[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. 29, Washington Wizards vs Dallas Mavericks in D.C.; contributor: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 29th game of the season against the Dallas Mavericks in Washington are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), and guests Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh), Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace), and Shay Vance, all of whom write about the Mavericks for the TrueHoop blog The Two Man Game.
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s seventh game of the season against the Mavericks in Dallas are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), guest Bryan Gutierrez (@BallinWithBryan), who writes about the Mavericks for the TrueHoop blog The Two Man Game, and TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), who drops in with another game prediction.
That’s right… the reaction to the Wizards losing to the Pacers 109-96 on Wednesday night and another video rendition of “The Wizards Said WHAT?” all rolled into one. Enjoy.
Danny Granger was methodical to an aesthetically pleasing degree. His best work came in the third quarter when he scored seven of his 20 points. Granger read Chris Singleton’s defense, turned down the screen from his teammate, and nailed a 3-pointer that put the Pacers up 67-63 with 7:21 left. The game never got closer than that. Going 8-for-12 on field goals with five rebounds, two assists and zero turnovers in 27 minutes, it was a rather chill night for Danny.
John Wall seems like he’s doing more to help the Wizards just “play basketball” while the clock ticks, and he’s not so much taking actions that would aid efforts to win. And while we don’t relish continuing to pile on Mr. Wall’s struggles, between his seeming refusal to attempt to finish at the rim, him feverishly shaking his head in frustration going into a late third quarter timeout, and his robotic blandness in the post-game session with the media, this is not as engaging of a John Wall as we’ve seen in the past, in any manner. Then again, his Wizards aren’t competitive in too many engagements these days either. So how much do we blame the 21-year old?
Mike Dunleavy is definitely no longer a Pacer; Andray Blatche is barely a Wizard; But, I still love this pic… Andray kicking it with Tyler Hansbrough’s chin.
[photo: K. Weidie, Truth About It.net]
The trade deadline came and went one week ago today, and even though they didn’t land Dwight Howard, the Wizards and the Pacers made moves to get better — and those moves coincidentally involved two members of the Brazilian National Team. Pacers team president Larry Bird said the addition of Leandro Barbosa, “added depth and scoring off the bench and will help us as we make our run to the playoffs,” while Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld said Nene is a “versatile player who will bring experience and a physical presence to our frontcourt … a strong rebounder, tough defender and a fierce competitor.” Barbosa had 12 points in 18 minutes in his first game as an Indiana Pacer on Tuesday night, while Nene scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 31 minutes in his first game as a Wizard last night. The two Brazilians will go head-to-head (presumably not against each other) tonight at the Verizon Center, but before they do Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) from the SB Nation Pacers blog Indy Cornrows, Jared Wade (@jared_wade) from the ESPN True Hoop Blog Eight points, Nine seconds, and yours truly, TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20), will give three answers to three questions…Read more »
After the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Washington Wizards last Friday, coach Byron Scott took his sweet time coming out to meet the media. Given how his team performed, I fully expected him to step out of the locker room and give journalists the Denny Green treatment. But when Scott finally emerged from the Cavaliers locker room after 20 minutes, he was rather calm in his words. Perhaps that was because he knew exactly why the Wizards defeated his team.
“I’ve got a few numbers on my mind: 68, 30, 19 and 62. 68 points by their frontline, 30 rebounds by their frontline, 19 offensive rebounds by their frontline, 62 points in the paint… you can’t win if you don’t come with a little bit more of a toughness and a presence in that paint area. You can’t win. Blatche and McGee dominated our guys. That’s something you just can’t account for. When we have to all of a sudden change a game plan to double team those two guys, you’re in trouble.”
Now, I’m no coach, I didn’t have to address the media after Washington lost in Indiana last night, and given that they have been out of playoff contention since December, I’m pretty emotionless at this point. But after watching the Pacers dismantle the Wizards 136-112, I’m in a Byron Scott state of mind, and I also have some numbers swimming thru my head: 136, 59.5, 54.2, 34, 32 and 10.
There are two prevalent visiting locker room atmospheres that I have encountered while covering Washington Wizards home games this season. The team is either distraught due to losing to the lowly Wizards, Charlotte is an example, or the opposing squad is in a professional, low-key mood after picking up a business like win. The Lakers and Knicks games come to mind.
After Indiana Pacers 113-96 shellacking of Wizards last Tuesday night, I witnessed a new hopeful and joyous environment. Pacers’ players were exchanging jovial banter, with Dahntay Jones leading most of the jester activity. After starting the season 17-27 under former coach Jim O’Brien, and then going 9-3 under new coach Frank Vogel (8-3 after beating the Wizards), you could sense the game was fun for them again. Contributing to the happiness was a completely balanced effort from their starters and bench (nicknamed the Goon Squad) in the blowout win with all 12 active players impressively scoring.
Vogel, who was an advanced scout with the Wizards in 2006-07, has changed their style of play, rotation and attitude. The players are buying into the belief that they are a good team and the fresh approach has produced success. Go listen to Vogel’s passionate talk after his team’s victory over Portland a few week backs to get a better sense of his philosophy.
On Wednesday night, the Wizards were able to defeat the Pacers 104-90 despite shooting 39.8-percent from the field, mainly because they forced the Pacers into 17 turnovers while only committing eight of their own. On Friday, on Indiana’s end of the home-and-home matchup, the Wizards basically shot the same percentage (38.8-percent), and the Pacers again turned the ball over at a high rate (23 times to be exact). The difference, and the reason the Wizards lost 96-85, is that the Pacers shot much better (48.7-percent from the field) and the Wizards turned the ball a lot more (22 times).
John Wall led the Wizards with 25 points; 17 of them came in the third quarter when the Wizards unsuccessfully attempted to cut into Indiana’s lead. Unfortunately, Wall also led the team with seven turnovers. Andray Blatche and Nick Young, who were so instrumental in the Wizards’ victory over the Pacers in Washington, were non-factors, and they seemed totally out of sync. Blatche was scoreless in the first half, but did manage to finish with eight points (4-16 from the field), 12 rebounds and six turnovers. Young shot just 2-11 from the field and finished with eight points as well.
More observations from the game
Darren Collison did not factor in the outcome of Wednesday’s game, but on Friday he had 18 points and six assists, and seemed to get into the lane at will. The combination of Wall still trying to get his wind back and Kirk Hinrich being out with a thigh bruise had to factor into Collison’s improved numbers. I can’t help but to think back to Flip Saunders comments after the Wizards took on the Rockets earlier this week: