In front of a sparsely populated Verizon Center crowd last night, the Washington Wizards saw their spirited second half fail to net a victory, as they fell to the Indiana Pacers 96-89. The Wizards are now 0-9 on the young season and off to the worst start in franchise history.
Aside from eternal optimists, you’d be hard pressed to find a Wizards fan that thought this team would be competitive this season. Even with Wall and Nene in the starting lineup, there would be questions about scoring consistency and team chemistry. Now, with a roster simply void of talent, the results are worse than expected.
Wizards head coach Randy Wittman knows things are bad. Rewarded with a new contract last summer after overachieving with a patchwork roster to close the season, Wittman has to wonder where his magic touch went. In last night’s post-game press conference, Wittman spilled a host of ill-thought, dour quotes such as “I don’t know who to start, who to play, who not to play,” referencing his rotations, and on his penchant for hope, “I might be dumb.”
But let’s make lemonade. With upper management as clueless about building a contender as Randy is about finding wins, Wittman is likely safe (likely against his will) for at least most of the season. Sure, Sam Cassell would be more entertaining to watch, but the product on the floor would be equally poor.
So as Wittman watches his designer eyeglass frames fog with frustration after each game, he can at least work in some of the following for posterity:
“What would it take to pry Ike Austin away from his restaurant chain and get him to work with our big men?”
“How did Shabazz Muhammad look last night?”
“Let me tell you the ways I’m not like Craig Esherick.”
“Nene has graduated to quarter court wind sprints and I heard Wall is wearing rubber-soled shoes with his suits now. We’re close to being 100% healthy.”
“Why is Big Gheorghe always walking around? We need help on the offensive boards.”
“We’ve reached out to Gil [Arenas], Ledell Eackles, Jr., and Peter John Ramos. We’re confident we’ll get a call back form at least one of these guys.”
“Earl Barron? Who is that?”
Hang in there, friend. The fun is only beginning.