Wizards coach: John Wall must take 'next step'

Associated Press Modified: September 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm •  Published: September 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman says point guard John Wall needs to progress in his NBA development.

"This is a big year for him," Wittman said. "It's time to take that next step."

Wall, entering his third season after the Wizards picked him No. 1 overall in 2010, averaged 16.3 points, 8.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last year — all slightly down from his rookie season.

Wittman also predicted Wednesday that Nene, who will likely be limited during training camp due to plantar fasciitis, won't miss much time.

"I don't foresee this being a long thing," Wittman said. "I foresee that he's going to be back in this thing pretty quickly."

Wittman said Emeka Okafor dislocated his finger Wednesday, but it was popped back into place and Okafor is fine.

Nene and Okafar are part of a new cast surrounding Wall that Wittman says has increased the team's professionalism.

"You have to try to figure out and get players that, when it does become uncomfortable, when it gets tough, that you dig a little bit deeper and you don't say, 'Well, wait a minute. I'm getting paid a lot of money, and this is getting tough. I don't need any of this,'" Wittman said. "We need to have those guys that when it does become tough, when it becomes uncomfortable, they're not asking the whys. They're going out and becoming tougher themselves and digging deeper.

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