Wittman: Can't play 17 minutes against a good team
Before the season began, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he needed about 20 games to figure out what adjustments to make and soon after every team in the NBA would have an identity.
The Wizards are going into their 36th game Monday, playing at the Chicago Bulls, and the only way to describe them is schizophrenic because of their multiple personalities.
Let's make sure the starting point is clear: No one ever said the Wizards would win 60 games this season. I projected 43, one more than our Ben Standig. So with that in mind, that's just a few games above .500 and Wizards only are three games below. They're not far off but the unpredictability has been puzzling.
What was once a strong team at home now has a losing record at 7-9 and hasn't logged a victory at Verizon Center in 2014. What was once a top 10 defense in points allowed now among the bottom 10. Yes, this team is more successful when one player isn't asked to carry the load. That's part of the reason why John Wall received max money in the offseason, because he keeps everyone engaged and has a revolving door of three-point strikers. Except, for prolong stretches, no one is making anything. And those lapses translate into defensive lulls.
Four things that can be remedied quickly:
Rotations: Is it Jan Vesely or Kevin Seraphin? Will Chris Singleton make an appearance at the end of the first quarter never to be seen again? Wittman goes by feel, and says it depends on the opponent, but the lineup juggling has made it difficult. Surely that weighs on the mind of a player such as Seraphin who may be concerned about getting pulled after a mistake and not playing for a week. Granted, no player has been consistent enough to seize time other than Garrett Temple as the backup to Wall, Nene and Martell Webster. But maybe it's time to try something different?
Bradley Beal: When his shot is suffering, he's not able to get to the free throw line to manufacture points and the offense tends to shut down without Nene, who is now coming off the bench. The shots are there, and when defenders are running him off the line he has to create with his dribble.
Marcin Gortat: The starting center thought at one point they could win as many as 50 games. Now he knows better. Gortat's rebounding comes and goes as he clearly is out of sync playing so much pick-and-roll rather than getting more post-ups.
Otto Porter: The rookie was expected to be a glue player, but without knowing how these constantly moving parts fit maybe this is a lost season for him. If he were able to play like a No. 3 overall pick, that would solve a lot of problems.