As the Wizards wrapped up practice on Friday afternoon at Verizon Center, the team formed a circle at center court and heard coach Randy Wittman tell them to make sure they cleaned up a few things before the next game.
Asked afterwords exactly what those things were, Wittman initially joked that it was between him and his players, but went on to elaborate that what he’s looking for is better focus on the things they can control.
“It’s about doing the small things — setting screens to get good shots, taking good shots, running back on transition,” Wittman said. “Those are the things that you can control. I want them to focus on that — it usually leads to good things.”
A couple of good things did happen for the Wizards in their preseason contest against Toronto on Wednesday, despite the 104-101 loss. Trevor Booker returned from a hamstring injury and led all bench scorers with 12 points, and the struggling Jan Vesely scored 11 points and stayed out of foul trouble.
As the team heads to Milwaukee for a preseason game against the Bucks on Saturday, they’ll do so without Nene (plantar fasciitis) and John Wall (stress injury to left patella), who will stay in D.C. to continue their treatment. Kevin Seraphin is also sidelined with a right calf injury and is likely out for the remainder of the preseason, while Nene is unclear on any timetable for his return.
“I’m getting there, man. I believe I’m making progress,” Nene said. Nene saw a foot specialist in Baltimore and underwent what he called “shock work” to accelerate the healing process. He wants to be as close to 100 percent as possible before returning to prevent any more setbacks.
“I was a little [more] behind than I thought,” Nene said. “It’s still enflamed. I just want to take care of it the right way. I just want to make sure I’m healthy to help my team because if I sit down again, that’s not good.”
The team has until two days before the regular season to make final roster cuts and team president Ernie Grunfeld made a few moves to solidify the Wizards roster on Friday. The team has extended fourth-year contract options on Wall, Booker, Seraphin and Jordan Crawford. The Wizards also picked up the third-year contract options on Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.
All are now signed through the 2013-14 season. Contract terms were not released per team policy.
“We have been able to bring in and develop this core group of talented, mature young players over the last several years, and we’re pleased to have them all signed through next season,” Grunfeld said in a statement.
“Combining them with the veterans we’ve added gives us a solid foundation that can be competitive now while allowing us to continue to build towards future success.”