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Report: Wizards adding to Wittman's coaching staff


Report: Wizards adding to Wittman's coaching staff

The Wizards already added one assistant coach to Randy Wittman's staff this offseason. In asubsequent interview, owner Ted Leonsis said, "I expect us to add another coach in the not-too-distant future."That other coach could be former NBA guard and Minnesota assistant Jerry Sichting, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.Zgoda tweeted,"Look for former Wolves asst Jerry Sichting to end up reunited with Randy Wittman on the Wizards' staff."After 10 seasons as a player in the NBA, Sichting spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach, mostlywith the Timberwolves. That stretch included atime when Wittman was also on Minnesota's staff. Sichting spent one season in the same role on the collegelevel with Marquette and also worked one season as the Timberwolves Director of Pro Personnel.After a stint with the Warriors during the 2010-11 season,Sichting spent last season coaching his former Indiana High School team.Earlier this summer the Wizards hired former Spurs assistant Don Newman.

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Wizards' Dwight Howard entering training camp 'a little banged up'

Wizards' Dwight Howard entering training camp 'a little banged up'

Dwight Howard is entering his first season with the Wizards and 14th season in the NBA with a minor kink.

"He's a little banged up right now," head coach Scott Brooks said Monday on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies simulcast on NBC Sports Washington. "Nothing serious. His back is a little sore." 

Brooks followed up on the 32-year-old being a "little banged up" by noting how good Howard looks. 

"He just came in a couple days ago. He looks great. His body, he told me he's 262 [pounds], 6.3 percent body fat. It's just mind boggling." 

After being traded by the Hornets to the Nets and eventually bought out, the Wizards pick Howard up on a two-year, $11 million deal. Standing at 6-foot-11, he's a massive upgrade for the team at center after trading Marcin Gortat to the Clippers during the offseason.

During the 2017-18 season, Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He appeared in 81 games with the Hornets, shooting 55.5 percent. 

"His talent, his size, his ability," Brooks added when speaking on what he will bring to this Wizards team.

His new head coach, however, does feel the eight-time All-Star will have to adjust his game to the NBA's new era.

"He's going to have to change. The game has changed. I think what he does really impact win. He's a big guy that can protect the paint. He's one of the best rebounders. He averaged almost 13 a game last year, I think third in the league. If he continues this pace he's gonna be, you know, three or four in the history of the game in rebounds.

"And that's one thing we lacked. When we went small, we couldn't rebound. When we went big, we had trouble rebounding, so I think he gives us something that we really need."

We will start to see how Howard contributes to the Wizards as they kick off training camp Monday


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Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 1: Will Dwight Howard fit in on and off the court?

Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 1: Will Dwight Howard fit in on and off the court?

With Wizards training camp set to begin this week, we at NBC Sports Washington are counting down the five biggest storylines for the team as they start a new season. Today, at No. 1, a look at the addition of Dwight Howard and how he will fit in Washington...

Dwight Howard is a big man, and he has a huge personality to match. Parts of that personality have put him at odds with teammates and coaches in previous stops. The Wizards hope this time -- technically his fifth organization in a span of four years -- will be different.

Though Howard isn't the best player on the Wizards, how he fits in on and off the court will be the most important question for Washington this season. In a basketball sense, he has an opportunity to take them to new heights. But the potential is also there for it to all blow up in the Wizards' faces, as Howard has shown with other teams.

The Wizards knew they were taking a risk when they signed Howard, but had plenty of reasons for the decision. Howard should fit like a glove running the pick-and-roll with John Wall. A three-time defensive player of the year, he'll also give the Wizards more rim protection than they have had in past years.

Howard can help the Wizards on both ends of the floor and, in theory, should fit in well with many of their pieces. He has a clear role in the starting lineup as a rebounder, finisher in the lane and shot-blocker. His interior style complements guys like Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Jr. and even Markieff Morris, who can spread the floor as outside threats.

The Wizards also have two factors off the court that should work in their favor with Howard.

For one, he's not making the $20 million-plus his previous teams were paying him. Howard is making $5.3 million this season by way of the mid-level exception. 

The financial risk for the Wizards was mitigated by special circumstances. Howard was traded by the Hornets to the Nets and then bought out of his contract, allowing them to swoop in and pick him up for a bargain.

Secondly, the Wizards have a more established locker room hierarchy than some of Howard's recent stops. In Wall and Beal, they have two young All-Stars in their prime, two guys who everyone should understand run the show. That wasn't the case in either Charlotte or Atlanta.

Though Howard is the most accomplished player on the Wizards, he should be able to quickly realize it is not his team. Wall and Beal are the leaders and are here to stay.

All that said, there have been reasons to believe Howard would fit and succeed with the other teams he recently played with. He was back home in Atlanta. He was reunited with a former coach in Charlotte. Yet, neither of those places worked out.

Howard has a tendency to rub teammates the wrong way both on and off the court. The Wizards will need him to change his ways a bit, perhaps, most importantly, by sacrificing the shot attempts he is used to, particularly in the post. The Wizards have several scoring options to go to before they look to Howard, and he has to accept a tertiary role.

The Wizards are also under some pressure to win this season, and they need Howard to take the task at hand seriously. One knock on him over the years is his commitment to winning. They need him to buy in and be along for the ride.

Few players are such dominant personalities on and off the court to where their addition to a team can change everything, good or bad. Howard is one of them, and the Wizards are taking part in what amounts to a highly-financed social experiment.

One way or another, it's going to be fascinating to watch.