Coming off their first winning month of the season, the Wizards have a promising road ahead for March even though they've already lost the first game.
They dropped a spirited contest to the New York Knicks on Friday, 96-88, but eight of their next 10 games are against teams with losing records entering Saturday. The two best teams of that lot they've faced recently and beat them, the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Philadelphia 76ers (22-34) come to town Sunday for a 6 p.m. contest on CSN. Then it’s at the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-35), at Nets, Charlotte Bobcats (13-45), at Cleveland Cavaliers (20-39), Bucks (28-28), New Orleans Hornets (21-39), Phoenix Suns (21-39) and at the Bobcats and Suns.
"It’s not about who we play, it’s about how we play,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said after practice Saturday. “If we play the way we’re capable of, and the way we should play, whatever your stat is … wins and losses take care of themselves.”
The Wizards, who went 7-5 in February, are on a two-game losing streak. They dropped a 96-95 contest at home to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday that led Wittman to criticize his team’s lack of focus and selfishness.
Despite losing to the Knicks -- the Wizards came back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to lead going into the fourth and almost erased a nine-point deficit in the final 1:06 -- he was satisfied. Starting power forward Nene also missed his second game in a row with a sore shoulder.
“We got back to being who we were last night,” Wittman said. “We had some crucial turnovers. We didn't make free throws. But we played the right way. We played hard and we didn't win the game but to move on in a positive manner coming into today, that’s how we've got to look at it.”
For the Wizards to finish with a second consecutive winning month, they’ll have to go through this stretch with a winning mark because they close March with games at the Los Angeles Lakers (29-30), Golden State Warriors (33-26) and Oklahoma City Thunder (42-16). There’s also a home game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies (38-19).