I don't know which is more embarrassing. The fact that the Wizards only have 4 wins this season, or that the Raptors are responsible for 25% of the team's win total.
The Wiz kids haven't earned very many wins this year but 3 of their 4 have come at Verizon Center including their first win of the season against these very same Raptors back on January 10th. Washington enters tonight's game with a 4-20 record but recently the team has been looking more and more like the team we expected them to be (minus the 20 losses). With the exception of Saturday night's game against the high-flying Clippers and Friday's 2nd half meltdown to the very same Toronto Raptors, the Wizards have certainly been playing more inspired team basketball under interim head coach Randy Wittman.
It's pretty cut and dry as to why the Wizards aren't able to put wins together more consistently. The team is 4th to last in the league in points per game (89.1) and are 3rd to last in the amount of points they give up per game (99.4). Noticing this trend, coach Wittman made it his point of emphasis to distribute the playing time amongst players who clearly want to put forth the effort game in and game out to help this team win every night.
In Layman's terms: No more selfish basketball.
Because of the injury to Andray Blatche and unmotivated play of local NBA bank robber Rashard Lewis, we've seen different starting combinations for the Wizards. Jan Vesely can be effective at times with his aggressive defense and passing, but his lack of size tends to get him in foul trouble early in games. Shelvin Mack continues to improve while John Wall sits and we've actually seen Kevin Seraphin on the court and MAKING PLAYS! Wizards fans don't know how long they can expect the continuous effort, but one thing is for sure, every guy has "seemingly" bought in to the mentality and attitude that Coach Wittman has instilled. I say seemingly in quotes only because the effort over the last game and a half has put me on the fence about my statement.
Tonight is an opportunity for Washington to get another win against a team that they are more than capable of beating. Especially here at home. The Wizards must take advantage of an emotionally and physically drained Raptors team. Toronto (8-17) is on the 2nd of a back-to-back that saw them put forth a valiant effort against the Miami Heat yesterday but ultimately lost as the team could not find a way to close out the game.
If the Wizards are going to come out with a win tonight, not only are they have to find a way to improve on the "team basketball" that coach Wittman had them believing in for a couple of games, but they're going to need John Wall to come through offensively. He's only been averaging 10.3 points in his last 3 games and it includes one of his worst offensive productions in his short NBA career when he finished with only 2 points against the Magic.