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'This isn't fun': NBA's Wizards off to 0-9 start

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012
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Jordan Crawford leads the Wizards with a 12.2-point scoring average, followed by No. 3 overall draft pick Bradley Beal at 11.7.

In Monday's loss to Indiana, the five starters — Crawford, A.J. Price, Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor and Jan Vesely — combined to shoot 8 for 37 on field-goal attempts (22 percent).

A day later, Wittman said he had yet to settle on a lineup to put on the floor against Atlanta and was considering four combinations.

"Got to do a little bit more thinking, take another look at the tape again, see the things I liked and didn't like," said Wittman, who replaced the fired Flip Saunders as Washington's coach when the team was 2-15 last season.

Part of the difficulty Wittman is having now is that players haven't distinguished themselves by playing well for four quarters on any given night — or even playing well from game to game.

"I can't figure out the nine (most-used players), it's so up and down," Wittman explained. "The 13th guy all of a sudden looks good, the second guy looks awful."

It doesn't figure to get much easier any time soon for the Wizards, whose next eight games come against teams that all are currently .500 or better. That includes the defending champion Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.

"This group should be winning games. We should be — (even) without John and Nene," Wittman said. "We've got to get them to believe that themselves. That's my job."

Notes: Wizards F Trevor Booker missed practice and had an MRI exam on his strained right knee Tuesday; the team did not immediately have any word on his availability against Atlanta. Booker left Monday's loss late in the fourth quarter. ... Washington began last season 0-8. Before then, the team never started with more than five losses in a row.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich