his coaching marker beyond expectations – take for example his colorful exchange with JaVale McGee, which left both men red in the face.
But slip-ups like that, at the very least, let you know that the guy is human.
“Trust me, I don’t want to be standing here talking with you guys,” he said with a smirk before Wednesday night’s game versus the Golden State Warriors, filling in for Flip Saunders, who was with his ailing mother who recently passed away. Even with his disarming smile, you could tell that there was a fire in Wittman’s words, a communication of purpose. Such passion is expected from a man who has lived and breathed basketball since the ’70s, I imagine.
“The effort has to be better, obviously,” said Wittman during his pregame presser. “It can’t fluctuate. […] To win in this league and be a winner in this league you can’t have fluctuations in your effort, energy, and desire playing. Chicago kind of took that out of us … they kind of took the will to win away from us and that can’t happen.”
Golden State Warriors rookie Ekpe Udoh got off of the team bus on Wednesday night in Washington expecting to play against the agile Wizards frontcourt. The scouting report his coaches gave him stressed the athleticism and versatility of JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis. Udoh knew that type of game would work in his favor. What Udoh did not expect: to hear Golden State coach Keith Smart tell him that he’d get his first NBA start.
“Man, coach just walked by me and whispered something, but I really didn’t hear him at first,” Udoh said after the 106-102 Warriors win with a big smile on his face. “Then he told me that I would be starting and I was just surprised, but I did my best to calm down and just be ready.”
After the game, Smart explained his rationale for starting Udoh over Andris Biedrins: