Last week, we started our annual season evaluations by evaluating the Washington Wizards front office. Instead of doing player profiles before the regular season has concluded, I thought it would be a good idea to move on to Washington’s coaching staff.
Randy Wittman is quite the interesting head coach. Washington Wizards fans tend to have a variety of different opinions when it comes to Wittman. Akbar Naqvi joined me as we continued our season evaluations.
Randy Wittman. What a polarizing figure amongst Wizards fans.
He has frustrated us all with his inability to stick with a rotation, his inexplicable benching of players, and his tendency to keep bench players in a game for too long. However, Wittman has surprised me this season. While many will point to his abysmal winning percentage, Wittman has helped in the culture change in the locker-room. His hardline approach has reached the players and they all respect him. He brings a teacher-like perspective to the game and does not play favorites. His most positive impact, however, is how he was able to turn this team into a top 10 defense. While Emeka Okafor’s presence in the paint combined with Nene’s superb pick and roll defense helped, Wittman has schemed the team defense perfectly. The players are effective on switches, close out well, and communicate brilliantly on that end. My feeling on Wittman is, despite his faults, he has done more than I could have imagined him doing with the roster and its clear that the players all highly respect him. I do not however, think he is a longterm option for this team as head coach. His rotations are inconsistent and he never plays his offensive strengths. Emeka Okafor having the offense running through him is likely the most well-known of these examples. Unless his Xs and Os are leading to well-executed offensive schemes, Wittman will remain an average to below average coach.