No matter how you slice it, 0-10 is the exact opposite of perfect and to date the Wizards have been anything but. Yet only one losing result proved decisive before the fourth quarter if not the final minutes. At the conclusion of Friday's practice, Randy Wittman reminded his players that a chance for payback comes Saturday night. The Bobcats are coming to town.
"We owe them," the coach emphatically stated, referring to Charlotte's 92-76 on Nov. 13, Washington's largest margin in defeat this season. The 76 points stands as the Wizards lowest scoring total, matched last week in a seven-point loss to Utah.
Asked what went wrong against the Bobcats, a team the Wizards handled with ease in all four meetings last season, Wittman went straight to the inaccurate shooting. Washington shot a season-low 29.8 percent (25 of 84).
"29 percent didn't help," Wittman said. "It kind of just went down from there. We weren't making shots and I think it affected everything. That's the one game. Hopefully, these guys remember that. We didn't compete the way we're capable of competing the first time we played this team."
Washington's primary guard options that night - starters A.J. Price and Bradley Beal plus Jordan Crawford - combined for a dismal 6 of 33 from the field. Collectively the Wizards finished 5 of 31 from 3-point territory.
Of course, the Wizards didn't have Nene in the earlier meeting. The Brazilian big man's presence proved obvious even in defeat Wednesday against Atlanta, Nene's first game of the season.
Trevor Booker, part of the starting lineup at Charlotte, (knee strain) may sit out for a second straight game. Wittman said he was mulling starting lineup combinations for the rematch, having sent out a different five for the opening tap in three of the last four games.
League-wide doormats last season, Charlotte (6-5) evened its season record at 3-3 in the previous meeting, part of a 5-1 surge before falling Friday at home to Atlanta 101-91. Kemba Walker, who scored 17 points in the previous matchup, leads the Bobcats in scoring at 18.5 points per game. Ramon Sessions paced Charlotte with 21 points and the Bobcats feasted at the free throw line, making 27 of 32 attempts.
While the Bobcats are on the tail end of a back-to-back set, the Wizards lost to the Jazz and Pacers in similar situations over the last week.