Wittman on starting Nene: 'I wanted to change things up'
For whatever reason, Wizards coach Randy Wittman has been playing coy all season when it comes to his lineups. Nene was a surprise return to the starters already this week, as was Wittman not playing Kevin Seraphin after a season-best 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting over the weekend.
Unless another issue arises with Nene and his sore right Achilles, he'll start vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
"His impact whenever he's on the floor is vital," Wittman said of Nene, who played 36 minutes and scored 19 points in Monday's 102-88 win at the Chicago Bulls. "You could say he had a good impact for our bench when he was on the bench. Obviously, he's having a good impact starting the game."
Seraphin is another issue. His best game early in the season came in Miami when he made 4 of 5 shots off the bench in that 103-93 loss on Nov. 3.
Wittman went five deep into his bench in that game with Seraphin logging 15 minutes. He only went three deep in Chicago, opting to play just Garrett Temple, Martell Webster and Trevor Booker. Seraphin had scored his season high in the previous game vs. the Houston Rockets.
"That's a feel in the game. I wanted to get off to a good start in Chicago. That was my gut feel going into that game. I can't tell you that if the next 20 games games we're going to have an eight-man rotation or a 12-man," Wittman said. "Thats kind of a coaching situation, who you're playing, what guys are coming off the other team's bench, where our advantages might be, or disadvantages. You look at all those things. It was a gut decision (Monday) night and it worked."
With the way the Heat defend by trapping the ball and putting a lot of stress on offenses, as well as generating foul calls, it's more likely that Wittman will have to reach deeper than three.