The case for Wittman to stay

The case for Wittman to stay
May 10, 2012, 7:42 pm
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The Wizards brass have a difficult decision to make this off-season in deciding whether or not to retain coach Randy Wittman who took over on an interim basis after Flip Saunders was fired earlier this year.

Or is it a tough decision?

Wittman finished with an 18-31 record, including helping guide the Wizards to that 6-game winning streak to close out the season. At 20-46, though, the Wizards still had the second-worst record in the NBA.

Wittman is a no-nonsense guy who rewarded players for hard work and performance and benched those who didn't. Players are fully aware where they stand with Wittman -- something that wasn't always the case with Saunders.

Under Wittman, forwardcenter Kevin Seraphin thrived, emerging as one of the bright spots for the future. Seraphin's offensive skill-set -- developed overnight it seemed -- went from just using his strength to dunk to actual moves, including baby hooks, a soft jumper and baseline spin moves using his improved footwork.

Most importantly, Wittman saw point guard and former 1 pick John Wall close with some of his finest games as a Wizard.

Wall still is the key to the rebuilding process, which will be into its third year next season.

Wall said he would like to see Wittman back next year. Will president Ernie Grunfeld and owner Ted Leonsis want the same?

It doesn't hurt that Wittman has a year left on his contract so that could lean in his favor to being retained.

What doesn't help Wittman is that proven NBA coaches like Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan are available after being fired by New York and Portland, respectively. Both of those coaches' track records are much more proven than Wittman's.

But the way Wittman and the Wizards wrapped up the season may just be enough for him to return and to continue the rebuilding process.

I don't think it would be a surprise at all if he were back.