The Wizards open training camp Sept. 29, but most of the 15-man roster already has gone to work at Verizon Center. Coach Randy Wittman recently talked to CSN Washington about the task ahead for a team that only won 29 games last season and hasn't made the playoffs since 2008 but is expected to turn this around.
Wednesday's key question: Has Jan Vesely, who has under-performed in his first two seasons, truly improved after shining with the Czech national team and the Wizards' summer league team in Las Vegas? (Note: Vesely played five games in Eurobasket and Wittman spoke to CSN before he turned in his worst game of the tournament in a loss to Croatia).
Wittman: "He was probably our best player in summer league and played with renewed confidence in himself. We've seen that now with the national team. A game with Slovenia he had 17 (points) and 7 (rebounds). He had 23 and 14 (vs. Poland). You could just see his emotions in his play. I think that has carried over from what he did for us in summer league. I haven't been keeping any secrets from you guys. With Jan, that's what it is: Believe in himself, be emotional, stay in tune to things and what he's capable of doing. Sometimes, a young player, a guy like him coming over here (to the U.S.), one guy thinks he should be this kind of a player, one guy thinks he should be that kind of player. As I've told Jan, 'This is the kind of player you are right now and this is what you need to concentrate on.' This summer we talked a lot leading into Vegas, what I wanted to try to see him do and work on. I saw him translate those things into his game in Vegas. We talked after Vegas about the next step to take with his national team. The competition his playing against over there is not the NBA but it's another step. You got to get the belief in yourself. I've seen that. I'm really happy with what I've seen with him."
Tuesday's take: This is how Harrington opens up the floor
Monday: Full-speed ahead with Nene