When Randy Wittman took over as head coach of the Washington Wizards in January of 2012 he made it clear he wasn't worried about the future. Wittman stressed to the players assembled he was going to coach his way. It worked and as expected Wittman is back with a contract extension after guiding the Wizards to their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Wittman pledged to turn the Wizards into a team that focused on defense. When he took over the Wizards were ranked 29th in the NBA in defense. The change has been dramatic
During his two full seasons at the helm, the Wizards have ranked in the top 10 in several defensive categories during the regular season including opponent field goal percentage (fifth in 2012-13), blocks (seventh in both seasons), opponent points per game (ninth in 2013-14 and eighth in 2012-13), opponent three-point field goal percentage (sixth in 2013-14 and 10th in 2012-13), turnovers (fourth in 2013-14) and opponent offensive rebounding (fourth in 2013-14.
In addition, the Wizards were one of seven teams (Indiana, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Memphis, L.A. Clippers and Chicago) to rank in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in each of the last two seasons (seventh in 2013-14 and fifth in 2012-13).
In the 2014 playoffs the Wizards held opponents to 89.5 points per game, first in the NBA.
What makes Rany Wittman tick?
Wittman on his Indiana roots and the influence of Bobby Knight
Thanks to Ben Raby for the work on the Wittman feature.
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