Not only does Randy Wittman expect to be coaching here next season, he's looking at the team that conquered the Wizards as the blueprint to follow.
The central figures for the Wizards, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Nene and Marcin Gortat remind him of what the Indiana Pacers have in George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert. Ariza and Gortat enter the offseason as unrestricted free agents.
"We made this decision to grow the team, to get to the point of being a playoff team, now we got it there. We've got to try to see how far that core can go. That's what Indiana did," Wittman said. "The last three years those guys kind of been through wars. Now they're seeing how far they can take it. I don't think in one year of getting where you wanted to get that you try a new formula. You've got to allow this team to see how far they can go."
The Wizards won 44 regular-season games and made it to the second round of the playoffs before losing in six games to Indiana. They beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round.
"This was a really good mixtures of older players and younger players. That chemistry we had was pretty special this season," Wittman said. "The best I've been around when you're dealing with 15 guys that have the togetherness this team has. That's got to be a focus that you don't lose that ingredient moving forward."
The Pacers are playing in the East finals for the second year in a row vs. the Miami Heat, except this time they're the No. 1 seed and have home-court advantage.