The Wizards and Cavaliers are both on three-game losing streaks and have had hash-out meetings amongst players this week. One team will get better with a win on Saturday at Verizon Center.
Washington lost all three meetings against Cleveland last season, but were without John Wall in the first two games and lacked Bradley Beal in the last meeting.
The Wizards won’t have Trevor Ariza or Al Harrington as they try to come together after a difficult road trip through Oklahoma City, Dallas and San Antonio. Nene was upset following the 92-79 loss in San Antonio, which was the most lopsided of the season, and vented that the young guys needed to get “their heads out their butts.”
Coach Randy Wittman had Nene discuss his grievances with a handful of teammates and believes that there could be a positive outcome from the incident. “You get frustrated in this game,” Wittman said. “There is nothing wrong with what happened, as long as we discuss it. This is family. I tell these guys all the time, the ones that don’t have kids, when they do, they’ll understand how you’re able to deal with things like that. So it was dealt with. There was no hard feelings. No pointing fingers. It was a frustrating thing. He didn’t realize it would come across the way it did. And we talked about it, as a family and a team. You sit down and work it out and you go back to work again.”
Wittman said he has encouraged his players to speak up. “I want guys to feel like they can talk from their hearts. I don’t want guys to be phonies. I’m not. And I don’t want them to. Sometimes, there is a right way of doing it and a right time of doing it, but I want those guys to feel free to be able to talk to one another and when you have to sit down and work things out. You sit down and work things out. You don’t do it behind other guys’ back. I think that was the big thing about it. It wasn’t something that festered. We talked about it. Walked out of there feeling good about it.”
The Cavaliers will start Andrew Bynum, who missed the past two games to deal with a personal matter. They recently had a players-only meeting after a 29-point loss to Minnesota, but didn’t get an immediate benefit after losing on Friday at home against Charlotte.
(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WJFK-106.7, WFED-1500). Here’s some pregame/in-game reading:
Nene’s frustration with Wizards’ early-season play boils over with loss to Spurs