After games against the playoff-bound Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat – all wins for the Wizards – it came as a bit of a shock to hear coach Randy Wittman call Monday’s contest against the Charlotte Bobcats one of the toughest games he expects the team to play.
“I think this is going to be our toughest game, believe it or not, of the stretch of games that we’ve had,” Wittman said.
“This is a Charlotte team that’s coming [here] on a long losing streak, that wants to end it, and they’re going to do everything with two or three games left in the season to try to get that one win. We’ve got to have that focus tonight, or we’re going to be in for a tough contest.”
“You have to have an understanding of who your opponent is, where they’re at in their season, what their mindset is, and we’ve got to now just continue what we’ve been doing, coming out with intensity right from the jump ball.”
The Wizards are on a three-game winning streak, and are hoping for their own strong finish to the season.
“Any time you win it makes you feel good. Our guys should feel good about themselves. I am proud of them. It’s always tough. You have four days left in a season that you’re not in a playoff situation,” Wittman said.
Without the playoffs to shoot for, the final games at the season are a time to learn a few lessons that Wittman hopes will carry over into next season.
“As I continue to tell them, we got a lot of guys trying to define who they are and who they’re going to be in this league, and that doesn’t change with three games left, four games left, whatever it is. To their credit, they’ve done a good job of staying focused and coming out and continuing to try to play the way that we’ve been trying to do here finishing out the year.”
After taking over for Flip Saunders, who was fired in January after a 2-15 start, Wittman knows his future with the team is up in the air. He’s not concerned about that right now.
“I don’t really worry about that. I’m a coach that’s going to go out, and I’m going to do the best that I can. Whatever happens with that, I’ve got great confidence, whether that’s a situation that continues on here or somewhere else. That’s all I can do, and that’s all the players can do. Be true to yourself. Work your tail off, and let the chips fall where they may, and these guys have done that.”