HoustonLets face it luck is not something that has been hanging around the Wizards as the team has started to navigate this condensed 66-game schedule. The Wizards come to Houston after a win on Wednesday, but to find a Rockets team that just had its five-game home winning streak ended.
Even a Rockets team in a good mood is a challenge as the Wizards found out in a 114-106 loss on Martin Luther King Day at Verizon Center. That was the game where John Wall re-started his season with 38 points and was also game with the much talked about JaVale McGee dunk after a backboard pass.
The Wizards are not thinking much about the past right now. The loss to the Rockets was barely two weeks ago, but so much has happened in the last twelve days. It is now on to trying to make things work and in the words of new head coach Randy Wittman, clean things up from the win over the Bobcats.
I cant honestly say we needed a new voice, said Andray Blatche of the change in coaches from Flip Saunders to Wittman. We just needed someone to actually check us like Wittman did. He put everybody out there on Front Street and told us what it is going to take for us to win.
Wittman is taking a no non-sense approach and that should not come as a surprise. At Indiana Wittman played for Bobby Knight, who had enormous success and with discipline. When he was introduced as the replacement for Saunders Wittman expressed belief in this team. Ultimately the Wizards success in developing its potential will come down to how it receives Wittman's coaching.
I played with one of the greatest point guards in Isiah (Thomas) and that (ability to be coached) was his biggest asset, Wittman said. You know Bobby Knight, Chuck Daly, and those guys got on his (Thomas) rear end night in and night out. If you have your best players and you can coach him in that manner, then your other guys will see that and fall into line.
Against the Bobcats, the Wizards did have 23 turnovers, but were also effective in pushing the ball on the fast break. The Wizards are still trying to improve on being a better offensive team in the half-court. Until then success in rebounding and the ability to get easy baskets in transition will be critical for the Wizards.
In the last meeting with the Rockets, too often it was the Wizards that were slow to get back on defense. As a result Samuel Dalembert found himself dropping easy layups on his way to 20 points. For the Wizards that will have to change tonight and how well they do with guards Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin will be a factor.