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Wittman: 'You know what? Flip would've wanted me to coach"

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Wittman: 'You know what? Flip would've wanted me to coach"

Before Randy Wittman could answer the first question about Saturday, when he arrived in the second quarter of the home opener vs. the New York Knicks because he attended the funeral of Flip Saunders, there was a long pause.

"It was a tough day," he said. What followed was a pause of almost 30 seconds and by the time his bowed head raised up his eyes were red and watery. It wasn't because the Wizards lost 117-110 to the New York Knicks, though the fashion in which they lost was angering enough, but he'd buried his mentor. 

"That aside we just got to get back. The commitment to defend is not there. You can make a lot of excuses but to score 110 points at home and lose by seven, that's what it boils down to. We're not committed right now. I've got to change that. We've got to change our mind-set. We talk a lot about offense and what we're doing and stuff but we got to get back to that. I can't come in at halftime and we were talking more about what we're doing offensively and we gave up 59 points. Our mind-set needs to change. That's the bottom line."

Carmelo Anthony hit every big shot down the stretch for the Knicks en route to a game-high 37 points. Langston Galloway's three-pointer with 63 seconds left pushed the lead to 111-106 and the Wizards couldn't recover.

"Carmelo is a hell of a player. He's a big part of what they do and he made some tough shots and that's going to happen," said Wittman. "They made some plays down the stretch and we didn't. Galloway hit a couple big ones and Carmelo hit a big one at the shot clock. ... It doesn't boil down to the last couple of minutes."

Wittman returned from Minnesota, where he coached with Saunders, for his services. Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld attended, too. Saunders, who died of lymphoma last weekend, coached the Wizards from 2009-11 before Wittman took over.

"I was there most of the day. I left early this morning and got my time with the family," said Wittman, who was asked if he considering not coaching at all Saturday. "You know what? Flip would've wanted me to coach. He wouldn't want me to miss a game based on him. I can guarantee you that. I had a good day with the family."

MORE WIZARDS: Melo Domination

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Michigan star Moe Wagner after his workout with the Wizards.

Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their impressions of the first prospects to come in for pre-draft workouts, including which guys are most likely to be Wizards. One of those prospects is a point guard and a likely first round pick. Chase and Chris explain why that's not a crazy idea, even considering the presence of John Wall on their roster.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

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Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

The Wizards will hold their third pre-draft workout on Thursday at Capital One Arena, this time featuring four local standouts out of the six players attending. Highlighting that group is Yuta Watanabe of George Washington, the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Here is the full list with notes on each player...

Phillip Carr, F, Morgan State (6-9, 205)

Carr averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season at Morgan State in Maryland. He shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line, excellent for a big man.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

James Daniel III, G, Tennessee (6-0, 172)

Originally from Hampton, Va., Daniel III played four years at Howard University in D.C. before transferring to Tennessee as a redshirt senior. He was the MEAC Player of the Year in his last healthy season at Howard. Daniel III averaged 5.6 points in 35 games for the Volunteers.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Marcus Derrickson, F, Georgetown (6-7, 250)

Derrickson hails from nearby Bowie, Md. He played three years with the Hoyas and averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 46.5 percent from three this past season. 

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Etou, F, Tulsa (6-8, 235)

Originally from the Republic of Congo, Etou went to high school at Bishop O'Connell in Arlington, Va. He is Serge Ibaka's cousin and didn't start playing basketball until he was 15. Etou averaged 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds this past season.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Robinson, G, Mount St. Mary's (5-5, 150)

The Northeast Conference Player of the Year, Robinson averaged 22.0 points and 4.8 assists this past season. He was a four-year starter at Mount St. Mary's.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Yuta Watanabe, F, George Washington (6-9, 205)

One of the best basketball players to ever come from Japan, Watanabe was a defensive standout for the Colonials who developed into a solid scorer by his senior year. This past season, he averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He is known in Japan as 'The Chosen One' and both of his parents played basketball professionally. NBC Sports Washington first reported he would work out with the Wizards this week.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent; best chance for NBA is as defensive specialist

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