Wake-up call: Wittman manages through 'game of frustration'

Wake-up call: Wittman manages through 'game of frustration'
April 2, 2014, 6:00 am
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The voice of coach Randy Wittman has taken a beating. And the Wizards took a verbal one from him after their latest letdown in the second half of a game. He's getting hoarse. "He gave it to us after the game, for sure," second-year guard Bradley Beal said. "Words I can't even repeat."

It came after Monday's 100-94 loss at the Charlotte Bobcats. The Wizards play the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). 

So much has been made of what the players are going through with this up-and-down season, but what about the coach who, no pun intended, appears to be at wit's end?

"This is a game of frustration. We're having a hard time learning from some of our mistakes," said Wittman, who is in the final year of his contract. "That's the hard thing sometimes and maybe frustration sets in. Instead of how we have worked the way to get there, we throw that 'how' part out sometimes. Whether it's we relax a little bit, we can do things a different way now. Experiment a little bit. Momentum changes so fast in this league. When it does sometimes it's hard to stop. ... We got to be more cognizant in staying the course in how we got there."

There's no Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony, pure scorers who can single-handedly take over a game no matter what the defense throws at them, on the roster here. When the Wizards (38-36) remember that the offense flows more smoothly when everyone touches the ball they're more successful. 

"He's been on top of us, screaming, yelling. You expect that because it's crunch time," Beal said. "He's trying to get us to win and putting us in the right situations. It's up to us to be able to go out and do so. He has every right to be upset and be as strict as he is."

Al Harrington, in his 16th season, has no qualms about Wittman's approach. They're just having to learn the hard way. 

"It's been tough but he just got to stay the course. You got to keep harping on it. You can't change. He's got to be on us. The energy and intensity he brings, it has to trickle down to us. He coaches every single possession," Harrington said. "He takes every single possession with a lot of value and that's what he's trying to get us to do. That's something for us to realize that something that happens in the first quarter affects the fourth quarter. Until we learn that, we're not going to be as consistent as we would like." 

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