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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, January 25th (All times eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (3-15) at Washington Wizards (2-15), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A disastrous start to their season has cost the Washington Wizards their head coach. Tonight, they try to turn things around with a new man at the helm against another underachieving team in the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Wizards fired Flip Saunders on Tuesday after a dismal 2-15 start.

Lead assistant Randy Wittman will take over for the remainder of the season.

Saunders was in his third season with the Wizards, who started the year with eight straight losses and were coming off a 103-83 setback on Monday in Philadelphia. He had one more year remaining on a four-year contract.

"We felt the team had become unresponsive and we will look to Randy to provide a different voice and a change in philosophy moving forward," said Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld in Tuesday's statement. "We have been transparent in how we would evaluate our team this season and we were disappointed in the lack of development of our players at this point in our rebuilding plan."

Wittman, meanwhile, will begin his third stint as a head coach. He guided Minnesota from January 23, 2007 through December 8, 2008 and Cleveland from 1999-2001, and owns a career record of 100-207.

"We have struggled as a team at times this season, but we have also seen a great deal of potential from our young players and glimpses of what we can accomplish together as a team," said Wittman in a statement Tuesday. "The coaching staff will look to build on that by utilizing the length, athleticism and versatility of our roster to improve our defense and create more opportunities in the open court."

Charlotte hasn't been much better and on Tuesday fell to 3-15, as it was routed by the New York Knicks, 111-78, despite holding Carmelo Anthony to just one point. Kemba Walker netted 22 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost five straight and 11 of their last 12.

"When Carmelo Anthony goes 0-for-7, c'mon you know, we should at least be in the game," Charlotte head coach Paul Silas said.

The Bobcats, who have lost six straight on the road, are once again expected to be without point guard D.J. Augustin, who is sidelined with an inflamed right big toe.

Charlotte split its four matchups with the Wizards last season, but has won five of seven and six of nine in Washington.

01/25 10:36:03 ET


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