For most of the season I thought Randy Wittman would have to channel the spirit of Dr. Frankenstein to inject some life into the franchise. He would’ve combined the outside shooting and size of Andray Blatche with the tenacity and hustle of Trevor Booker.
Next he would’ve combined Kevin Seraphin’s toughness and girth with JaVale McGee’s length and athleticism.
Lastly he would’ve combined Jordan Crawford’s unrelenting gunning and ability to find a bad shot in shootarounds with Nick Young’s... Oh wait never mind.
Wittman is doing the impossible: coaxing wins and effort from a group of guys who wouldn’t know wins or effort if their names were Winning McEffortson. He has begun to change the culture of the organization without any changes or shakeups to the roster.
Wittman appears to have saved his surgical skills for the lineups, trotting out mismatched lineups that would’ve seemed absurd at the start of the season.
During the furious comeback against the LA Lakers, the Wizards did the most damage with a lineup of Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, Nick Young, Roger Mason, and Shelvin Mack. That was not a misprint. The Wizards came back against the Lakers with Wall, Blatche, McGee, and Crawford on the bench.
This was indicative of Wittman’s philosophy of playing time not being guaranteed. He is going with the guy with the hot hand. If a player plays smart and plays hard then he’s gonna get playing time. This bodes well for guys like Mason, Mack, and Maurice Evans and spells doom for the knuckleheads.
Wittman is essentially trying to change years of bad behavior in ¾ of a lockout shortened season. He has inherited a roster of talented players who would rather make the highlight reel and pad their stat line than do what’s necessary to win games. It appears that Wittman has embraced the role of teacher and now is left with the gargantuan task of teaching guys who seem to have no interest in learning. If benching is the only way to get the message across then so be it.
The fans are tired of watching our professional basketball team act like a bunch of overpaid, petulant adolescents. We are tired of watching players make mistake after mistake, yet stay in the game.
Apparently Coach Wittman is tired of it too.