If anything, the Wizards were pushed over the edge after an embarrassing 26-point loss on Monday against the San Antonio Spurs, with owner Ted Leonsis sitting courtside until the pitiful end. Wittman allowed his players to vent and offer suggestions before practice the next morning. The open dialogue allowed players to unload some of their frustrations about the season, their unsettled roles, and a system that remains confusing for a team with several newcomers. “We just basically came together, like we need turn this around for ourselves. Not for anybody else,” reserve forward Chris Singleton said. “We don’t want to go down in history as one of the worst teams ever.”
Wall is expected to be back in uniform some time in the next two weeks and Nene is slowly getting back into game shape, but the team has gained more confidence after finally experiencing a long-awaited breakthrough and doing everything it hadn’t done in a series of close losses: They built a seemingly comfortable lead, Jordan Crawford made the gutsy three-pointer to thwart Portland’s 16-0 fourth-quarter run and Emeka Okafor made a huge defensive stop and two clutch free throws in the final seconds.