Coach Randy Wittman took “full responsibility” for the Wizards’ 108-106 loss in double-overtime on Saturday to the Charlotte Bobcats and he remains culpable as his team seeks to end its franchise-worst 0-11 start in tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
“We’re all in this together. Players. Coaches. Management,” Wittman said. “I’ve got to do a better job, too. I go to work harder and harder to try to figure it out and hit that right button and all of a sudden it clicks. You’re playing free and hitting shots. We’ve got to play looser.”
Wittman has enlisted his fourth different starting lineup, with Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price returning to link up with Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin. That group appeared for the first time in the previous game, playing seven minutes against the Bobcats.
The Wizards should have a little inside information on the Spurs, with new assistant Don Newman spending seven years in San Antonio and winning two championships.
“We got the whole game plan tonight. If we don’t win this one, it’s not on me. I ain’t taking the rap on this one. It’s on Newman,” Wittman said with a laugh. “Obviously having Don here and the time he spent there helps. It’s one thing to game plan and then you’ve got to go out there and defend [Manu] Ginobili, [Tony] Parker, [Tim] Duncan. They are pretty good. There is a reason why they’ve sustained the level they’ve sustained. They are a good team.”
The Spurs (11-3) have won three in a row, including a 111-106 double-overtime victory yesterday in Toronto, and own the second-best winning percentage in the Western Conference. San Antonio has won 12 consecutive games over the Wizards, who haven’t defeated the Spurs since Nov. 12, 2005 at Verizon Center.
“We’re going to have to probably play our best game tonight,” Wittman said. “Nothing better than to get your first win against a team like this. It would go a long way for our guys.”
Nene will be a game-time decision after disregarding his minutes limit and nearly helping the team end its ignominious run.
“We have to be careful with that,” Wittman said. “We don’t want to put him at risk of doing something, forget about his injury, of tweaking something because he’s compensating for the soreness.”
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)
Once the contest starts, check out a live box score for the game here.