Prior to tonight’s epic Wizards-Bobcats tilt, Randy Wittman had his usual presser with the loyal cadre of Wizards beat reporters and staffers. Most of the presser can be considered business as usual, but Wittman was downright Belichickian when it came to discussing Wizards injuries. Nene’s minutes will “continue” to be monitored, despite the fact that he was basically encased in ice after the Hawks game. Trevor Booker’s knee “gets better” every day, but there is no timetable for his return. Most encouragingly, Wittman has “no idea” when John Wall will be back.
Coach Randy Wittman from Washington Wizards practice on Nov. 16, 2012:
“I’d like to get to where I have a steady rotation and every night this is how we’re going to go out and play, barring injuries. We haven’t been able to do that, just through up-and-down play of individuals.
As a coach you search to try to find that right mix, and I haven’t been able to do that. We gotta get to that point where you got five that are starting, and you got a rotation coming off the bench that knows when they’re coming in. That’s what we gotta get to, that’s when you become a consistent team. We’re not even close to that right now.” —Randy Wittman
The Detroit Pistons, who were pacing the NBA in futility, crushed the 76ers in Philadelphia last night, 94-76. Detroit attacked the rim for 48 minutes and outscored Philly 42-28 in the a paint. Greg Monroe led the way with a 19-point, 18-rebound performance. That win snapped the Pistons’ eight-game skid to start the 2012-13 season, and meant that the Wizards, who fell to 0-7 in Dallas, are the last remaining winless team in the NBA. (Fun fact: The Wizards got off to the worst start in franchise history last season, going 0-8; traditions, it seems, are tough to break.)
But Randy “Rodney Dangerfield” Wittman thinks he knows why his squad is falling short of (playoff) expectations: No respect!
“For whatever reason, this team doesn’t get any respect,” Wittman told NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan. “We go to the rim and had 11 free throws. These young guys just have to make a name for themselves, and it’s just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs for why they don’t call it.”
Wittman didn’t stop there: “Maybe we have to send the game film everyday to the league.”
Sexual innuendos … Sports innuendos … Sometimes it’s all in the same game. All basketball players want to put the ball in the hole off penetration, right? We could be here all night, folks.
Milwaukee guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis aren’t bashful, that’s for sure. They look to get off every night, if you will — to get buckets. In fact, when Ellis is on the bench, the Bucks average 11.1 3-point attempts per 48 minutes; when he’s on the court, Milwaukee takes 21.5 3-pointers per 48. Or Jennings, when he’s on the court, the Bucks make 40.2 field goals per 48 minutes; when he’s off, they sink a mere 34.8. Together, they average 36 shots per game (Jennings 16.7 and Ellis 19.3), but they’d each be happy with over 20 shots a game, at least.
So why not ask Randy Wittman before the game, what he’s going to two with those two guards just itching to get off.
“You think it’s just tonight they’re itching to get off? I think they itch to get off every night.”
Undecided and undetermined, the Washington Wizards remain as they enter the final week of the preseason. They’ll play the world champion Miami Heat in Kansas City on Wednesday and the San Antonio Spurs on their court in south Texas on Friday before opening the season in Cleveland next Tuesday, October 30. Up until and through that date, one thing is certain with Randy Wittman’s team: competition.
“Intensity level this year has been a huge difference, both in games and in practice,” said the coach after practice on Monday, thinking about his environment a year after the fact. “That’s probably the biggest difference, we’ve got guys competing at just about every position, and that’s with guys out.” Wittman then ran down the list of those who have missed extended time this preseason.
On Monday, John Wall and Nene remained sidelined as scheduled. Kevin Seraphin sat out, working on basketball handling drills on the sideline while all other teammates played five-on-five basketball toward the end of practice. A blue team of A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, and Emeka Okafor (the same five who took the court to begin last Saturday in Milwaukee) started with the ball against a white team of Shelvin Mack, Steven Gray, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, and Earl Barron.
Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke with the media for over 30 minutes on Thursday evening from team’s training camp on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.TAI was there. Below is part two of all that (here is part one) — some stuff in video, some in text.
Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke with the media for over 30 minutes on Thursday evening from team’s training camp on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.TAI was there. Below is part one of all that — some stuff in video, some in text.
[NOTE: This was written before today's Debbie-Downer news about John Wall's knee. But in any case... -Kyle W.]
“This is not the norm in the league,” said Randy Wittman in a pre-training camp press conference on Wednesday. He was talking about almost two-thirds of his young team arriving in Washington early over the last week-plus to get better acquainted with each other before the season.
“We do have a lot of new faces, and I thought it was important they get to try to know each other a little bit, not only as persons, but their games, what they like to do, where they like to catch the ball, those kind of things that you can learn, before we start on Tuesday,” said the coach, subtly anxious to run his first Wizards training camp from the head position.
In 2009 training camp, Flip Saunders gave his Washington Wizards hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Our Time.”
In 2010, “Back to Basics” was the training camp tagline of choice.
Prior to a lockout-shortened season in late-2011, Saunders balked at tying words to an abbreviated camp. Instead, he handed out a Wizards logo hard hat at the end of practices. Later in the season, gold coins with “Game Changer” on them. Yes, It’s true.
Randy Wittman, before his first season as Wizards head coach, was asked about a slogan for this year’s training camp on Wednesday.
“You know, I’m kind of old school,” he said with a shrug of the shoulders. So old school that the first slogan which crossed his mind arose from the depths of 1979.
“‘We are fam-i-ly’ … I don’t know if you guys remember the Pittsburgh Pirates…”
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John Wall turned 22-years old on Thursday, September 6. Kevin Willis turned 50 on Thursday, too. (Could’ve sworn he was 60 … he was still playing in the NBA less than 2,000 days ago.) Who else celebrated a birthday on September 6? None other than Pippa Middleton, Foxy Brown (the rapper), Jeff Foxworthy (the redneck), Rosie Perez, and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire). Now let’s check out some John Wall birthday club fliers — Wall surely won’t become the next “Party All Dray,” right? (H/T DC Sports Nexus)
First, there’s New York…
And then Miami, where there will be girls holding boobs, clearly…