Charlotte, NC On Friday the Wizards pushed. In their 103-76 loss, the Rockets pushed back. Unlike Wednesdays win over the Bobcats when the Wizards won despite 23 turnovers, Fridays loss demonstrated the challenge of trying to take advantage of being aggressive and athletic.
The Wizards wanted to run and it worked before 24 turnovers led to 41 Rockets' points. Its not going to change the Wizards approach. By design the Wizards have the personnel to make things happen in the open floor; its the composure under pressure that is still in question. Tonight the quest for an identity and a road win continues against the Bobcats.
Every team that becomes a good team has an identity, said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. We have to create an identity. I want us to be and up and down quicker paced team. On defense with our athleticism and youth we have we have to be a ball pressure, ball hawking defense.
With a loss in Philadelphia Friday, the Bobcats have now dropped seven straight games. The teams leading scorer Gerald Henderson, who missed the game against the Wizards on Wednesday, returned from a back contusion to play against the 76ers. Point-guard D.J. Augustin, however, remains sidelined with a toe injury.
On paper it would seem the match-up between the Wizards Nick Young and Henderson will be a critical one. The Bobcats are anemic on offense. They only scored 75 points against the Wizards and then followed that up with a 72-point effort against the 76ers even with Henderson back on the floor.
Beyond the match-up and Xs and Os, the Wizards would like to get the business of winning on the road out of the way. At 0-8 away from Verizon Center the Wizards are the NBAs only winless team on the road. Last season the Wizards did not win on the road until February and their overall record was skewed by a 3-38 road mark.
Jan Vesely started on Friday ahead of Andray Blatche. It was a coachs decision and Vesely did help provide the Wizards with a good start especially with his work on defense. Its not known if Blatche will be back in the starting lineup tonight. What is clear is that the Wizards know how they want to play, and now it is about turning their mission statement into success.
We are not a team based on 5 on 5 walk the ball up the floor, Wittman said. You are going to have some turnovers when you are moving up and down the floor like we want to. The turnovers that are made with aggression and trying to make the right play we can live with. But we have to get the turnover number to a manageable number