Randy Wittman blasts Wizards’ ‘selfish’ play in loss to Phoenix

Team concept vanishes in defeat

The view from the sky had to be somewhat welcoming, as the Wizards flew home from a grueling five-game road trip that included two stops on the West Coast. The trip started off wins over Detroit and Portland, then concluded with losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah and Phoenix — all by at least 14 points.

The worst loss, at least in terms of the quality of play, came in Monday night’s 104-88 setback against the Suns.

The result was coach Randy Wittman calling out his team.

“Selfish is what happened,” Wittman said in comments provided by the Phoenix Suns‘ communications department. “We became selfish. We didn’t share the ball and tried to do everything one on one, and a good team like Phoenix is going to take that away from you. That’s all it was. I’m not going to put up with that.

“That’s something we haven’t been doing. I believe we were up one, and go on a spree of the most selfish basketball I’ve seen since I’ve taken over. I’ve got to find the right people to find the right way to play but I’m not letting that slip back in.”

Wittman’s plan to add more veterans could come in the form of Ronny Turiaf (broken hand) and Andray Blatche (strained calf), both of whom could be ready to see action after the All-Star break.

Washington (7-25) has one more game, at home against Sacramento on Wednesday, before the All-Star break. The exception is point guard John Wall, who will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday and the Skills Competition on Saturday.

The Wizards (7-25), losers of nine of 12, have a reasonable chance to beat the struggling Kings (10-21), who will be on the second night of a back-to-back, after visiting Miami on Tuesday. The Heat (25-7) are tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA’s best record.

But, as Wittman is always quick to point out when asked to assess the Washington’s upcoming opponents, it’s not about the other team. It’s about the Wizards.

Wall agreed with his coach’s assessment about what went wrong.

“We stopped playing as a team, we stopped moving the ball,” Wall said after the loss in Phoenix.

The second-year player added that he’s trying to improve his rebounding to “help the big guys,” noticing that a successful night on the boards often has been a factor in the team’s wins. Wall averages 4.9 rebounds, which is sixth in the league among guards. The Wizards outrebounded the Suns 44-43 but did little else correctly.

“We put ourselves in that situation, and the only way to get out of it is to play as a team and try to get stops,” Wall said. “We weren’t doing the little things to help us.”

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