[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. 82, Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls; contributors: Kyle Weidie and Adam McGinnis from the District.]
[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. 42, Washington Wizards vs Chicago Bulls in D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis from behind the television screen.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 42nd game of the season at home against the Chicago Bulls are TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and guest Matt McHale (@bullsbythehorns), who writes about the Bulls for the ESPN TrueHoop blog Bulls by the Horns.
Wizards Starters (10-31):
John Wall, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor
[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. 28, Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls; contributors: Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend from behind the television screen.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 28th game of the season against the Bulls in Chicago are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest Braedan Ritter (@BullsbytheHorns), who writes about the Bulls for the ESPN TrueHoop blog Bulls By The Horns. Also check this By The Horns game preview where I contribute answers to the very same questions that Braedan answers below.
The Washington Wizards talk about fourth quarter full-court pressure defense against Chicago, which helped make the 10 point loss a little more interesting, to say the least…
If anything, Randy Wittman has proven that he’s no Flip Saunders, past his own claims of the two being “polar opposites.” No, it’s not about wins and losses (beating the Bobcats twice? please), at least for the rest of this season. Yes, outcome is important and positive outcomes are nice, but ask a fan about winning or losing, and the Wizards can’t win. From moral victories to lottery losses to scoreboard reward, not many can be satisfied in this current state of four victories and 17 losses.
Wittman is willing to try more new things, starting Jan Vesely at the four over Andray Blatche for example. Or, down 78-63 to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night with nearly a quarter left to play, throwing a full court press after a Chicago timeout allowing Tom Thibodeau to insert M.V.P. point guard Derrick Rose back into the game. It’s not like Saunders didn’t reach deep into his bag of gimmicks, responsiveness from his players was clearly the issue.
“I was a little hesitant to really do what we did there in the fourth quarter,” said coach Randy Wittman at the end of the night, “because… [chuckles]… we hadn’t worked on it, but I said, ‘Let’s go, guys, we got one chance here to make this a ball game.’”
Washington responded immediately — with a unit of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, Trevor Booker, and JaVale McGee – racing to a 15-8 run in fewer than four minutes. Thanks to the pressure, the Wizards trimmed their deficit to eight points. A Nick Young three-pointer capped the comeback, with Wittman afterward stomping his feet all over the hardwood floor to remind Young to not bask in his offense, but rather to find the shooters and pressure as necessary. Chicago answered by finally breaking Washington’s full-court defense with ease, ending the Wizards run with a Carlos Boozer dunk, holding their lead at 88-78.
[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 10 contributors over television screen: Rashad Mobley,John Converse Townsend, and Kyle Weidie. Oh, and you can now find our stuff on Google+. Go ahead and circle Truth About It.]
Last night the Wizards won for the first time in nine months. Tonight, they try to win their first road game in 283 days, which is about nine months and a week, and which would also give Washington just their fourth road win in one year and nine months. And all and all, the Wizards haven’t won in Chicago in three years and nine months. Some oblvious gambling weirdo probably thinks Washington is due. In any case, the 1-8 Wizards play the 9-2 Bulls at 8 PM… Three questions, three answers with Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie starts now…
#1) Chicago is tied with Oklahoma City with the best winning percentage in the NBA (.818, both 9-2), but they will also be playing in their third game in as many nights this evening, and M.V.P. Derrick Rose aggrivated a “turf toe” injury in a 111-100 win in Minnesota last night [UPDATE: Rose's turf toe is evidently bad enough to the point where he is likely out tonight and to the point where Chicago has signed former Wizard Mike James.]. Do the 1-8 Wizards, buzzing from their first win and a new starting lineup, even have a chance?
MOBLEY: I was too busy watching the Wizards win their first game to see the Bulls defeat the T-Wolves last night, but I did make it a point to read a recap from A Wolf Among Wolves. The Bulls jumped out to a lead, Ricky Rubio led a furious comeback, and then Rose shut it down. If Wall, Vesely, Booker and Singleton can bring that level of energy, perhaps the Bulls and a banged up Rose, won’t be able to muster a response after playing their third game in three nights.
TOWNSEND: Sure, the Wizards have a chance … until Tom Thibodeau’s defense punches them in the mouf. After the initial shock, the question becomes whether Washington can maintain its focus and counter. The Bulls will likely be standing on lifeless legs, a step slower in taking the floor on a third consecutive night, but the Wizards must again choose smart over swag to keep the game close. It won’t be easy: this year’s Bulls have allowed the fewest points (206) in their first three homes games since the start of the shot clock era.