[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. 69, Washington Wizards at Golden State Warriors; contributors: Rashad Mobley, Adam Rubin and Kyle Weidie via television broadcast.]
“Go to the basket?”
[John Wall kindly requests that Klay Thompson make his way toward the basket.]
As Washington’s dreary season slogs along, faithful followers of this 2-15 team should realize that no loss is a surprise anymore. Blowouts, overtime defeats, missed game-winners, unsuccessful comebacks, and so many—nay, too many—“moral victories.” Even the Wizards’ two wins caused discomfort throughout their conclusions. Personally, I expect the worst and then laugh at the absurdity of the outcomes to mask my disappointed sorrow.
Twitter hashtags #SoWizards and #BecauseWizards exist for a reason. And, somehow, the Wizards found yet another unique way to lose an NBA contest on Saturday night, falling to Golden State, 101-97. This squad continues to be stricken by late-game calamity.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry made two free throws to put Warriors up three points, 99-96, with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Warriors then wisely fouled Wizards guard Bradley Beal on the floor before he was able to get a potential game-tying 3-point shot off. Randy Wittman acknowledged in post game presser that it was a wise strategy employed by the Warriors since Washington was out of timeouts. Beal was surprised by the foul, believing that he was in the act of shooting.
“I didn’t know they were going to foul. I thought he was going to let me shoot, but the ref called it. He said that he called it before I shot it. But I didn’t take another dribble, so I thought it was three shots. … It was a smart foul because you shoot two free throws.”
[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. 17, Washington Wizards vs Golden State Warriors; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Adam McGinnis from the Verizon Center, and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 17th game of the season at home against the Golden State Warriors are TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) and guest Jordan Ramire (@JRAM_91), who writes about the Warriors for the ESPN True Hoop blog Warriors World
Wizards Starters (2-14):
A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Chris Singleton, Emeka Okafor
[Remember when Nyjer Morgan, former Washington National and current Milwaukee Brewer, showed up at a Wizards game, in the tickets the team provided him, while wearing Warriors gear? We do. Photo: A. McGinnis]
The Golden State Warriors come to Washington this evening. And no, Andray Blatche, Kwame Brown is not playing to soak up boos from the D.C. crowd that might be otherwise directed toward you… because he is hurt. The Warriors announced in mid-January that Brown would miss around three-months of action due to surgery needed to repiar a torn pectoral muscle. Otherwise, between John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, there should be plenty of action and excitement to put the “U-N” back in ”F Street,” at least for this night. For today’s 3-on-3 we have J.M. Poulard (@ShyneIV) of ESPN TrueHoop blog WarriorsWorld.net, along with TAI’s Sam Permutt (@SammyVert) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) The Golden State Warriors are rumored to be heavy suitors for JaVale McGee, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that they are more likely to pursue McGee in restricted free-agency this summer rather than through a trade this season. Golden State has David Lee tied up for 4-years, $57 million after this season; Monta Ellis for 2-years, $22 million (ETO for 2013-14); and Andris Biedrins for 2-years, $18 million (ETO for 2013-14) [salary info via Sham Sports]. Knowing they might have to give money to other young players in the near future, such as Stephen Curry, how much can the Warriors afford to offer McGee so that the Wizards don’t match?
Critique of the NBA often surrounds the narrative of one player dribbling around then shooting. But when you have a 20-year old athlete whose combination of speed and size is already superior to most at his position, you take advantage of his one-on-one skills. And when that player loves to pass and relishes in the assist while always being a threat to score, it’s called basketball. Flip Saunders is a basketball coach and he often knows exactly what to do with John Wall.
Spread sets usually seem reserved for late-clock situations, and mostly true for the instances in the video below. Still, with Wall they can be implemented at just about any point of the game, depending on his surrounding personnel and the defensive match-ups the Wizards might want to exploit, of course. This clip of four plays all occurred in two games against the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz on the Wizards’ late March west coast road trip, and all came with around 70 seconds or less left in a period. Let’s watch…
Earl Watson, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis… Sure, intimidating defenders they are not. But also, this is the NBA. Not many rookies can make these moves look so easy — an attack of the rim through trees, finding Yi Jianlian for a bounce pass in the paint, throwing the perfect lob to JaVale McGee, getting to the rim through a big man, making the basket, drawing a foul, and finishing with a muscle flex.
[Editor's note: Ryan Gracia is majoring in sports communication and journalism at George Mason University and freelances for local sites of Patch.com. Some of his previous work for TAI can be found here and here. Below, Ryan recaps the droughts of let-down for the Wizards against the Warriors on Wednesday night.]
It’s safe to say the Wizards have been inconsistent this year. They lost at home to the Phoenix Suns by 18 points back on January 21, then bounced back the next night to pull out arguably one of the best wins of the season against the Boston Celtics (thanks to some missed shots that Celtic vets don’t miss often — but hey it was a win nonetheless). I’ll also remind you that the Wizards actually boasted a winning record at home (13-10 leading up to February), while nearing an unbelievably embarrassing feat of setting an NBA-record 30 straight losses to begin a season away from the friendly confines of the Verizon Center, going 0-25 before their first win against the Cleveland Cavaliers — who had just ended a 26-game overall losing streak of their own.
I know, that’s a lot to take in, but those inconsistencies throughout the season were on display Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors, and it set up quite an interesting matchup against the seventh-highest scoring team in the NBA this season.
Barely three minutes into the game, the 13-4 Washington advantage showing on the jumbotron must have been shocking even to the five Wizards players walking toward the bench following a timeout. Here’s why: Flip Saunders (or Randy Wittman in the case of Wednesday night’s game) wasn’t the pissed off coach calling the timeout following a big run.
[Editor's Note: For all of you sneaker heads out there, Adam Douglas, Truth About It.net photographer, got some shots of what the Wizards and Warriors were sporting last Tuesday night. Also check out Adam's previous edition of NBA Kicks, Wizards vs. Bulls.]