Wittman: 'That was a beautiful thing tonight'
Following Saturday’s win over Atlanta, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he was happy with back-to-back wins but a win streak equals three or more wins in his book. The Wizards officially have a win streak on their hands by blowing away the Orlando Magic 120-91 on Monday.
It was the Wizards most complete effort of the season by far. Six players scored in double figures and the team tallied season highs in points, field goal percentage, and assists. Gone are the days of selfish basketball and all of sudden sharing is caring.
“That was a beautiful thing tonight, to watch that,” said Wittman. “With ball movement, you could just see everybody feed off of it. The ball is moving, everybody’s touching it, whether you get the shot or not, you’re involved.”
Washington used an 11-4 run to push their lead to as many as 19 in the first half. But Orlando closed the second quarter on a 15-2 run cutting the Wizards lead to only six. In times past their where would’ve been massive finger pointing eventually culminating in a Wizards late game collapse. The difference now is this team is playing with a newfound confidence and doesn’t panic when facing adversity.
“Well my group the last minute and forty-five seconds did a bad job of closing out the quarter and they got back into the game,” said John Wall who scored 12 points in his second back from injury. “Coach came in and said we got to do a better job of closing out quarters and stay with the same game plan we had in the first two quarters and we came out and did a good job of getting the lead back up.”
With Wall pushing the tempo the Wizards outscored Orlando 29-4 in fast break points. Nobody has benefitted from the return of Wall more than Jan Vesely. One game after having five fouls in five minutes he responded with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
“I played with him last year and I think he just stays focused and he couldn’t wait to get back on the court, said Vesely. “He’s playing good. I can’t wait to keep playing these games with him.”
While Wall has yet to return to the starting lineup, AJ Price is doing more than keeping the seat warm. He’s scored 16 and 18 points respectively in his last two outings but more importantly both Wall and Price are running the team effectively.
“We’re just making sure that everyone gets shots,” said Price after he and Wall combined for 12 assists compared to just three turnovers against Orlando. “We’re not turning the ball over and that means we’re getting a good possession every time down the floor. Everybody is touching the ball and when everybody is touching the ball everybody is happy.”
The trick now for the Wizards is taking this momentum on the road. Starting Wednesday at Sacramento they will be on the west coast for five straight games.
“We needed this game,” said Bradley Beal after scoring 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting against Orlando. “We needed all three of these games we just won. It gives us a big confidence boost going into the west coast. We’re going to be battle tested. It’s going to be a long flight, travel with time difference but we can’t use that as an excuse. We go to come and compete, battle hard and do what we do.”