Losing to the Boston Celtics isn’t embarrassing.
Boston is 15-29 this season – hardly great, but definitely not a record indicative of a team that can’t compete.
But losing to the Celtics when they don’t have Rajon Rando, Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless? When they outscore you by four points in the six minutes their backcourt is comprised of two players, Vander Blue and Chris Johnson, on 10-day contracts?
Now, we’re probably venturing into embarrassing territory.
The Washington Wizards had won four of five, but Wednesday’s setback to Boston has Wizards coach Randy Wittman at a loss.
Wittman, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:
“I don’t know. Im searching for different ways, different motives, different things. I’ve got to continue to do that. Obviously, it’s not coming across. (Rajon) Rondo is not playing (Avery) Bradley is not playing. Do you take a sigh of relief and then you go out and play like that? I’ll continue to figure out what buttons I need to push with this team to get them over that hump. I’ve got to help them. I’m part of that, too.”
Credit Wittman for being so introspective. Way too many coaches just blame players when things go poorly without looking in the mirror.
But Wittman is in his third season in charge of the Wizards. (He took over for Flip Saunders during the 2011-12 season, coaching 41 of 66 games). At this point, shouldn’t he have a better idea how to reach his players?
Wittman has improved immensely since taking over, and it’s clear why. He hasn’t deflected blame, constantly challenging himself to make the right adjustments.
That goes only so far, though.
After signing Wittman a two-year extension that runs through the end of this season, the Wizards have seemingly kept him, at least in part, because they don’t want to pay for a replacement. That thrifty plan made sense when they were outside the playoffs, regardless.
But now that they’re headed to the postseason, maybe a new coach would help get them to the next level.
Whatever the Wizards do with Wittman, they can at least count on him trying to improve as long as they have him.