The Wizards Said WHAT? Randy Wittman Had A 'Vibe' They Weren't Ready | Wizards Blog Truth About

The Wizards Said WHAT? Randy Wittman Had A ‘Vibe’ They Weren’t Ready

Updated: March 6, 2012

The hawk-eyed Sherlock Holmes once said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” While I can appreciate that bit of wisdom, the Wizards’ spit-roasting at the hands of the Golden State Warriors was no Boscombe Valley Mystery. The Wizards simply weren’t prepared to play — a truth so plain that even Mr. Lestrade wouldn’t miss it.

Precisely when the game was lost, however, is up for debate. I would point to the 12-2 run the Warriors made to end the first quarter, capped off by Monta Ellis’ 36-foot 3-pointer that ripped through the net at the buzzer. That 3-ball gave the Dubs a 41-24 lead, one they would never come close to surrendering.

But Randy Wittman, Flip Saunders’ stand-in, revealed that the game had been all but decided before tip off. In fact, his Wizards may have lost it in the locker room hours before the game.

“It was a vibe that I got from my team that didn’t sit well with me before we even hit the court tonight,” Wittman said in a postgame presser. “We didn’t look like we were ready to play, and that’s my job to have my team prepared to play.

“This shouldn’t happen again. We were in a good position to get back-to-back wins. We just didn’t come in with any effort to win the game. Once again this is inexcusable and it’s on me. I will clean that up. I apologize to everyone that had to watch it and come here tonight.”

Apology accepted, I suppose, if totally unwarranted from the coach.

Motivation is a two-way street. Without that understanding, even the most talented prospects, projects and players will waste away in mediocrity or worse — and Holmes, the world’s most talented fictional detective, would have been nothing more than a listless tinkerer with a cocaine problem.

In any case, the Warriors picked up their 100th win over the Wizards in a performance that was as impressive as it was dull.

Here we are, left with nothing if not three minutes of quoteables (plus a video of Sam Cassell’s pre-game bounce-pass alley-oop to John Wall):

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.

  • Chris

    It seems to me the Wizards back-slid into some of their old bad habits from earlier in the season.

    1. Relying too much on a single hot shooter no the perimeter. Against the Warriors it was Jordan Crawford taking too many perimeter shots in the opening period. This was a way the Wizards got derailed early in a lot of games when Nick Young was starting, behind the premise that they need hot shooting from the outside from one guy in order to anchor the offense.

    2. Dumping the ball down into the post and letting someone “go to work”. To be clear, not one player on the Wizards is capable of reliable one-on-one scoring in the post, certainly not JaVale McGee or Andray Blatche. I understand the Warriors are a small-ish team, but that doesn’t suddenly make either of those guys a competent, reliable scorer.

    3. Allowing Nick Young on the court at any time.

    I worry about Wittman’s choice to reinsert JaVale McGee back into the starting lineup at the same time that Andray Blatche is returning from injury, while also upping Nick Young’s minutes. Those guys form the core of Washington’s loser culture, and putting the three of them in prominent rotation positions at the same time might predictably lead to the team falling back to some of its bad, noncompetitive ways.

  • Ayo Obayomi

    @Chris: Um, Young played the whole 4th quarter because your boy Crawford shot 2-13 and was getting roasted by Thompson.

    McGee is much better than Seraphin, no matter how many stupid plays he makes.

    The offense seems to start on the SGs, which is why Crawford/Young shoot a lot early. Wall doesn’t seem to start shooting until the 2nd quarter.

    They were non-competitive because the Warriors are much better than the Cavs without Varejao! Stop blaming everything on Young!

  • Callan

    Nick is so talented but he just doesn’t get it. He thinks it’s simply a matter of the other team making shots while the Wizards miss? I don’t understand how someone can be that oblivious. It’s hard for me to cheer when he scores.

  • Chris


    I’m not blaming Nick Young for the loss. And Jordan Crawford is hardly “my boy”. He’s guilty of many of the same bad habits as Nick Young – virtually every shot he takes is a heat check.

    I agree that McGee is better than Seraphin, but since neither of them has any idea how to play winning basketball, give me the guy who always hustles on both ends over the guy who sulks and pouts. The Wizards need a new culture more than they need a guy to catch alley-oops and goal-tend shots into the fifth row.

    The offense DOES seem to start with the SGs, which is a bad habit they need to break. Which was my point.

    To be clear, they were non-competitive because they’re a bad basketball team, but the Warriors are not so good that they should be able to steamroll the Wizards at home on the back end of a long road trip. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that McGee and Blatche were prominent parts of Washington’s worst loss in a while.

  • Chris


    And anyway, Nick Young IS a bum. Whether last night’s loss is on him is irrelevant: he’s a huge, glaring part of their losing culture. As I pointed out before, Nick and JaVale and Andray form the nucleus of that culture as the guys who carried it over from the dark days of Agent Zero. In order to become a team that actually contends for something meaningful, not just a mid-seed in a lousy Eastern Conference, but an actual championship, they need guys who understand how to compete on every play every night. No one who understands basketball could ever claim that Nick or Andray or JaVale have that in them at all.

  • Blue

    I am so tired of The Three Stooges. The time has come for Nick and Dray and Pierre or whatever the heck his name is to get to steppin.

  • That game was an embarrassment–no doubt about that. Check out my analysis on the Wizards to see if it lends any credence to why they are doing so badly.

  • nich

    Yeah Crawford shot like crap, but he also made a few great passes and some defensive plays where he just fought damn hard in order to make it happen.

    It’s frustrating watching Nick- or Javale for that matter- when their shots aren’t falling. Javale pouts and points fingers, Young just totally checks out. It’s telling that the Wizards were better with Crawford on the floor despite a terrible shooting night.
    I think Crawford is just plain better at this point. A few games with one or the other shooting significantly better won’t swing my opinion one way or the other. They both have significant flaws, they’re both better suited to a bench role long-term. At this stage, I’d much rather see Crawford with Washington and Nick Young will hopefully end up with a contender where he can shine in a Steve Novak role.

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