Wizards: All cylinders click for once-disjointed defense

Wizards: All cylinders click for once-disjointed defense
February 5, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Chemistry clearly has been a major issue for the Wizards, who haven't always been sync particularly on the defensive end as they've fallen far from their top 10 ranking after the 2012-13 season.

With their latest success vs. elite teams they might've worked out those kinks. The Oklahoma City Thunder were held to 24 less than their average Saturday. In the last game Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers were kept 18 below. So what has suddenly changed going into Wednesday's game vs. the San Antonio Spurs at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET)?

Randy Wittman: "Our principles defensively, they've focused on that probably the last two-and-a-half, three weeks better than we have all year. That can't slip. We understand who we're playing and what they're capable of. It's probably the best team in the league from a motion standpoint in cutting and moving. We have to be on top of our game. If you're a little lax against a team like this they can embarrass you. It's not so much what we have to do differently than we did last time (92-79 loss on Nov. 13)."

John Wall: "We're doing a better job on the road. When you do good on the road, you got to find a way to do better at home. We're bringing our defensive efforts and our team play from off the road back home and it's helping us win games. ... As long as we keep playing defense first, I think we'll be solid."

Nene: "The whole team's playing defense. Defense starts one-on-one. After that your team has got your back to help. (Trevor) Ariza has been playing good. The big men have been talking a lot. The whole team has been playing together well on defense."

[RELATED: Wittman favors trend of closer D-League affiliates]

Marcin Gortat: "We're a totally different team now. We are obviously better, more experienced. The chemistry is way better than the last game. Obviously, we'd like to pay them back. We beat the first team (Thunder), we beat the second-best team from the West (Blazers), so now we'd like to beat the third team from the West. There's nothing better than beating San Antonio and coach Gregg Popovich, who is in my opinion the best coach in the NBA."