[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. 18, Washington Wizards at New Orleans Hornets; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 18th game of the season against the Hornets in New Orleans are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest James Grayson (@jsgrayson), who writes about the Hornets for the ESPN TrueHoop blog Hornets 24/7.
Wizards Starters (2-15):
Jordan Crawford?/Shaun Livingston?, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Emeka Okafor
When the Wizards last faced the Pistons in D.C., via TAI’s Adam McGinnis:
This has been quite a week for Coach John Calipari. On Monday night, his Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA championship. Yesterday, he emphatically declared that Kentucky was the best job in basketball coaching, and he has no intentions of leaving. Today, it was announced that his former All-American point guard (at Memphis), Derrick Rose, may finally play for the Chicago Bulls after nearly a month hiatus. Best of all, tonight Coach Cal can watch two more of his former point guards, John Wall and Brandon Knight, go head-to-head in the Palace of Auburn Hills. Per NBA.com’s David Aldridge, Coach Calipari could be watching his next team play in the Washington Wizards, but now we’re just getting ahead of ourselves. For tonight’s Wizards-Pistons 3-on-3, we have Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) from the Detroit News, Patrick Hayes (@patrick_hayes) from the ESPN True Hoop blog, Piston Powered and Truth About It’s RashadMobley (@rashad20). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) Kentucky Coach John Calipari has given no public indication that he’s interested in leaving Kentucky for the NBA, but it would be shocking if he didn’t at least privately consider it. On a related note, it seems as if Anthony Davis will leave and be the consensus No. 1 pick, and barring something historic, the Pistons and the Wizards seem bound for the NBA lottery. Which situation would tempt Coach Calipari more? John Wall, Anthony Davis and the Wizards, or Brandon Knight, Anthony Davis, and the Pistons?
GOODWILL: I would think the Pistons because they seem closer to contention than the Wizards, along with Anthony Davis being the closest thing to a perfect complement to Greg Monroe that the Pistons could ever find. Knight, Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko looks to be a solid foundation compared to Wall, Nene and…exactly. Also, Calipariwasn’t a complete disaster at New Jersey, taking them to the playoffs in 1998 but with full organizational control it was too much to handle. That’s not the case in Detroit, where although Joe Dumars has had some blemishes, he knows how to put together a championship core. Can the same be said for Ernie Grunfeld in D.C.? If he wants personnel control, I’d assume the Wizards would be the better choice. But if it comes down to roster and how close each team is to contending if you add Davis, it’s the Pistons and it’s not close.
HAYES: If we’re just limiting to those two players from each team, it’s definitely Wall-Davis. Knight has shown some flashes of good play, but nothing to suggest he has the franchise player ceiling Wall does. However, the fact that the Pistons have a potential All-Star big in Greg Monroe in the mix too and Cal’s guy, Worldwide Wes, has Detroit ties too, could maybe swing things in the Pistons’ favor. Fortunately, the Pistons seem pretty happy with Lawrence Frank, and they’ve become too cheap to pay coaches who would come with Calipari‘s asking price, so I don’t think they’ll have to worry about this scenario.
The Toronto Raptors (4-5) fly south to D.C. to take on the Washington Wizards (0-8). Toronto, competing in its only back-to-back-to-back this season, will be looking for a second win in as many nights before heading west to play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Washington split a four-game series versus Toronto last season, securing two victories at home by an average of nine points. TAI’s Beckley Mason, Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend go 3-on-3 to get you ready for tonight’s action.
#1) In four games vs. Washington last season, Andrea Bargnani averaged 25.5 points on 57.1-percent shooting in wins and 18.5 points on 35.3-percent shooting in losses. Which Bargs will show up?