The Wizards passed on practice Wednesday after returning home following Game 5's 102-79 victory on Tuesday night. However, coach Randy Wittman spoke with reporters on a conference call. In addition to his thoughts on Drew Gooden's rebounding prowess, the highlights:
*Thursday's Game 6 at the Verizon Center will be the sixth game in 11 days between the Wizards and Pacers and ninth head-to-head matchup this season. In other words, rest is a luxury and both sides know one another.
"Right now, I think when you get to this point in the series you got to be fresh, [that’s] the number one thing," Wittman said when asked about deciding to practice or not. "We’ve done a lot of preparation. At this point a lot of it is video. At this point there’s no tricks. They know what we’re doing, we know what they’re doing. Small adjustments that you make from game to game. I think the main thing right now is being fresh, keeping them off their feet so they have the energy to go out and perform."
*While Marcin Gortat and John Wall had bounceback performances with a combined 58 points in Game 5, Nene remained quiet with four points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. Over his last three games, the Brazilian big man is 10 of 34 for from the field while averaging 7.3 points. In other words, Nene is not performing as he did offensively in the first round series against the Bulls (17.8 ppg) when he was arguably the best player in the series.
The power forward did have four assists, two steals, a team-high two blocks in Game 5 and played solid defense per Wittman, who noted that there were simply fewer shots available for Nene with others scorching from the field.
"it's different guys stepping up. Going now into Game 6 [Thursday] night, we've got to have guys step up. Nene's been really good for us last night from a defensive standpoint. [Marcin] had it going. ...I thought John and our guys did a nice job when [Marcin] in the first quarter came out the way he did and really looked to continue to get him in position down in the low post to score. That was kind of how the game went that night.
Gortat finished 13 of 15 from the field, Wall 11 of 20 and Nene 2 of 6. The six attempts were his fewest since the final game of the regular season.
"Tomorrow it could be a different story," Wittman continued. "We're going to have to have guys step up and play the way their capable of playing ...Tomorrow night might be Nene in that situation."