Before we go ahead and praise the Wizards for being the 2nd worst team in the league, let's get all the pessimism out of the way. There weren't very many bad things to emphasize in last night's game, but I'm not used to writing about victories so this is a little new for me.
Work with me here Wizards fans. This is unchartered territory.
The only real problem for the Wizards last night was their inability to come out strong in the 3rd quarter and really put the Bobcats away.
As the cliche' goes: "thats the difference between a good team and a great team."
Instead, their sloppy play and inconsistent defense for much of the 3rd frame allowed Charlotte to generate momentum and cut the deficit down to 13. This was something that was a daunting problem under Flip Saunders and has seemed to continue to be a problem without Flip.
I understand that it was Randy Wittman's first game as head coach, coach Wittman is a student of the Flip Saunders' school of coaching so I'm not exactly surprised. If the Wiz kids played any other team last night and let them generate momentum to get back in to the game like that, I wouldn't be surprised if I would be here writing an article about one of the most disappointing losses of the season last night.
With that said, congrats Randy Whitman on your first win (and 101st career NBA head coaching win) with the Washington Wizards! You're officially responsible for 1/3 of the team's total wins this season! More important than the Wizards great defense, Nick Young continuing to score and Andray Blatche settling in to his role is the ability of this team to come together and play "team basketball."
Coach Wittman emphasized "Team basketball" and "holding players accountable" in his pre game talk to the media and really wanted to set a tone early on.
Well, he got that.
Every single Wizard who checked in to the game got at least 2 points and no one played more than 30 minutes. You saw consistency across the board and the team stood together and accepted the responsibility. Coach Whitman did a great job of managing his substitutions and getting the most out of his bench which was a direct result of this team's win last night.
The Wizards dominated in the fundamental aspect of last night's game. They out-rebounded Charlotte, they shot almost 50% from the field, they had 10 more assists, and put up 13 blocked shots. Go figure that they won the game with that kind of stat line.
As great as it was to see this team come out hungry, motivated and desired to win last night, it's not enough! We've seen this team dominate teams and even have multiple games where they win by double digits and then follow it up with a performance that doesn't even deserve a negative article to be written about it. The thing Wizards fans have been begging to see all year long is consistency! Let's see it boys!
Great, you beat a hurt Charlotte Bobcats team, but can you go on the road to Houston, give the same effort and come out of it with your first road win of the season? Let's not over react to this win and place more credit than the team deserves. This is a continuous process and you're only as good as the last game you played. Remember, this team went 3-38 on the road last season and are still looking for their first road win of this season. If this team is able to go out and play with the same emotion over the next 3-4 games, then I'll be a little more optimistic.
Till then, Go Wiz!