“It was weird,” Beal said. “Actually knowing he’s like a future Hall of Famer and he’s probably one of the best point guards to ever play. I’m playing against him so I really can’t be all friendly with him, so I just have to try to attack him and get the best of him.”
The Wizards (0-2) started the day knowing that they wouldn’t have John Wall (left knee), Nene (left foot) and Trevor Booker (left hamstring). Then Emeka Okafor had his Wizards debut delayed once again and was not even in the arena because of a stomach virus. Wittman sat Okafor out of the first game in Charlotte to get some rest.
Wittman has had to be creative in tinkering with his lineups and the challenge will continue as newcomers such as Ariza continue to have difficult adjustments. Ariza scored seven points in each of his first two games, but has shot just three of 15 (20 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
“He’s, I think, trying to fit in,” Wittman said of the veteran small forward. “What he’s doing is determining plays in his mind no matter what the defense is doing, and he can’t do that. He’s got to do a better job.”
Jordan Crawford scored a team-high 17 points and Seraphin added 10, getting most of his points in the fourth quarter after being forced to sit with foul trouble in the third. After sitting out against Charlotte with an abdominal strain, Jannero Pargo had nine points and five assists, but he also led the team with six turnovers. Pargo’s emergence pushed Shelvin Mack deeper into the rotation, but he still contributed three assists to no turnovers in just four minutes.
“I think we’re trying to get a feel for each other, get a group out there that can play well together,” Pargo said. “It’s going to take time. It’s not going to happen in two games. With practice and attention to detail I think we’ll get to that point.”
Wittman would just like to see a few more players get healthy, with the Wizards playing their next six games on the road, beginning on Saturday in Cleveland.
“I hope we get some guys back,” he said.