D.C. Council Opening Statements: Wizards vs Pistons, Game 27 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

D.C. Council Opening Statements: Wizards vs Pistons, Game 27

Updated: December 28, 2013

Washington Wizards vs Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons, a team that’s had Washington’s number over the past two seasons, comes to the District tonight. The two squads have not faced off since opening night in Detroit. Covering the game on-hand at the Verizon Center, tonight’s opening statements will feature answers from Wizards coach Randy Wittman, Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks, and Wizards point guard John Wall. Let us go…

First, news: Bradley Beal will start, Nene will continue to come off the bench.

Teams: Wizards vs. Pistons
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Television: CSN Washington
Radio: WFED-AM 1500/THE FAN-FM 106.7
Line: Wizards fav’d by 3.5 points.

Q #1:  On Minnesota having their way with Washington at the rim last night with the Pistons at their doorstep tonight:

Randy Wittman: “Wasn’t the up front guys that had their way with us last night, it was everybody. I was not very pleased with where our focus was from a defensive standpoint. Why that was after playing the way we’ve played with the days off, we don’t know, but we’ve got to get that mindset changed tonight.

“When we play at our best is when we’re the more physical team. And that doesn’t just mean big guys. That means guarding my guy out on the perimeter. We got more blow-bys last night to the rim from the perimeter than we’ve had in a long time. That’s got to change. That’s being physical in my ‘coachspeak.’ “

Q #2: On the matchup against Detroit:

John Wall: “The main thing is we got to do a better job of rebounding and battling down there. We know they’re No. 1 in second-chance points and offensive rebounds and points in the paint, and basically, we lost the game last night that way. We’ve got to do a better job of helping the bigs out as guards and getting rebounds and keeping guys out the paint and making their job a lot easier.”

On what happened to his offense in Minnesota (Wall scored 22 points in the first half, zero in the third, and four in the fourth quarter):

John Wall:I was aggressive, still … but, they just … I made a couple shots and you kind of know what type of game I can have. In pick-and-roll, they started to trap and show harder and didn’t really go under the screens as much as they did in the first half. As a point guard, you look to make the right play and make an assist and get guys a shot. I just wanted to give my teammates an opportunity to get into the flow of the game [in the third quarter]. We basically couldn’t get any stops on the other end.”

Q #3: On managing the minutes of a veteran like Chauncey Billups (Is it all on the player? Does the coach have to say when sometimes?):

Maurice Cheeks: “Yes, there’s some give-and-take on both ends. Seeing where he can play, the amount of minutes he plays … because I’ve been where he’s at, 37, still trying to play—and could do some things—but couldn’t do some things that I could do before. So yea, I listen to him, he listens to me, and we just kind of figure it out.”

Cheeks was later asked about his ‘I’m done’ moment in the NBA … or which young guy getting past him stands out. At first, Cheeks said, “It wasn’t just ‘a’ guy, it was several guys…” Later, he answered: Kevin Johnson.

Q #4:  On Gortat’s offensive struggles (to make baskets) over the last several games (and magic wands):

Marcin Gortat is 20-for-50 on field goals over the last five games and has either not gotten good opportunities or has missed some very makable shots.

Randy Wittman: “Listen, guys are going to have ups and downs. You got to play through those, stay confident and stay aggressive. I wish I had a wand that I could tap him on the head and he’s going to go out and make eight straight shots, but I don’t have that wand.”

Wittman was asked if he got anything good for Christmas. He said: “Not that wand, I’d like to have that wand.”


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.