Randy Wittman has changed.

It’s not obvious, at first glance. He still has that buttoned-down look — neat hair, rigid posture — and an occasionally contentious demeanor.

But, he said, there are differences in the Wittman who will be back in Target Center on Wednesday night coaching Washington against the Wolves. And, he said, he will be a subtly different coach than the one who left the Wolves 23 games into the 2008-09 season.

How?

“Patience is probably the biggest thing,” Wittman said. “Patience through tough times. You want that win, you’re hurting, you’re uptight. But that bleeds over to players. Patience, I think that’s probably the biggest difference in me. I’m probably a little more mellow.”

After two decades of coaching in the NBA, both as an assistant and as a head coach, Wittman appears to be coming into his own. After an injury-riddled, disastrous start to this season, the Wizards have begun to find a rhythm.

Washington started the season without guard John Wall and center Nene and won just three of its first 17 games and four of its first 32. In a manner Wolves fans can relate to this year, Wittman was forced to juggle rotations, put players in situations they weren’t used to.

And the Wizards lost, and lost, and lost.

But, Wittman insisted, they never lost heart. “They were resilient,” Wittman said. “They showed character, and they didn’t give in. I couldn’t have been more proud of them.”