Wittman: ‘You Cannot Screw With The Basketball Gods Like That.’ (Also: ‘Brandon Bass has been to the Conference Finals’)
Wittman, when asked by an AP reporter about the “undermanned” Celtics, after losing to them 111-113 in overtime:
“Jeff Green’s been in this league. [Gerald] Wallace has been in this league. [Kris] Humphries has been in this …
That’s what our guys think. That’s exactly what our guys think. No… that’s what our guys think, just like you’re thinking. ‘Cause that’s what you’re thinking.
“And that’s not the case. Brandon Bass has been to the Conference Finals. These guys have played in playoff games.
“We don’t have guys that have played in playoff games.”
Wittman went on to accuse his players of thinking that they can just look for their own offense because of who they were matched up against—those already undermanned Celtics, also without Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Jerryd Bayless for Wednesday’s game. The Wizards coach said that his team lacked respect for the opponent. And I cannot argue.
“You cannot screw with the basketball gods like that. It always comes back to get you.”
And guess what, Randy Wittman is right again.
Brandon Bass DID go to the Conference Finals. Twice! He went once as a Celtic (losing to the Miami Heat in seven games), and once as a member of the Orlando Magic (losing to the Boston Celtics in six games). Bass also played with Gortat that season in Orlando, 2010. That’d be Marcin Gortat. Polish dude, mind-speaker, pre-game Miami club/trance jams listener, player for the Washington Wizards.
- Marcin Gortat has 46 total games of NBA playoff experience, and he even played in an NBA Finals with the Magic (2009, 4-1 loss to … Trevor Ariza and the Lakers).
- Speaking of… 41 career playoff games for Trevor Ariza. PLUS, an NBA Championship ring. (Lakers, 2009)
- Martell Webster averaged 25.3 minutes per game over a six-game playoff series for the Blazers in 2010, a 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Suns. That’s his playoff experience.
- Garrett Temple has also been to the playoffs (six games, 15 total minutes). He was part of the 2010 Spurs team that got swept by the Suns in the second round.
- Nene has racked up 44 career playoff games, all with the Denver Nuggets (seven times), and he’s gotten past the first round once, in 2009. Nene, you see, has been to the Conference Finals (losing 4-2 to the Lakers … and that damn Trevor Ariza in 2009).
- You know Uncle Al Harrington (not in attendance on Wednesday) has been in the playoffs—48 total games, and totally an appearance in the … Conference Finals, with the Indiana Pacers in 2004 (they lost 4-2 to Detroit).
- Even Eric Maynor been to the playoffs, son-son. Even Eric Maynor been to the Conference Finals (with the Thunder in 2011, who lost to the Mavs 4-1). Now Maynor is in the left-out finals for the Washington Wizards.
But Randy Wittman’s point was about Washington’s two lead guys. John Wall and Bradley Beal had plenty of “help,” but they took the lead in underestimating Boston and in thinking that the game was ripe for their very own pickings. (And those two have not been to the playoffs, much less the Conference Finals.)
Wall, in particular, threw up 29 shots (making nine)—which, to his credit, Wall took the blame for after the game: “It starts with me. I took too many shots tonight.” After the game, not during.
All part of the maturation process, one would guess.
In any case, Brandon Bass—eight points, three fouls, two turnovers, and two rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench—has totally been to the Conference Finals.