It would be easy for Wizards fans to look at their 0-5 record, throw up their hands in frustration and say, “Same old Wizards.”
It would also be wrong.
While the Wizards have found winning basketball games difficult with John Wall and Nene watching from the bench in street clothes, they already are miles better than they were through five games last season.
- Through five games last season, the Wizards had been outscored by 61 points or an average of 12.2 points per game. These Wizards have been outscored by 33 points, or 6.6 point per game.
- Through five games last season, the Wizards were averaging 85.2 points per game and allowing 97.4 points. These Wizards are averaging 88 points a game and allowing 94.6 points.
“We put ourselves in position to win every game,” coach Randy Wittman said, “even with some lapses. So yeah, are we ready [to start winning]. But we’ve got to do it. We’ve talked about confidence in individuals; now we’ve got to talk confidence as a team. But you got to execute.
At the start of training camp Wittman said he no longer considers the Wizards a young team, noting the arrivals of veterans Emeka Okafor, A.J. Price, Trevor Ariza and Jannero Pargo.
But Wittman also knows that changing the culture of a franchise does not happen overnight. Of the Wizards’ stating five, only Trevor Booker was on the roster at the end of last season and he’s only in his third NBA season.
“Randy is very patient,” Okafor said. “He’s doing an excellent job. He’s not deviating from what he does. The whole coaching staff has been doing a great job of teaching.
“We have a very young team, so they reiterate a lot of things. They go over just basic principles, and he’s doing a good job just keeping things uplifting, saying, ‘I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but we’re almost there.’”
That said, the Wizards’ next opponent could be its weakest to date. The Charlotte Bobcats are 2-3, but have not won back-to-back games since the 2010-11 season.
“I think it’s time to win,” center/forward Kevin Seraphin said. “We’ve been close the last games but we didn’t win. At the end of the day everybody wants to know who won the game. We have to play better. I have to play better. Everybody has to play better to get this win.”