The Wizards in roughly half an hour will tip off against the Dallas Mavericks and we’ll see a different starting lineup tonight than what we saw on Tuesday against Memphis.
DeShawn Stevenson will join Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood in the starting lineup, and Nick Young will be matched up with Dallas’ sixth man Jason Terry.
“It’s just another opportunity, let Nick come off the bench and chase Jason around a little bit,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. “DeShawn played well the other night and again, just working on different combinations.”
Saunders said he’ll continue experimenting with lineups and rotations throughout the preseason and expects to use Mike James at some point during tonight’s game after the guard didn’t see any playing time on Tuesday.
Saunders said he’ll play it by ear on how he uses Arenas tonight. His plan for the moment is to play him for about 10 minutes, and then sit the guard down and see how things go from there. Tuesday night that was the plan and Arenas asked for more action and played for 11 minutes in the first quarter, then came back for the last stretch of the second quarter and again in the second half.
“To be honest, my thing would be to play him 10 minutes, and that’s pretty much it. If he feels really good, let him come back a little bit,” Saunders said. “If he doesn’t come back it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with his knee or anything like that. It’s just if he gets a good run and plays well.”
Saunders let on that he probably wishes he hadn’t played Arenas as many minutes as he did the other night.
“Looking back, after he had seven assists in the first quarter, I probably should’ve shut him down,” the coach grinned. “If we had, his line would have been even better. But we’ll just kinda see where that’s at.”
Saunders said he’ll handle Fabricio Oberto the same way: Give him an early run, see how he does and likely call it a night.