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Wizards’ owner gives coach Wittman vote of confidence

Aug 6, 2013, 3:57 PM EDT

Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman reacts during their NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in Manhattan Reuters

The Washington Wizards — with a healthy John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene — are poised to make a leap next season, to be in the mix for one of the playoff spots in the East next season.

But can coach Randy Wittman get them there?

While some people around the league have their doubts, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis gave Wittman a big vote of confidence, in speaking with Ben Standig at

“Randy and the system,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said following Wall’s contract extension press conference last week when asked about his belief in the coach. …

What does he like about Wittman? The focus on defense. Through all of their issues last season the Wizards had the eighth best defense in the NBA last season (in points allowed per possession, which was 101.8, the league median was 103).

“When you add that a team that plays committed team defense and has individual, very, very good defenders, I think those are good, good signs that make you kind of put some distance between you and the rest of the teams,” Leonsis said. “So yeah, I would say Randy’s emphasis on defense and his ability to make the players accountable – I sit on the floor. Randy’s not shy. He’s ecumenical in his wrath to all of the players. it’s mostly about, ‘ you didn’t box out, how did you let that guy get to the loose ball, why didn’t you get that rebound’. It’s not about ‘you missed the shot.’

“Culturally, that’s such a change for us, that accountability to each other and the coach to play good defense I think is another very positive step for us.”

That sounds great, but if the losses pile up, that accountability could catch up with Wittman.

  1. shanelsweet - Aug 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Wizards haven’t had many great coaches. Before Wittman, we had Flip. Around the NBA, folks seem to think Flip’s a good coach and GM. He didn’t have any problem finding a good job with the Wolves. Wittman’s better for our young team. He’s no backstabber or media loudmouth. He’s a good teacher. Wall, Nene and the rest of the team like him because he doesn’t complain about them to the media. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make folks play better.

  2. thekingdave - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Wittman should be fired of they miss the playoffs.

  3. thirdistheworrd - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Wittman should be fired now. You know how some organizations like the Cowboys, or Jets, or Bucks, or Bucs, or Rangers, or Rangers strive for mediocrity? The Bullets strive for sub-mediocrity. This organization is built from the ground up to be just less than a winner. And Randy Wittman is a coach who is not a loser. He’s not terrible, he’s not even that bad, but he’s not promising– he’s not even almost there, he’s just a roadblock on our team’s path to success.

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