The Wizards had their first practice of training camp today at the beautiful campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. It was all business for the young squad, sans John Wall of course, as they ran up and down the court showing off their fast paced offense.
From the get go, the offense looked like it will be faster than before as big men like Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Jan Veseley ran up and down the court at guard-speed. Besides the absence of Nene, who could only manage to jog lightly away from the action, it was truly enticing to see.
The Wizards front court is stacked with big athletic bodies. On paper, the roster does not look bad at all, folks. Expectations should not be targeted for the playoffs but for the improvement of John Wall (despite the injury) and the team as a whole. I’d rather see the Wizards playing 48 minutes of hard nose basketball than to get blown out by the likes of the LA Lakers and Miami Heat. This training camp seems to be off to a great start.
Quotes from Training Camp:
Coach Randy Wittman:
On his first impressions of camp:
“It was good; the thing that I was impressed with is our conditioning. It was very good. We had majority of our guys in DC after Labor Day.”
“Our energy level was really good but it better be for the first day.’
On the difference of having a full summer:
“That’s half the battle, the first two or three days are trying to get the guys accustomed”
On moving forward without John Wall:
“Trying to be different than what they really are….They just got to be who they really are….I don’t want them to be what they really aren’t.”
On Bradley Beal going down:
“Well if we get hurt with 5 on zero with no defense, then we are in big trouble. He banged knees. I’m not the one to worry about injuries. When you start worrying about injuries, then they start happening.”
On the tempo:
“We will not change the tempo even with John out.”
On tripping on the court:
“I tripped over a line…..it had happened as soon as you guys (media) walked out, I was nervous.” (Jokingly of course)
“You have to be mentally prepare yourself, working out is more physical if anything, but now it’s mental, you have to learn plays, learn reads, and learn different concepts within the game, the mentally is just different.”
Mentally towards the game without John:
“It shouldn’t change at all. We have other point guards here. We just gotta keep moving forward. They play pretty differently than John but it’s just something you have to adjust to. Injuries happen; you just have to move forward.”
On practices between all levels:
“In high school….do whatever you want honestly. In college, it was serious. The college and NBA are somewhat similar especially since I was with Coach Donovan. He made everything similar to how Coach Witt does it. It’s more mental, it’s different concepts that you have to learn.”
“Only thing that I had to do so far is carry Martell’s (Webster) iPad. That’s the only thing he wants me to do. ….I’m keeping my eye out for Nene, I’m being really nice to him.”