Wizards coach Randy Wittman didn't imply anything. He called out his big men, namely Marcin Gortat, for not committing enough to defense or rebounding in Tuesday's 125-101 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of the second sellout crowd at Verizon Center this season.
It was a performance that was so bad that Wednesday, which likely was going to be an off day, is now a practice day with their next game not until Saturday vs. the Orlando Magic.
"It looked like it we didn't believe we could win, to me. You'll have to ask them that. When you lose a couple key guys to the team we still have guys that can play and play to win the game," said Wittman, referring to Bradley Beal (left shoulder) and Nene (back spams) who missed their first game of the season. "If you come out like we did, we're just too soft of a team right now.
"I might as well stick four guards and a center out there and play because we're getting beat on the boards with my supposed big men out there. We let teams take it to us the last three games. You can't blame turnovers tonight for not defending. We don't defend. Guys drive by us at will. We don't have any toughness. We don't hit anybody and rebound the ball. We had guys that played 27 minutes get one defensive rebound."
That would be Gortat, who had just three rebounds total as the Wizards (3-4) were pounded on the boards 53-41. Kris Humphries only had five. By contrast, point Russell Westbrook had 11 for the Thunder (5-3) in just 27 minutes. The wiry-thin Kevin Durant had 10 and he didn't even play in the second half because of a left hamstring strain.
"I can get a rebound, I guarantee you . If you give me 27 minutes on Saturday I'll get you a rebound," Wittman said. "That's what it boils down to. Fifty-fifty balls. The dirty stuff. We don't get dirty. That's on me. We got three days to find the guys that'll play that way."
When told of Wittman's comments, Gortat didn't object.
"We got our ass punked again, bottom line," Gortat said. "We played without pride, without any character. That's what happened. We would like to play just as OKC was playing today. We're not on their level yet.
"It's definitely my fault. I've got to take the blame. It's my part of the game where I have to rebound and that that challenge. I got no explanation. I just wasn't in a good position. Their bigs were actually crashing the boards harder than us. ... I got to do a better job, a much better job."
The Wizards gave up 68 first-half points. They gave up 72 in the first half in a lost to the Boston Celtics last weekend. They allowed 73 in the second half to the Atlanta Hawks the night after that.
"Everybody wants to say they want to play but they're not playing the way we have to play and the way we're capable of playing. Defensively we're non-existent. We gave up 68 tonight," Wittman said. "Three games in a row. We're not taking any pride in it. Until we get pissed off as individuals, take a little pride, taking a stand for a defensive standpoint, it's going to be like that."