Head coach Flip Saunders is away due to a family emergency involving his mother tonight, and so the Washington Wizards will turn to Randy Wittman for inspiration as the Indiana Pacers pay a visit to Verizon Center.
Wittman was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves as recently as Dec. 2008.
With John Wall once again set to come off the bench tonight, Kirk Hinrich will look to step up and play a big role, as he told Gene Wang of the Washington Post.
"You have to realize when you get down to big stretches of games teams are going to ratchet it up a couple notches, and we have to be able to raise our level as well," Hinrich said. "We haven't been able to do that. I don't like to use it as an excuse, but for a young team to make that next step, we've been playing hard every night. Now we need to execute down the stretch."
The Pacers are led by Danny Grainger, who is putting together an excellent season averaging 21.3 points per game. Tonight's game also features the return to the Verizon Center of Georgetown alum Roy Hibbert, who is averaging a very solid 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.