Rookie Otto Porter Jr. is on the active list for the first time this season as the Wizards (9-9) will attempt to have a winning record in December for the first time since 2007 as they host the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks. The Wizards will also look to improve to 8-4 against teams with losing records.
“You definitely got to win those games against the teams that you feel have been in the same situation as us, or not that good and going through tough times that we’ve been in,” John Wall said. “You’ve got to find a way to win those games, that don’t be the best games cause you don’t get up for them, like you get up for OKC or Miami Heat games. Got to fight through it and find a way to win. Those teams come out and compete hard because they have nothing else to lose.”
The Wizards struggled against teams that were at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings last season, going 3-12 combined against Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Cleveland and Orlando. Coach Randy Wittman said the improvement is evident of the team’s growth.
“I think our guys remember last year, how those things happened, how small it is, getting into the playoffs and not getting into the playoffs,” Wittman said. “Every game is a tough game in this league. It’s the best players, no matter what the team’s record is, the players can play the game. That’s why they play the game. It’s hard to win in this league. You’ve got to be on your toes every game. You can’t have lapses of taking teams for granted.”
In their last meeting with Milwaukee, Marcin Gortat scored a game-high 25 points as the Wizards rallied late to claim a 100-92 overtime victory. “It’s a point where enough is enough,” Martell Webster said. “You get that bad taste in your mouth, especially when you’re hot against teams that are above .500 and the next thing you know you’re playing a team that’s below .500 and you’re playing down to the level of competition. Nothing to take away from any of those teams. It’s the NBA, everybody is good. but when a team is out of rhythm, you can’t allow them to gain a rhythm. Ever since we picked up speed and realized we have to take care of that, we’ve been a great job of that.”
(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WFED-1500). Here’s some pregame/in-game reading: