John Wall won’t start against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night and his minutes will be limited. How much? Randy Wittman wouldn’t say before the game. But that doesn’t mean Hawks Coach Larry Drew isn’t worried about the Wizards superstar. At the top of the opposing coach’s mind when it comes to Wall:
“Whenever you play on the road, the one thing you try to eliminate is momentum plays, and [John Wall] is capable of doing that, even if he’s just in the game for a short stretch of time. It can be a short stretch that can change the tempo and rhythm of the game.”
Thusly, via TAI’s Adam McGinnis, John Wall does the “cookie challenge” in less than 60 seconds…
[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. 22, Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks in D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.]
After the first half of Tuesday night’s game between the Hawks and the Wizards, Atlanta’s Jeff Teague and Washington’s Jordan Crawford basically had the exact same statistics. Teague had eight points, six assists and two rebounds, and Crawford eight points, six assists and three rebounds. Except one thing: Crawford’s Wizards were down six points, 46-52.
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 16th game of the season against the Hawks in Atlanta are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis), who writes about the Hawks for the SB Nation blog Peachtree Hoops.
Wizards Starters (2-13):
A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Emeka Okafor (Will Randy Wittman still start Chris Singleton? Who will fill-in for Trevor Ariza? What about Okafor? We will see…)
[Editor's Note: dedicated Wizards fan, TAI reader, and current Atlanta resident (but from Maryland), Conor Dirks, attended Wednesday's heart-breaking loss to the Hawks at the Philips Arena. Below is Conor's account from the experience. Follow him on Twitter: @ConorDDirks. -Kyle W.]
The pre-game scene in the ATL.
The process that I undertake in order to watch each Washington Wizards game here in Atlanta is a complicated one, and often mirrored in its tedium and futility by the game itself. But when the team comes to town, streaming the game on my television through a laptop propped upside down to keep it from overheating and having to get up every fifteen minutes in order to keep the screen saver from interrupting the crushing defeat just isn’t enough. So on Wednesday night, I ventured to Philips Arena to see my hometown team play a better team in a town I’ve lived in for the past three years.
But not before listening to some pre-game music: “Unhappy” by Atlanta’s own Outkast.
[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. 10, Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks; contributors: Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Kevin Seraphin hit what was thought to be a game-winner with over seven seconds left in overtime. Kyle Korver hit the go-ahead 3-pointer (thanks to Trevor Ariza) with over one second left. Earlier, Atlanta’s Al Horford missed four straight free throws, and the Hawks got the ball afterward — both times. And of course, we have the young Wizards running off the court, thinking/hoping/wishing that they got their first win, thanks to a last-second Martell Webster tip attempt after a Seraphin miss. But their celebration was moot. The shot came finger tips after the buzzer.
Wow. I can’t even bring myself to type Flip Saunders’ infamous quote at this point. But we will, in honor of the saddest of the sad, show a GIF of the celebration that didn’t count. One day, Wizards, one day.
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 10th game of the season against the Hawks in Atlanta are TAI’s Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) and guest Daniel Christian (@DChris_Hawks), who writes about the Hawks for the ESPN TrueHoop blog HawksHoop.com.
Wizards Starters (0-9):
Who knows? Randy Wittman indicated that he will change his starters, but will he have the balls to bench Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor? Can’t hurt at this point.
With coverage of the Washington Wizards’ 95-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks from the Verizon Center on Saturday night, Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend provide their reaction…
First, a good moment…
By halftime, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson had attempted just five shots, making two of them; he had four total points and his Hawks were down 52-41. Johnson didn’t do much in the third, either. He scored a transition 3-pointer 24 seconds into the second half thanks to Jeff Teague quickness and creation. Otherwise, Johnson missed his other two third quarter attempts. Chris Singleton was making up for a lack of lateral quickness with physicality, making it especially tough when Johnson tried to post him. Atlanta’s leading scorer entered the final period with seven points on 3-for-8 shooting, and he hadn’t attempted one free throw either. Johnson checked back into the game for Willie Green with 5:41 left in the night, his Hawks down 87-83. At the 4:16 mark, he easily got into the paint against Singleton for a running jumper. Was he heating up? Was it a sign that the Wizards needed to double? Not a minute later, Johnson gave Singleton a slow, deliberate jab step from 19 feet away on the left wing. Singleton gave him just enough space and didn’t close the gap. “It’s over,” I turned and said to TAI cohort John Converse Townsend; Johnson then nailed the jumper. It was merely elementary when Johnson hit a 3-pointer against scrambling Wizards defense to put the Hawks up 93-92 with 46 seconds left, he already found the glimmer of rhythm he needed to get going.