Mavericks 94, Wizards 93...
Mavericks-Wizards, Box 2010-01...
Mavericks G Howard sits out wi...
NBA Roundup: Friday's action...
NBA roundup: Wednesday's actio...
Rondo has triple-double as Cel...
Pacers-Magic Preview...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-20...
GETTING INSIDE 2010-01-20...
Darmowe og?oszenia kredyty po?...
Og?oszenia finansowe darmowe -...
Dg?oszenia po?yczki prywatne p...
Kiedy najkorzystniej zaopatr...
Szybkie po?yczki gotówkowe - p...
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » Balance key as Wizards win

Balance key as Wizards win

Balance key as Wizards winHe may be only three regular-season games into his tenure as coach of the Washington Wizards , but Flip Saunders already is having to familiarize himself with an all-too-common Wizards tradition: reshuffling his lineup and rotation because of injuries.

He already was without Antawn Jamison when Caron Butler bruised his left knee in Friday's loss at Atlanta. So Saunders had to adjust yet again.

With Butler out, Saunders moved Mike Miller from starting shooting guard to small forward. And he inserted usual backup combo-guard Randy Foye into the lineup at shooting guard. In starting Foye, Miller, Gilbert Arenas, Fabricio Oberto and Brendan Haywood, Washington trotted out a lineup of players who were not on the team's active roster this time last year.

But unlike in past years, the injuries didn't leave the Wizards void of veteran talent. Washington rolled to a 123-104 victory over the New Jersey Nets at Verizon Center.

"What you do is you fight through injuries," Saunders said. "And that's why [team president Ernie Grunfeld] and the front office did what we did [this summer]. That's why we picked up Mike Miller and Randy Foye - so when things went out, we didn't have to rely on throwing a young player out there."

A healthy Arenas doesn't hurt either. Arenas fueled Washington (2-1) with 32 points and seven assists; Foye added 17 points and eight assists. Haywood tallied 10 points and seven rebounds, and Miller posted nine points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Further spurring on the Wizards was backup forward-center Andray Blatche, who racked up a career-high 30 points while pulling down six rebounds.

"We have a lot of depth," Arenas said. "Everybody can contribute. We get everybody back, we can be even deadlier. Right now, we just have to maintain until Antawn and Caron get back."

The Wizards shot 61.5 percent, their best performance since Dec. 18, 2002, against Memphis. The Wizards , who also boasted a .643 clip from 3-point range (9-for-14), left the court to a standing ovation from the fans who last season suffered through a 19-63 campaign.

It was quite a different scene from last season, when the Wizards opened the season with a 95-85 loss to the Nets on the same court. As they trudged off the floor - minus Arenas and Haywood, who both were recovering from surgery - the fans booed. But this team appears well on its way to erasing those memories.

"That was a bad night, but we can't think about the past. It was a real bad last year," said DeShawn Stevenson, who Saturday came off the bench to score 10 points and grab six rebounds. "But it's a different story this year. We've got weapons, people off the bench, people starting - so it's a real good thing."

The Wizards , despite sporting a lineup they didn't use during the preseason, got off to a solid start, but the Nets responded with a 10-3 run, taking a 16-13 lead with five minutes left in the quarter.

Washington then orchestrated a 15-8 run that was capped by Arenas, who crossed halfcourt with time running out and launched a shot that swished through the cylinder just before the horn sounded, giving the Wizards a 28-24 lead entering the second quarter.

Arenas' big shot brought the fans to their feet, but the guard simply turned emotionless and walked to the bench.

Blatche, for the third time this season, provided an early spark off the bench. After entering the game with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, Blatche proceeded to go 4-for-4 from the field - all of them midrange jumpers. He didn't cool in the second quarter, knocking down two of his next three shots, grabbing four rebounds and handing out two assists in a six-minute span.

Blatche's putback with 6:42 left in the second quarter put Washington up 45-35. And when the fifth-year big man returned to the bench, many of the spectators inside Verizon Center - including Butler and Jamison - gave him a standing ovation.

Arenas and Blatche went back to work in the third quarter, the guard notching 12 points and the backup big man eight. Blatche capped his performance with a 10-point fourth quarter. In notching 30 points in 27 minutes, he became the first player to score 30 points or more in fewer than 28 minutes off the bench since Will Bynum had 32 points in 22 minutes for Detroit on April 5.

"I've just been working hard, staying late, working late nights with [assistant coach] Sam Cassell, and it's paying off for me," Blatche said. "And I'm glad I can help my team."

Note - Butler had an MRI exam and X-ray done on his bruised left knee, and the results came back negative. Saunders said he is hopeful the forward will be back on the floor when the Wizards visit Cleveland on Tuesday.

Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 2, 2009


Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2020.