Woeful Wizards Fire Saunders After 2-15 Start

By: Adam Markowitz | Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We might only be about a quarter of the way through the NBA betting campaign, but for the Washington Wizards, it is already time to hit the reset button. After just a 2-15 start to the season that also saw them go a woeful 5-12 ATS, the Wizards fired head coach Flip Saunders on Tuesday.

Saunders’ replacement will likely be assistant coach Randy Wittman, If Wittman were to take the Wizards over, it would be the second time in his career that he was given the interim tag. He replaced Dwane Casey with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2007. Wittman became the full time coach the next season, but was fired two years later. He has a 100-207 record as a head coach in five seasons.

If there is good news for Washington, it is that the team is going to take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Verizon Center on Wednesday night. Charlotte is only a game better off than the Wizards are this year, and a dreadful 1-8 SU and 4-5 ATS on the road. This 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip can be seen on local Comcast Sports networks.

The Wizards aren’t the only team trying to figure out how to get back on track that will be playing on Wednesday night. The Miami Heat, who were shocked at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, will take on the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Miami likely will still be without Dwyane Wade in this one, and that means more pressure on LeBron James.

James has answered the bell, scoring at least 28 points in each of his last five games. However, the Heat are just 3-4 SU and ATS in their last seven games overall.

Tip time from Motown is scheduled for 7:30 (ET), and this prime-time tilt can be seen on Sun Sports and FOX Sports Detroit.

NBA TV has a doubleheader of fantastic clashes as well on Wednesday, both of which feature major divisional rivals.

The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls begin the festivities at 8:00 (ET) at the Windy City's United Center. The Bulls have still yet to lose a game this year on their home court, going 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS. They have won four in a row and are 3-1 ATS in those four clashes.

Meanwhile, Indiana will be trying to make a statement by taking down the clear top dogs of the Central Division. The Pacers are only three-games out of first place, pending completion of their Tuesday night battle at home against Orlando, and winning this one would be humongous for a team that is trying to prove that it can contend in the Easteren Conference.

Luol Deng has a wrist injury, while Taj Gibson is still nursing an injured ankle, and neither are likely to play for Chicago. That being said, the Bulls are still going to be expected to run their record to a league-best 14-games over .500.

The nightcap is the second meeting of the year between the Los Angeles' two entries in the Association, the Lakers and Clippers. The Clippers took the first clash in impressive fashion a week and a half ago, 102-94. Though Kobe Bryant was the high scorer with 42 points, Chris Paul had 33 while Blake Griffin poured in 22 points and had 14 rebounds.

Staples Center is home to both squads, but the team listed as the official host is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings, which is good news for the Lakers.  The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six overall heading into this 10:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday night clash.

There are certainly some mismatches on the Wednesday NBA rotation schedule. The Philadelphia 76ers will be huge favorites over the New Jersey Nets in the City of Brotherly Love, while the same could be said for the Oklahoma City Thunder at home against the New Orleans Hornets and the Utah Jazz at home against the Toronto Raptors.

The Dallas Mavericks will still be without Dirk Nowitzki, who is nursing a knee injury, and they host the Minnesota Timberwolves in an 8:30 (ET) start time.

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