After spending his holiday “glued to the TV”, Wizards forward Roger Mason Jr. is ready for the season to get underway.
Christmas Day was the start of the NBA season this year, and the league kicked things off with five games on Sunday. Mason is excited that tonight, it’s the Wizards turn.
“Obviously we’ve been waiting a long time to get back on the court,” Mason said.
“We’re just happy to be back playing for the fans and our teams. It it should be fun. There was some exciting basketball yesterday. [Derrick] Rose his a big shot, Carmelo [Anthony] played great in New York. Chris Paul and those guys [the Los Angeles Clippers] played well.”
“I think the NBA is going to be exciting. Sixty-six games is something new, but every game should count,” Mason said.
Mason called the lockout-shortened season an adjustment that every team will have to make.
“Its tough, but its the cards that everybody’s been dealt,” Mason said.
“I was in the huddle with [Golden State Warriors coach] Mark Jackson on TV and he said we’ve been practicing for 10 days and I kind of chucked, because most of the time training camp is much longer than that.”
The Wizards will start the season without the team’s number one pick, Jan Vesely, who’s been dealing with a right hip injury.
“I know he’s frustrated. You feel bad for him,” Mason said. “He’s worked really hard in training camp. He was playing well for us. It’s a minor setback, but we’ll keep his spirits high. He’ll be ready soon.”
Wizards coach Flip Saunders said Vesely will not dress for tonight’s home opener, and is listed as day-to-day.
“Yesterday he was a little bit sore; we just don’t want to take a chance on it. He’s been looked at by the doctors and everything else. We have to make sure we take care of it,” Saunders said.
Saunders stressed that a sensed that a sense or urgency to get off on the right foot begins with the opening game.
“There’s urgency. The urgency is to go out, no matter who’s on the floor to go out and play hard and defend and move the basketball offensively. If we do those things, we’re going to have success no matter who goes out on the floor,” Saunders said.
“Guys have to understand that the most important thing is how the team does, not how individual guys do.”