The hot-button issue of the Washington Wizards' 96-85 loss to the Detroit Pistons is clear: why did Emeka Okafor, who scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the first three quarters, sit throughout the fourth? Wizards coach Randy Wittman offered this explanation after the game.
"Looking back on it, it was a situation that they went small," Wittman said, when asked if he contemplated inserting Okafor in the fourth quarter. "Probably have to pull Nene and put him in. I thought about it, yeah. . . .
As noted in last night's recap, the Pistons' small lineup was indeed an issue. Playing both Okafor and Nene at the same time would have made it even more difficult to defend Detroit's speed. Of course, the Wizards didn't exactly defend Detroit's speed well with the lineup they did use, but in the moment, I can understand Wittman's reluctance to go big. He essentially decided between Okafor and Nene, and even with Okafor's big game, it's hard to not play Nene with the game on the line late.
Given a day to sleep on it, I still think that there were bigger issues with the coaching and on-court play than not going Okafor minutes in the fourth quarter.