How bad has it gone for the Wizards this season?
Even coach Randy Wittman can’t get himself thrown out of a game.
After watching his team miss 14 of its first 15 shots against the Detroit Pistons Saturday night, Wittman threw a fit in front of the Wizards bench, arguing that a foul should have been called on a failed dunk attempt by Martell Webster.
He was slapped with a technical, but didn’t say enough to get tossed by the officials.
“Hell, I’ve been trying to get thrown out for a while,” Wittman said after watching the Wizards’ losing streak reach seven with a 96-87 loss, their second defeat to the Pistons in a span of 24 hours.
“These guys won’t even throw me out.”
The Wizards received 21 points from Jordan Crawford – 20 of them in the second half – and a double-double from Emeka Okafor [14 points, 14 rebounds], but they couldn’t make a shot to save their lives in the opening quarter, shooting just 17 percent, and never recovered.
“You can just see it in our eyes,” Wittman said. “We miss a five-foot shot, a put-back, an open jump shot. I don’t like that look. You try to wake them up.”
For the second night in a row the Wizards fell victim to a slow start and in their back-to-back losses to the Pistons they never enjoyed a lead.
The loss was the Wizards’ fourth in a row at Verizon Center, where 13,489 fans were hoping to see their first home win since a Dec. 4 upset over the Miami Heat.
They are now an NBA-worst 3-22, the worst 25-game record in the history of the franchise.
Talk about a blue Christmas.
“When you shoot 30 percent [in the first half], how are you gonna win games like that?” Nene said after recording 10 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. “Everybody can do more. The young guys, the veterans need to play with more heart, more pride, more together. Working hard, you can’t teach that. You need to have it.”
Crawford said the Wizards’ poor shooting can only be corrected in one place.
“Everybody’s second guessing ourselves,” he said. “We’ve got to get in the gym and work.”
Despite Nene’s first start of the season and Bradley Beal scoring 14 points in his return to the lineup after missing two games with back pain, the Wizards shot just 38 percent for the game.
The Pistons [9-21] built a 22-point lead before heading into the half with a 54-35 lead. Sparked by Crawford the Wizards fought to within six points of the Pistons with 3:51 to play in the third quarter, but that was as close as the Wizards would get as they faded in the fourth quarter.
Crawford was asked if all of the players are holding each other accountable.
“We’re working on that,” he said.
Webster said he still believes in his teammates despite heading into the Christmas break at the bottom of the NBA standings.
“We work hard and we don’t have the wins to show for it, plain and simple,” he said “It’s easy to be like, ‘I’m just gonna give in.’ But we can’t. We don’t know how to. That’s not in our DNA.”
With a three-day break in the schedule, Wittman will give his players off on Sunday and Monday and have them return to Verizon Center for a 5 p.m practice on Christmas day in preparation for Wednesday night’s home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that began their season with a 94-84 loss.
Back then no one could have imagined the Wizards would have three wins heading into Christmas.
“We’ve got to realize there’s a lot of season left,” Crawford said. “A lot of opportunities for guys. We’ve just got to continue to play.”