The Washington Wizards were back on the practice court following a day off yesterday, and prepared for their final preseason game, which will take place tomorrow night in Chicago.
Back on the practice court were Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller, who missed the last two games with the flu. Not practicing, obviously, was Antawn Jamison, who according to Flip Saunders, continues to progress, but there are no new developments on that end.
“First off, I don’t have anything new on Jamison, and I don’t know who the starting two guard is yet, so we can finish that part. Any other questions?” Flip Saunders said as he opened his press conference, and then broke into a laugh.
Saunders did say that tomorrow night he’ll start Arenas and Miller, whom he dubbed, ‘The Swine Flu Backcourt’ against the Bulls.
The Wizards, according to Flip, went through the most competitive practice they’ve had all preseason today as players continue to battle for key spots in the rotation.
Saunders said he has yet to decide on that rotation as a whole, but he does plan on using Andray Blatche as a key rotation guy. So to keep him familiar with that role of coming off the bench and bringing a spark when spelling Antawn Jamison, the coach expects to start Fabricio Oberto at power forward tomorrow night and keep Blatche in his normal role.
DeShawn Stevenson said that in today’s practice, Saunders used a slim rotation of Arenas, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Blatche, Stevenson, and Foye. Add Jamison and Oberto into the equation and you probably have a good hint as to what direction Saunders is leaning. Either way, it appears he’s not going to give precious minutes to players he can’t depend upon.
“He said the last couple games he hasn’t been liking the way guys been coming off,” Stevenson said. “So, I don’t know if he’s going to play five, six, seven. But he was pretty mad. So we had a real hard practice.”
On a humerous side note: JaVale McGee for the second practice was wearing Brendan Haywood’s No. 33 practice jersey instead of his own No. 34. I asked McGee why and he said, “Oh, I had bad luck with my number.”
Haywood, who just wore a black T-shirt rather than someone else’s jersey, offered the explanation: “One day he grabbed my jersey by accident and had a great practice. Now I can’t get it back from him!”