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Wizards challenge limits of sustained offensive ineptitude in single possession

Randy Wittman

Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman yells during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Washington. The Wizards won 98-80. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Randy Wittman, coaching a Wizards team that has a singular focus of reaching the 2014 playoffs, watched his squad start 2-7 – placing him firmly on the hot seat. Washington then won seven of its next nine, and even with losses in its last two games, that should be enough for Wittman to keep his job at least a while longer.

But if the Wizards fire Wittman mid-season, this play shows why.

Via Mike Prada of SB Nation:

Wittman has overseen a team that defends better than most expect (fifth in defensive rating last season, 10th this season). But the Wizards offense has been really bad (30th last season, 22nd this season). Because the Wizards’ transition offense is so successful – seventh in the NBA in fastbreak points, according to – that means their halfcourt offense is especially dreadful to reach a low overall ranking.

I mean, just look at that possession. Though Otto Porter and Eric Maynor toe the line, the ball itself never crosses the 3-point arc! Every screen, on or off the ball, must have been a fake, because none of them had any effect.

And it’s not like the Nuggets, a middling defensive team, do that much to stop the Wizards, either. Sure, the defense on this possession is stout, but this is much more about the Wizards’ general incompetence.

In an all-time bad Eastern Conference, the Wizards should reach the playoffs, and that will likely keep Wittman employed. But pity anyone who must watch this offense in a slowed-down postseason series.