WASHINGTON -- Within each game and from game-to-game, it's an emotional roller-coaster. Lows so low you think you'll never return from the depths. Highs so high you think there's nothing that could ever bring you down.
Then David West nails a handful of baseline jumpers to nail the coffin shut on another potential comeback.
These quotes don't do justice to just how despondent the post-game atmosphere was after the Washington Wizards' sank to a franchise record 0-9 with a 96-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Randy Wittman walked into the press conference with an eerie calmness as if he were a long lost Albert Camus character. He wasn't quite sad; he wasn't quite confused. He knew what had happened, as if he had been watching the whole game in slow-motion himself and replaying it. Is Randy Wittman the Sisyphus of the NBA? Or does that moniker get extended to the whole team? For tonight, it seemed Wittman was holding in the emotions of many, trying not to release them. He wanted to let everyone know that he was ready to put this game away and move onto the next one.
Here are some of the things he said.
On slow starts:
We've got to figure out how to play a game, a whole game. You know, you guys just ought to put this in reverse and replay what I say. I don't know who to start. Who to play. Who not to play. It's the confusion of different guys every game, whether it's starters or bench, bench or starters. We have no consistency in our group of play. I mean, to get off to a start like we did tonight. There's no excuse for it. What was it, 26-7? We were almost taking down shots to take worse shots. Well I know someone in here is going to ask me, "Well why do they do that?" I don't know. I don't know. It's the same thing. Did we give up? No. We had that second group that finished the game that just played their tails off. Did a lot of good things. Alright, but that's why you lose.
On confusion in roles, plays, and lineups:
Confusion comes when I'm a shooter and I've got an open shot, you shoot the ball. If I'm a non-shooter, I pass the ball. I don't know. I'm trying to figure that out. I don't know who's going to start, who's going to play. It's just so inconsistent in play. Top to bottom. I told you, I'd love to have an 8-9 man rotation. That's my dream. And I'm playing 12-13 every night. You can't do that in an NBA game. If you want to develop a group and then a group that comes in, I'm having a hard time doing that with the play right now.
"This is the 2nd game this group started together. We'll look at it, sleep on it. I'll come up with something."
On aggressiveness and hesitation:
We just become hesitant. A little bit of that is 0-9. If you're hesitant in your thinking and action, you're not confidant, and you're not making right decisions. You gotta just keep working at that. We'll eventually eventually find a group that'll bring us that. I don't know what else to tell you guys. It's just kind of a broken record.
These guys can win. It's not that I don't believe in them. I come in here every day thinking "This is the night. I feel good." I might be dumb, but I do believe in them. I really do. I told them that tonight before the game. I mean, to keep fighting like we fight, some point it's gotta to come together. For a whole game. We'll have those 8-9 that are on the same page for 48 minutes. They're on there. And now I gotta make a decision of who to play down the stretch from those 8 or 9. I'm looking down the whole roster, and if I had a cell phone, I'd be calling the waiver wire, trying to find another body. I'm just searching. Searching for people to give me consistency. As a group, we need that. That's what we need. Both as a starting group and as a group that comes off the bench. I'll toss another group out there, and we'll see if we can't find a group that starts off well. And maybe those guys will settle in. I'm going to keep trying.
I have no idea [if Livingston is part of the group that will start next]. If I had that answer right now, I'd be a genius.