[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. 77, Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics; contributors: Rashad Mobley, Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie via television sets.]
“I do not recall the dates in question, your honor.” —Crawfish
Below is my rapid reaction to last night’s loss against the Celtics that also appeared on ESPN.com’s NBA Daily Dime run-down, followed by two additional sections posted just to TAI. But first, a John Wall lob to Jan Vesely GIF…
Wizards 76 at Celtics 88.
MVP: Rajon Rondo treated the Wizards like orange cones from the tip, his 11 assists certainly the reason why Boston had 24 total assists on 34 field goals. Per usual, Rondo turned a blind eye toward offense for most of the night, until less than six minutes left in the game and Washington hanging around within 11 points. A couple of teardrops did the trick, sending the Wizards home drying their eyes from a 4-0 season sweep at the hands of the Celtics.
By the time the referee threw the ball up to signify the start of the game against the Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards knew they would be without Rashard Lewis and Nick Young. Lewis continues to battle knee tendinitis and Young was a late scratch with swelling his knee. Their absences meant the Wizards had to somehow account for the 30 points they usually bring to the starting lineup.
From scoring the first points of the game on a layup 42 seconds in, John Wall demonstrated that he was in an offensive state of mind and capable of picking up the slack by scoring 13 points in the opening period. Seemingly all of his baskets on the evening would follow this sequence: Wall would take the outlet or inbound pass, he would run by the Orlando big men, and then he would outmaneuver the Orlando guards en route to a layup. He peppered in a couple short jumpers, some free throws, and one three-pointer later in the game, but the majority of his damage was done in the paint. He finished with 27 points, five rebounds, two steals and just one assist.
It can be argued that Wall, who averages nearly 10 assists a game, wasn’t doing his job as a point guard if he only dished out one dime. False. Dwight Howard kept pressure on Washington’s big men by often catching the ball deep in the paint (thanks to repeated poor post position from JaVale McGee, lack of strength from Hilton Armstrong or lack of experience from Kevin Seraphin), and forcing them to foul. Howard went 8-11 from the free-throw line and 12-15 from the field to tally 32 points.
Wall kept pressure on the Orlando defense by repeatedly getting into the lane and ending up with a layup or a trip to the foul line. So what happened when the Magic actually stopped him and other teammates were forced to step up?
By now you’re aware of a report out of HoopsWorld that the Wizards are investigating trades involving Andray Blatche and/or JaVale McGee. Alex Kennedy writes:
“After suspending Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee one game for an altercation outside of a club, league sources say that the Washington Wizards will consider trading either Blatche or McGee in the coming weeks. The team will gauge interest around the league and after shopping the players, decision whether or not a trade would be the right move for the franchise.”
Of course, several outlets took this to mean such maneuvers by the Wizards were spawned as a result of the fight between Blatche and McGee (thanks to Kennedy’s wording). “In wake of fight, Wizards to gauge trade value of Blatche, McGee,” went one headline from Pro Basketball Talk; “Washington Wizards Shopping Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee After Altercation,” went another from the infamous Bleacher Report.
The Wizards will play the second game of their preseason slate against the Dallas Mavericks tonight … the only home preseason game on the schedule. It will televised on Comcast SportsNet and can be heard on DC’s 106.7 The Fan.
Also, I’ll be reporting from the game, and likely doing another live Twitter post on Truth About It (of course, this time within the NBA guidelines of a three ‘Tweet’ limit during each quarter and one during each of the two quarter breaks (but no limit on pregame, halftime and postgame Tweets).
But in terms of the Mavs, fellow TrueHoop Network blogger, Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game, agreed to answer a couple questions about his team. Here that goes …
DMX’s “Here We Go Again,” is the first song that plays in my head when contemplating Andray Blatche. Of course, DMX’s career went the way of the gutter with a litany of charges, crack-induced federal agent impersonating, car-jacking attempts at JFK, and jail time. Evidently Earl Simmons is trying to find the lord now. Andray has certainly been through the fire, but people are still waiting for his first coming, much less a resurrection.
We were the first to make a move, so everybody’s following us (chuckles).
True, the Wizards were the first to strike when they landed Mike Miller and Randy Foye. But it’s hard to laugh, or continue to pridefully boast about the move, when the cream of the Eastern Conference crop keeps passing the Wizards by.
Let’s quickly go through what the top three teams in the East (Orlando, Cleveland and Boston), have done this off-season. Read more »
I was on a break outside the other day, catching some fresh Penn Quarter air, taking a stroll around Freedom Plaza, when this little kid came up to me, and said, “Hey Mister … don’t you know that the Wizards need another big man? Haywood, Jamison, Blatche, McGee, and McGuire aren’t going to cut it.”
“Easy lil’ fella,” I told him. “We’ll keep looking around to see if we can add someone else, but we feel comfortable about what we have currently and the depth of our ballclub.”
The kid then kicked me in the shin and ran away.
I suddenly woke up from my slumber and realized those weren’t my words, those were Ernie Grunfeld’s words. I had a mission …