Wizards' Wittman offers no excuses for feeble start

Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:00pm EST
 
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By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman refuses to use injuries to his two best players, John Wall and Nene, as the reason for his team's feeble start to the NBA season.

The second-year coach of the once-proud franchise also does not want to hear about a young roster or bad luck down the stretch for the Wizards' 0-8 record.

"We're not going to use excuses," Wittman told Reuters on Monday. "We've got to learn how to do it, have confidence in doing it, and go out and do it. That's what it boils down to.

"You can't hope it happens. You have to make it happen. That's where we have to get."

The Wizards were booed mercilessly Saturday during an 83-76 loss to the Utah Jazz when they became the second NBA franchise ever to open consecutive seasons with eight straight losses.

They look to avoid setting a franchise record for season-opening losses when they host the Indiana Pacers (4-7) later Monday at the Verizon Center.

Wittman has shuffled his line-up in hopes of finding a winning combination but there are no easy answers. The team seems to wilt late in the game as five of Washington's losses have been by seven points or fewer.

"We've got to go out and take the win that last two minutes of the game," said the 53-year-old Wittman, who previously coached the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves.   Continued...

 
Washington Wizards' head coach Randy Wittman directs his team against the Miami Heat in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida April 21, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity