Poll Dance Tuesday: Long Live #WittmanFace?
[Andray Blatche had “Lapdance Tuesdays”… Well, we at TAI have “Poll Dance Tuesday,” where we break down a situation with the Wizards and ask you, dear reader, to give your opinion via vote. Democracy! (without all the grinding)…]
Just two weeks ago the Wizards were 2-7 and TAI ran a poll: What ever should those wacky Wiz kids do?
- 40% of voters said that both Ernie Grunfeld and Randy Wittman should be canned.
- 32% said ‘Chill, it’s still way to early [to react to a 2-7 record].
- 20% wanted to fire Grunfeld, but keep Wittman.
- 4% said fire Wittman, but keep Grunfeld… (WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?)
Two weeks prior (on Nov. 6), the Wizards were 0-3, and TAI had that poll itch: How long can Wittman possibly last?
- 60% said all year.
- 25% said gone by game 25.
- 10% said gone by the All-Star break.
- 3.6% said gone by game 5.
You see, with the Wizards being #SoWizards in the early going, national pundits and the like pounced on their right to be ‘right’ (much like Internet content recycling … FIRST muthafucka!), and nominated Wittman as the first NBA to be fired in 2013-14.
The oddmakers at Bovada.lv even put 2/1 odds on the head of #WittmanFace on Nov. 14, which was highest amongst eight “hot seat” coaches given odds to get the ax. The others:
- Tyrone Corbin (Jazz) – 9/4
- Monty Williams (Pelicans) – 7/2
- Jason Kidd (Nets) – 13/2
- Dwane Casey (Raptors) – 13/2
- Mike Woodson (Knicks) – 15/2
- Mike D’Antoni (Lakers) – 12/1
- Terry Stotts (Blazers) – 12/1
Now, this very site never endorsed the termination of Wittman, we only gauged the temperature. We think Wittman has the potential to be a fine coach (despite his past record*); he doesn’t just give good face. He has a wry sense of humor, the take-no-shit type of snark you can write home to mom about, and has built a nice rapport with his main players (Nene, Wall), who in turn gave the old scamp an endorsement to the team owner, Ted Leonsis.
Since starting 2-7, the Wizards have won seven out of the last nine and—don’t look now—sit with a .500 record (9-9), good for third place in the Eastern Conference (11th in the West). People are talking about it—sorta. You might have heard—sorta. Wizards—sorta.
Bovada.lv heard. And hot off the presses are more ‘first to be fired’ odds on NBA coaches. Where does Wittman make his bed? Not at all, apparently. The list, shall we?
- Kidd (Nets) – 9/4
- Woodson (Knicks) – 5/2
- Brown, Mike (Cavs) – 4/1
- Corbin (Jazz) – 9/2
- Williams (Pelicans) – 6/1
- Drew, Larry (Bucks) – 7/1
- Casey (Raptors) – 9/1
- D’Antoni (Lakers) – 15/1
Also gone from this revised list is Terry Stotts, head coach of the 15-3 Portland Trailblazers (tied with the Spurs for the best record in the West). New additions: Larry Drew of the 3-13 Bucks and Mike Brown of the 5-12 Cavaliers.
Otherwise, Wizards gotta wizard… So let’s take time, seeing as how just over 22 percent of the season has drifted away into the annals of pro basketball history, and grade the ol’ ball coach … with another poll. What say you, dear voter?
* Amongst NBA coaches with 400 or more games under their belt, Randy Wittman has the worst winning percentage (.342) in league history. If we bump down the requirement to 200 or more games (so about a season and a half’s worth of games), Wittman only has the ninth-worst winning percentage in league history. All of that said, with a 25-25 finish last season, the coach is currently fielding a .500 record (34-34) over his last 68 games. Not terrible.