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Wizards want to run more, have to get in better shape first

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 28: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards wipes his mouth before a free throw against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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There is nobody faster end-to-end with the basketball than John Wall. Well, maybe Derrick Rose. Maybe. But you get the idea.

It is the main reason everyone thinks the Wizards need to get out and run (and they have, actually, they are playing at the third fastest pace in the league). New and interim coach Randy Wittman wants them to run more.

But there is one little catch, he said to following the Wizards win Thursday.

“Everybody wants to run and every player you would ever talk to wants to run, but we do have to get in shape to run now,” Wittman said after the 95-78 win over Charlotte Wednesday night at Verizon Center.

“We had 31 points in the first quarter, and I thought we ran out of gas a little in the second quarter. If we want to run, we’ve got to get in here and do extra work if we want to push the ball.”

Wittman wants more defensive pressure farther up the court — you run off our defense — but that end of the court is where guys seem to be resting. Which explains a lot about the Wizards record.

“I thought I was in good enough shape but after he [Wittman] told us to play full-court defense and all this, it was kind of tough, so I’ve got to get on that treadmill,” Nick Young said.

In a regular season with regular practices there might be some things Wittman could do here. He could run some hard practices on off days, get guys to really push themselves. In this packed-in 66 game schedule, his chances to do that are limited.

Just one of the many challenges in Washington.