On Tuesday, the second day of Wizards minicamp, coach Randy Wittman started to notice a few things. It was the third practice in two days – morning drills followed by an evening scrimmage on Monday – and there was a thin layer of dullness present.
“Today was typical. It was the third practice in two days, so there was soreness, [guys were] tired,” Wittman said.
“Mentally we weren’t as sharp, but those are the things we’ve got to learn, what these young guys have got to learn.”
“It gives them an understanding as we get to training camp. This is going to be a week-long process and not a three-day process.”
Wittman is also taking a close look his second year players – Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack and Jan Vesely - who missed out on mini-camp last year, and needs to find out who has what it takes to keep on playing no matter what ails you.
“When you get tired and have soreness, you’ve got to learn to play through those things because in 82 games, you’re going to be tired and sore.”
Already making a positive impression in just three practice sessions is forward Chris Singleton, who struggled last year after injuries to Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis forced him into the starting lineup.
“Chris had the best practice I’ve seen him have since he’s been here,” Wittman said.
“That’s including all last year and these first three [practices] this year. I see a player that has a year under his belt and got some playing time and he’s come out here and I’m very pleased with his effort. That’s the one thing with Chris that’s always constant.”
Wittman denied that becoming a starter so quickly hurt Singleton’s confidence; that if anything, it might have made him tougher.
“Hurt his confidence, I didn’t see that,” Wittman said.
“This isn’t a bad situation for Chris or any of our young guys. Their attitude should be ‘I’ve got to perform now, I’ve got to earn those minutes, and if not, there’s somebody else there coach is going to look at and say hey, go out there and see what you can do.’”