If you're a Wizards fan, this has been a confusing week. The Wizards are getting ready for the second round of the playoffs, but they're dealing with a bit of a holdover as they wait to hear who they'll face in the second round. It's been an unexpected change of pace, but it comes with two nice perks. First, it gives the team's veterans time to get some rest before another round of games. Secondly, it gives everyone a chance to stunt on the haters who doubted them coming into the playoffs.
Just about everyone on the team has taken the opportunity to fire off some shots during the holdover. Paul Pierce trolled Drake and the Raptors on social media. Ted Leonsis called out people who criticized the team on his blog. Wednesday, Randy Wittman got in on the action during an interview on 106.7 The Fan with Chad Dukes:
"I thought at the end of the year we left some games out there. Our players thought that. But at the end of every year, you look back on your season — ‘God, we let that game get away.’
"But I also wanted them to realize that we’ve won more games than we ever had in 39 years, and that’s an accomplishment, too. There’s a fine line. Hey, listen, I don’t worry about it, because half those guys — or even I’ll go three-quarters — don’t know what the heck they’re talking about anyway."
This may sound like a bit of revisionist history from Wittman, considering most of the changes he implemented in the playoffs (playing Paul Pierce at power forward, taking more threes, giving Otto Porter more playing time) are moves almost everyone has been calling for all season long. But at the same time, if Wittman had been planning the whole time to save those changes for the playoffs, then critics spent all season yelling about something he was well aware of, and if that's the case, his estimate of 75 percent may be on the low end.
Either way, it's pretty clear Wittman has reached the point in his career where he's learned to tune out the noise and focus on what's in front of him. Some might call that stubbornness, but every coach in the NBA has to be stubborn to get where they've gotten. It can be aggravating to watch a coach fly in the face of reason, but if we all had the microscope on our work decisions, we'd all have enough mistakes to fill several blog posts. In a profession where everyone has an idea on how to make things better, sometimes you just have to stick to what you're convinced works, no matter how loud everyone else yells.