Well, it’s finally here. Game 1 of 82, and the Wizards are ready.
Because teams can dress only 12 players, the Wizards have three inactives tonight. Obviously, Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood, and the third will be forward/center Oleksiy Pecherov.
Wizardscoach Eddie Jordan said he believes after a strong preseason, rookie JaVale McGee deserves to dress and have a chance to play in his first game, and that the move isn’t an indication that he’s unhappy with Pech, whom the team just picked up the option for his third season, next year. But the decision had more to do with the promise JaVale has shown since the team drafted him 18th overall this past summer.
“I just think a couple of factors: No. 1, JaVale has had a terrific preseason, he’s learned at a great pace, he is our first round pick this year,” Jordan said. “And I don’t want our first round pick, who his first game at home and he’s had a good preseason to be inactive. I think he deserves to be an active player tonight, whether he plays tonight or not, but he gets to anticipate playing his first NBA game. He’s professional, he’s deserving. Pech, he is a veteran at being on the on the inactive list and could probably handle it better than JaVale.”
Everything else is as expected. Starters: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Etan Thomas, Antonio Daniels and DeShawn Stevenson. The question will be, who gets off the bench first: Andray Blatche, Nick Young or Juan Dixon?