[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 4 contributors: Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend who covered the game at the Verizon Center, and Sam Permutt, who watched the game all the way from Israel.]
[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 3 contributors: Rashad Mobley, Arish Narayen and John Converse Townsend.]
[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 2 contributors: Gregg Cobert, Sam Permutt and Kyle Weidie.]
[Editor's Note: What was formerly the "Rundown" in the preseason is now 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. For the season opener, in addition to my first-hand game coverage, we have two guest contributors, Gregg Cobert and Sam Permutt. More on both of them at the bottom of this post. -Kyle W.]
Now that NBA the season is upon us, the most oft-considered repercussion of the compacted schedule has been for whom is it an advantage. Fresh legs? Sharp minds? Old teams?
On media day Flip Saunders was asked if a youthful team brings any benefits to a scrambled environment in the aftermath of the 2011 lockout. ”I think if you have youth, you’re going to say yes, and if you have veterans, you’re going to say yes,” he said, implying that you can cook the perspective to whatever degree you like.
As with any NBA season, normal length or not, if a team is hit with the injury bug too harshly or with bad timing, it can significantly affect results. With a slate of 66 games in just 122 days, injuries are now more likely. Neither young nor old are immune. Sure, less aged muscles can recuperate faster, but those benefits are not as effective without proper time to recover.
“We just have to make sure that they can get the proper rest when they’re not playing,” said Saunders, “and so that’s going to be a main focus of what we’ll try to do too.”
“We got to really listen in and focus in on film session and listen to what the coaches are saying because there’s not going to be a lot of time to practice on the floor,” said Rashard Lewis, a veteran of the last NBA lockout, the shortened season afterward being his 1998-99 rookie campaign with the Seattle Supersonics.
[The Rundown: Setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed... (As the crew at TAI works to hone their post-game coverage.)]
Washington Wizards 94 – Philadelphia 76ers 101 [box score]
D.C. vs. Philly…Back for more or back for revenge? BUT IT’S ONLY THE PRESEASON! Right, but with a long basketball hiatus and short opportunity to develop team cohesiveness, it’s an important preseason. So it’s Wizards versus Sixers Part II tonight on NBA TV at 7 pm (or if you’re local loyal, with Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier on Comcast SportsNet Washington – NOPE… here in D.C., NBA TV is blacked-out and the local Comcast is providing the Philly feed on their non-HD CSN+ channel — “Great”). Three questions… Three answers from Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie… Time for some 3-on-3.
1) On Saturday after practice, Flip Saunders said facing Philadelphia again might be more ideal from a game-preparation standpoint, in knowing what the Sixers might do, but otherwise it doesn’t really matter. Yes, it’s just the preseason, but do you agree with Saunders? Or will the fact that the Wizards are playing the same team that embarrassed them on Friday sharpen their focus a bit more?
McGINNIS: On the surface, it should help them and heighten their concentration. In reality, Philadelphia is just a way better team than the Wizards right now. So any familiarity of knowing their plays is insignificant. After the dud that the Wizards dropped on Friday, this is more about them than the opponent they’re facing.
MOBLEY: I disagree with Flip, it does matter. I remember the competitiveness of John Wall during summer exhibition games (yes, I know it was just summer). If he missed a basket, he’d try his best to make a play on the other end. I expect him to have that attitude tonight, and hopefully his teammates will follow. Another bad loss for the Wizards going into the season opener next Monday would affect this young team’s confidence in a bad way.
“Ball Don’t Lie!,” goes the famous saying, extended into pixels forever thanks to Rasheed Wallace. It’s entirely possible that Wallace, when he was a member of the Detroit Pistons, picked up the phrase from his coach, Flip Saunders. Wallace, however, was also said to use it as a member of the Portland Trailblazers. So maybe Flip learned it from watching him. And who knows where Rasheed got it from.
There’s a YouTube video of Wallace saying it during a Pistons-Milwaukee Bucks game after an Andrew Bogut missed free-throw. Ironically, there’s also footage of Saunders, as Pistons coach, saying “Ball don’t lie,” after a Gilbert Arenas missed technical free-throw for the Washington Wizards. Little did Flip know then how much he’d later be involved with Gilbert. But the ball, according to Saunders, isn’t the only think that does not lie. Game film doesn’t lie either.
On Saturday afternoon, after an embarrassing home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their first preseason game on Friday, the Wizards returned to the scene of the crime. First up, a lengthy film session to review the 103-78 defeat.
“When you watch film, film doesn’t lie,” said Saunders. “You can see in the film who’s doing the right things, who’s doing the wrong things.”
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said he would release it on DVD, but footage of Washington Wizards rookies singing karaoke last Wednesday remains unseen. Still, it was the talk of the Verizon Center on Media Day Thursday.
Flashback to the Tuesday before, Wizards rookie guard Shelvin Mack was asked if he had been hazed yet, and if he had a song ready to sing (as singing in front of an audience is tradition for team rooks during training camp).
“I had to get some donuts, it wasn’t too bad, but I haven’t had to sing anything in front of anyone … I got one [song] prepared just in case they try to pop one out on me.”
That “in case” happened during dinner at Hill Country Barbecue Market near DC’s Chinatown/Penn Quarter section. Mack, along with fellow rookies Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, were made to bellow out tunes, karaoke style. According to Leonsis, Vesely brought the house down with a Serbian polka, while Andray Blatche revealed that the Singleton and Mack duo butchered a rap song.
[Editor's Note: Truth About It.net is trying something new with its game coverage this season. Of course, we will be honing this series as we go along, but here's the gist: relevant pre- and post-game quotes/analysis from those in attendance covering the game (last night it was Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis); D.C flag 3-star ratings for the Wizards starters and bench from three people able to watch the game (live or on television -- we will keep a running tally on the ratings); thoughts on the environment and slept-on moments; and finally, fan tweets, scenes from the game, and anything else that would be fitting to include in "The Rundown" (which totally might not be the final name of this series, especially since it's also the name of a movie featuring "The Rock" and Seann William Scott... and Rosaio Dawson, don't want to forget her). In any case, here goes... -Kyle W.]
Washington Wizards 78 – Philadelphia 76ers 103 [box score]
Quick STAT: The Wizards had 20 turnovers and 10 assists; John Wall: 6 TO, 3 AST Read more »