Amid all the playoff noise, Wittman sets tone

Amid all the playoff noise, Wittman sets tone
May 2, 2014, 4:00 pm
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

When the Wizards find out their second-round opponent, they'll only have one day to prepare for the Atlanta Hawks or Indiana Pacers. The challenges it presents to coach Randy Wittman, who is in his first postseason, are indeed unique. 

"My main focus is to make sure they're prepared when they step on the floor, that there isn't anything that's going to surprise them," said Wittman. "If we can do that as a staff that can go a long way."

Game 1 will be Monday, with the next three games being played every other day. The scouting of both potential opponents already has begun.

Now that his young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal have had a taste of the postseason with a five-game elimination of the Chicago Bulls in the first round, it should be an easier process. Or maybe not. 

"Everything amps up again. It's game-to-game in that particular series with Chicago. Now it's another round. The electricity is amped up. All of that is intensified," Wittman said. "Going through five games they saw how different Game 5 was than Game 1 was. As long as we keep that same thought process going into Round 2 we'll be fine."

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After the Wizards won Game 1 in Chicago, Wittman insisted the key was not to change anything and to keep his cool. He wants his players to do the same thing, but he has to set the example. 

"It's much more fine-tuned like that from game-to-game. When you're in the regular season there isn't a lot of adjustments you're doing from game-to-game," Wittman said. "For me that probably was the biggest thing because you're playing the same team over and over."

Supposedly, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had the edge over Wittman because he had so much more playoff experience. Wittman, however, made all the right moves with using Trevor Booker on Taj Gibson and switching Trevor Ariza to cover D.J. Augustin.

The caveat is that Wittman had more pieces to work with than Thibodeau, who was restricted to a seven-man rotation. 

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