Wall, Wizards see playoff opportunity in 2013-14
FAIRFAX --The Wizards' training camp plans includes two-a-day practice sessions, in theory.
If Randy Wittman sees what he wants after the morning drills, scrimmages and meetings, the coach isn't above cancelling the evening version. On Day One, which included John Wall and Nene, but not Otto Porter and Emeka Okafor, the coach did exactly that.
"We’re changing a little bit what we’re doing this year," Wittman said inside the Patriot Center after putting his players through a near three-hour session. "We’re basically going to try, as long as we have the effort and get the things done that we need to get done on the floor, we’re going to go one time."
Washington and the nine other NBA teams competing in international preseason games started camp four days earlier than the rest of the league.
"Try to give them better rest. Get them off their feet," Wittman said of the plan. "They are not out on their feet twice a day with the pounding and we’ll see how it goes. One of the first times I’ve kind of taken that approach to it and we’ll see how that goes."
John Wall hopes the plan keeps going as it did on the first day. Asked if the players went hard in the first session to avoid the second, the point guard smiled.
"That's the biggest key," said a chuckling Wall. "If you don't, he could cut it down to an hour or an hour and 30 minutes and make us come back tonight. We know we got to go hard. That's the main thing with us, we need to try and get it done all at one time."
The early start to camp means more than a month of practices for the 11 returning players and four newcomers with guaranteed contracts before the October 30 season opener at Detroit. The Wizards seven-game preseason slate begins October 8 against Brooklyn at the Verizon Center before jetting to Brazil for a matchup with Chicago on October 12.
As for why the change, Wittman said, "A little bit of everything. The mix of older guys and younger guys. The younger guys are still coming over here twice a day, getting their work in, doing drill, developmental work with the coaches, but from a team standpoint, it’ll be just one.
"But our goal right now is to work ourselves to when we go into Detroit on opening night, that that’s our focus. As much as you want to get out here and get going and try to cover things, I want to see if this has any effect on keeping us fresher. "