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Game Notebook 70, Wizards at Kings: Defense Lapsing; Shots Missing; Little Girls Crying

Kings 109
Wizards 86

March 22, 2015 – Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

Paul Pierce’s shove of Omri Casspi crushed this little girl.
Randy Wittman and the Washington Wizards crushed our hearts.

Game Leaders:

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]KINGS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Beal (19)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Gay (26)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (9)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]McCallum (6)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Gortat (7)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]REBOUNDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Cousins (7)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Seraphin (3)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]BLOCKS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Gay/Williams (1)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Gooden (2)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]STEALS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]McLemore (4)[/ezcol_1third_end]

“It has nothing to do with offense. I don’t even know why you would bring that up. It’s all about focus from a defensive standpoint”

Okay. Let’s break down this particular post-game claim offered by Randy Wittman. Yes, “focus from a defensive standpoint” was clearly a factor in Washington’s loss last night in Sacramento, sure. Rudy Gay going buck wild from everywhere on the floor; Omri Casspi losing his defenders on cuts to the basket; Ray McCallum having a ball against John Wall; Paul Pierce pushing players into a little girl on the baseline and making her cry. The Wizards’ defense surely shit the bed allowing a 23-win team to score 109 points. There’s no question about that. Oh, and there was Boogie Cousins, of course. Often derailed to the bench due to foul trouble, Cousins still managed to score 20 points in only 23 minutes. A good portion of thanks for that is owed to Kevin Seraphin and Drew Gooden. So, right on, Coach. The defense lapsed, and the unorganized structure of it made it a swell night for the Kings.

But let’s not get all butthurt when a reporter questions the team’s offense. Not when they score just 86 points against a team that allows over 105. Not when the team shoots 40 percent from the field, misses 14 of 17 three-point shots, and commits 16 turnovers. Not when the team’s second unit rotation is a complete disaster offensively when the starting unit rests. Last night’s offense has everything to do with everything.

Real quick, though…with the postseason looming, go ahead and just imagine a bench unit of Rasual Butler, Drew Gooden, Kevin Seraphin, and Ramon Sessions trotting onto the floor at the beginning of a 4th quarter of a win-or-die Game 6 where the Wizards are down 8. Ugh, fuck. Never mind, stop imagining that. If you start to sense an acidic sizzle at the pits of your stomach, call a doctor immediately.

Unfortunately, the grievous reality of it is that we will have to brace ourselves for those feelings of indigestion come playoff time. The Wizards suffer a mammoth-sized deal of impotence due to a combination of inadequate personnel and unstructured direction. When the Wizards aren’t working the ball in transition, they’re slipping in a sludge of half-court offense. Possessions are broken by forced passes, or 20 foot chucks at the basket early in the shot clock, or a rushed attempt with the shot clock winding to zero because no one on the floor had a clue about anything. The bench unit cannot sustain any sort of production and in no fashion can be trusted to be reliable. The bad counterbalances the good in practically every facet for the Wizards offensively. We can only hope to remain patient and persevered and that hope that our loved ones remain unhurt in the sight of our inevitable rage.

Game Notes and Vinelights

  • The Wizards started off 7-11 from the field, mostly in transition and getting the ball down court quickly. They also swung the ball around and attempted an irregular 7 shots from 3’s. They only made two of those, and here’s one of them from Bradley Beal:

  • Omri Casspi and Ray McCallum were stars of the unsung variety for the Kings. Casspi got hot early knocking down a few 3’s, cutting to the basket for layups or to find guys in position for layups. McCallum had his way with John Wall for a much of the night, constantly getting past Wall around screens or simply quick stepping him off the dribble.

We see a lot of Wizards possessions get bailed out by 3’s after they seemingly go nowhere. This was one of them.

  • So, Boogie gets in foul trouble and the Wizards pretty much offset his absence with the presence of Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin. Derrick Williams approved.

However, Seraphin did redeem himself with this block on Jason Thompson.

  • If Andre Miller had any deliberate intention of making the Wizards and their fans miss him, he fulfilled his desires wholly. Miller is evidently conducting the same arts and crafts course in Sacramento as he was in DC, and the same second unit he was ousted from, was the one he burned on a few possessions.

  • Back to the Wizards defense, Wittman has a somewhat of a point emphasizing its shortcomings before talking about the offense, especially with the way the defense regresses with Gooden and Seraphin on the floor. The presence of those two set the Wizards back a few steps and it becomes leeway heaven for the opposition. Again, just ask Derrick Williams what it’s like to finally feel like a second overall pick after last night.

  • Back to the Wizards offense, Drew Gooden attempting to Aaron Rodgers this pass is everything about it.

    • Brad Beal got crushed by a Reggie Evans screen, causing him to plop – not flop – to the ground and knock a bit of wind out of him. This evidently displeased the crowd, who took it as a flop, and when Beal finally got up off the floor, this was his gesture. We took it as a reaction to the fans, although it could have also been a message to his teammates to start calling screens because, clearly, Beal was not warned about this one.

    • Beal wasn’t the only human in the arena to get obliterated. Watch Paul Pierce shove Casspi into a little girl sitting baseline with her family.

    • The 3rd quarter was the worst. The Wizards continued to try outmatching their bigs against Rudy Gay but to no avail. Gay had his way with Gortat when defending him in the post, and got good shots up against Nene on offense. But the quarter was surely Ben McLemore’s. B-Mac scored 11 points and was the first to take advantage of some bad Wizards offense with some strong buckets in transition.

    • Meanwhile, the Wizards were basically a no-show on both ends of the floor. Nene had no shot at checking Demarcus Cousins and John Wall had no shot at checking Ray McCallum. Offensively, Wall made no impact either except maybe on a few possessions towards the end of the quarter. However, his negligence to takeover is what hurt the Wizards in this game.

    • However, because of my deep-rooted reverence for John Wall and the Wizards, I’ll go ahead and contradict everything I mentioned and quoted and bitched about, and close out with this dunk by Wall… all made possible thanks to Bradley Beal’s defense. #SoHoopDistrict.

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