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Frustration boils over after Wizards lose at home to the Warriors

Randy Wittman and Marcin Gortat both found themselves struggling for the right words to say after another frustrating loss at home.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Wittman was having none of Chris Miller's questioning of his decision to bench Marcin Gortat through the fourth quarter of the Wizards' 114-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors Tuesday.

Wittman, who is sensitive to questioning of his decisions under even the best of circumstances, was particularly prickly when asked whether the Wizards should have forced the Warriors to adjust to their size rather than try to mimic the Warriors small lineup.

"Nene's not big?" Wittman replied. "Ok, we had a big guy out there...That was a decision we made. You might want a different one, obviously you did, with the questions you are asking. That my decision, not yours."

via Truth About It

In isolation, Wittman's decision was perfectly defensible. As he pointed out, the Warriors went small with Draymond Green at center, so putting Gortat on the court with Nene may have put them at a disadvantage defensively. The Warriors present a challenge for any team defensively, and no defense the Wizards could have used had a guarantee or even a probability of success.

That being said, Gortat was having a strong night for the Wizards. Wittman had also recently indignantly responded to a reporter asking why Drew Gooden played over Gortat in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors: "Drew was playing good, I don't know if you were watching the game. You go with guys that are playing good."

Looking at the bigger picture, it's a legitimate question that people who follow the Wizards have asked for some time: Why is Marcin Gortat's playing time so scarce in fourth quarters?

Gortat appeared as frustrated with the Wizards' recent play, as well as the fact that he was once again relegated to the bench at the end of the game.

"I would just say ... next question," the Wizards center responded when asked if it was discouraging to sit out the fourth quarter (again) after playing a solid game. The normally talkative Gortat said the frustration level at this point was "out of the roof."

"I don't know what to tell you guys, seriously," Gortat said with some exasperation. "I don't have any lines to tell you, that we lost nine of 11 or whatever we lost. I don't know what to tell you."

Whatever drama there is surrounding the Gortat fourth quarter situation, it was hardly the main culprit for the Wizards loss to the Warriors. However, that they managed to turn the ball over 26 times and still be relatively competitive with the best team in the NBA is a moral victory of sorts given the beat downs they recently took against Detroit and Cleveland.

The shooting-starved Wizards were once again missing Bradley Beal and their personnel couldn't come close to figurng out how to counter the Warriors three point shooters. Every minute that Stephen Curry was on the court without Wall was a defensive disaster for Washington; Curry scored 10 points in roughly three minutes. What's more, the second unit offense often looked like a lot of guys standing close together waiting hopelessly for Kevin Seraphin to bail them out.

Nevertheless, the Wizards played hard and with a sense of urgency most of the game that has been lacking lately. Pierce and Gortat, who have both had their respective struggles at times recently, looked back on track -- and Wall, despite the turnovers, brought his characteristic All Star effort.

That's positive. But against the league's best, it's not enough.

Paul Pierce too saw signs for optimism: "I saw something different today than I did in the last two games outside of our turnovers. We played with much more urgency. If we can play like that the rest of the season we'll be fine."

And the Wizards should be fine. With Bradley Beal returning soon and the schedule getting easier, the Wizards have a chance to get out of their recent slump. But whether the Wizards can be better than "fine" with their current roster and offense is something very much in doubt.