[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. 61, Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Bobcats; contributors: Dan Diamond and Sean Fagan from the Phone Booth with John Converse Townsend from behind the television screen.]
Friday was a day off from regular work (and the Wizards, sort of). Future wifey and I made an afternoon of grabbing lunch at a previously unvisited spot, and then we painted some ceramics (shout out to All Fired Up! in Cleveland Park—there’s a D.C. flag-themed oven spoon holder in my future).
Then naps, then drinks/dinner with the future wifey’s cousin and the cousin’s fiancé. The idea was to have the game on somewhere; the cousin’s fiancé is also a dedicated D.C. sports fan. By the time the four of us walked into a pre-dinner bar option—some place inexplicably called the Blue Banana on Georgia Avenue, which, to its credit, had the Wizards game on three of its several well-placed televisions—the game was over. Brooklyn was up 25 and it was early in the second quarter. We were the only people in the place who cared or paid attention for the rest of the game; I was just happy that no one changed the channel. Later on, I would get to explain to the future wifey—and show to her on YouTube—that Reggie Evans is most famous for grabbing a tall blond man’s nuts from behind during a playoff game. Thanks, Internets.
What had happened? Deron Williams happened. The Nets took a 38-14 lead after one quarter in which Williams went 7-for-7 from the 3-point line. At half, Brooklyn was up 59-33. The Wizards made a half-hearted attempt to once almost get within 10 points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, but A.J. Price was called for travelling as he made a 3-pointer (inducing the above #WittmanFace).
[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. 59, Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves; contributors: Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie from behind the television screen.]
[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. 58, Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and Conor Dirks from Georgia.]
John’s Big J.
Wall talks about hitting a 20-foot pull-up jumper to put the Wizards up three points with 4.4 seconds left. This is after he hit two clutch free throws to put the Wizards up one point with 1:04 left, and after he hit an 18-foot jumper with 1:33 left to get the Wizards within one point of Philadelphia.
Most everyone, ever, is taught to focus on the rim when aiming for a jump shot (obviously). Most are also taught to keep focusing on the rim while the ball is in flight. But not everyone. Some watch the rim, but as soon as the ball leaves their hands, they observe the arcing sphere. Dirk Nowitzki famously looks at the ball.
It’s a question that’s intrigued me. I recall during the 2012 NBA All-Star game, Andre Iguodala, mic’d up, asked Luol Deng if he looked at the ball or the rim. Deng said rim. Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller later discussed the topic on Inside The NBA. Both said they look at the ball in flight once it leaves their fingers. Internet searches—with mostly message board discussions providing the results—confirm memory of this Miller-Kerr conversation. (Miller even went so far as to claim that answers amongst NBA players would be dispersed 50/50—rim vs. ball in flight; a very Miller-like, outlandish claim.) Other good shooters said to look at the ball in flight: Steve Nash and Kevin Love.
I personally keep my eye on the rim. Some coaches will tell you that switching focus to flight can add unnecessary motion, as you would tend to raise your chin to follow the path of the ball. My shot was never consistent enough to be affected by such nuance (or, rather, there can be dozen of other inconsistent ticks in motion for the average shooter). I just figured that it’s best to provide the highest amount of concentration possible on the ultimate destination. Plus, that’s how I was taught.
The Wizards put a two-game losing streak to bed by managing to defeat a Nick Young-less Philadelphia 76ers squad, 90-87, despite a late surge fueled by Jrue Holiday. But, Washington didn’t escape without damage. Rookie Bradley Beal went down with an ankle sprain with just over two minutes left and did not return. He is likely to miss some time, but how much has yet to-be-determined. The injury, or at least the sight of Beal crumbled on the floor in the aftermath, left Wizards nation and the immediacy of Twitter gasping for breath — some quickly speculated that the issue was with his knee. After the game, Beal admitted that he initially thought it was worse than it was, but said that x-rays showed no significant damage to his ankle. He walked on crutches in the locker room; from my perspective, there didn’t look to be too much swelling.
Below, we have Randy Wittman’s post-game opener, my ESPN.com “Daily Dime Live” reaction submission, and then a video of Beal talking about his ankle injury.
[Spoiler Alert: Wittman talks about laptops again.]
[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. 57, Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks; contributors: Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center and John Converse Townsend from where he watches television in comfort.]
Hard to blame the coach for turnovers and missed free throws, especially in the land of tiny laptops.
[Ed. Note: Adam Rubin is a relatively new contributor to TAI, you may have seen him in a D.C. Council or two. Follow him on Twitter: @LedellsPlace. -Kyle W.]
There is no way to sugar coat it. John Wall played a very bad game on Wednesday. And it was not just the poor shooting and turnovers (or as Wall likes to call it: “great passes” that his teammates dropped). It’s the body language. Wall looked like he would rather be anywhere but the Verizon Center. This screen shot shows Wall as he entered a very winnable game with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter and Washington down 88-81. Not exactly the look of someone ready to lead a comeback after sulking on the bench for ten and a half minutes.
Now it’s on Wall to snap out of it and prove them correct. The division leading New York Knicks, who enter the Verizon Center tonight riding a two-game win streak and looking to avenge a 106-96 defeat during their last trip to D.C. on February 6, provide as good a stage as any for Wall to stand up and lead his team. Read more »
Jose Calderon played flawless basketball for the first 47 minutes and 17 seconds of Detroit’s game against Washington. He had just six points on 2-of-6 shooting, but he dished out 18 assists–nine in the third quarter when the Pistons went from down nine points to up 12. Up to that point, Calderon had not turned the ball over, and he hadn’t committed any personal fouls. His only focus was on getting good shots for Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe (the duo accounted for 13 of Calderon’s assists).
With 43 seconds left in the game, Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer to bring the Wizards within six points of the Pistons, 96-90, and on the next possession, Calderon committed his first turnover of the game via an offensive foul. Coach Lawrence Frank immediately called timeout, and when play resumed, Calderon turned the ball over for a second consecutive time when he lost the ball off the dribble. Ariza grabbed the errant pass and was headed down the court for an easy layup, until Will Bynum committed a clear path foul. Ariza converted the two free throws, and the Wizards pulled to within 95-96 with 12.3 seconds left–with the ball. Here’s what happened next:
[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. 56, Washington Wizards vs Detroit Pistons; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam Rubin from the Verizon Center and Kyle Weidie from home.]
“Excuse me while I kiss the sky?”
“AHHH!!! All the retracted daggers in the world!!”