Wittman pleased with effort in win
NEW YORK -- Remember when, mired in a four-game losing streak, Marcin Gortat said he needed to have a sit down with coach Randy Wittman -- then denied he said that and that his words were misinterpreted by media with an agenda -- because he was playing too far away from the basket?
Gortat got his sit down. It doesn't appear that Wittman totally bought the explanation, though he tried to give the 6-11 Polish center the benefit of the doubt. The comments after a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last weekend (Note: The Wizards distribute a quote sheet to their media email list, a sampling of comments from both locker rooms. Gortat's quote questioning his role was listed and it was the same quote -- transcribed in the same context and exact wording -- as used by CSN Washington).
"I don't know if it was a translation (issue). I talked to him. What was written and what he said -- he said -- was two different things," said Wittman. "Listen, every player goes through ups and downs of play. March is going through a little bit of period of that now. That correlated, too, with Nene not being beside him. That plays an important part. When he was playing the game against New York (on Nov. 23 he had) 17 points, 16 rebounds doing the same thing. He was playing well.
"Sometimes, when you go through a bad spell, you kind of point the finger somewhere. There's no question that he knows what his role is. All those guys do. That's just what happens sometimes."
RELATED: [Comfort zone with Nene]
After Wednesday's 113-107 victory at the Brooklyn Nets, when Gortat finished 4-for-11 for 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Wittman brought it up again. Eight of Gortat's points and rebounds came in the second half. Gortat started 1-for-6 in the first two quarters.
The center had a crucial offensive rebound and putback with 1:35 left to give the Wizards a 103-100 lead before Bradley Beal's three-pointer was the clincher.
"March was much better in the second half. He, again, settled for outside 15-foot shots which I told him, 'You can't blame me. I didn't call one of them," Wittman said. "I told him to get his big butt rolling to the basket and I thought in the second half he did."