- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2005

The day between games during the regular season normally would be filled with some shooting, conditioning and perhaps watching some film.

But Washington coach Eddie Jordan put the Wizards through a more strenuous practice than usual yesterday to keep them sharp and focused on tonight’s Game4 of their opening-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls at MCI Center.

“We practiced hard,” Jordan said. “No shooting games, no walk-throughs. We worked hard at some other things, and they know it’s about business.”

“You just never know. You can go in the locker room, and the guys will look all jacked up, and you might lose by 30. Then you can come in and look at the guys, and we might win by 30. You just never know.”

Kwame sick

Kwame Brown, who played a season-low four minutes in the Wizards’ 117-99 victory in Saturday’s Game3, was excused from practice with a stomach virus.

Jordan said he expected Brown to be available tonight.

Brown has seen his minutes and production slip since he opened the series with 13 points in 35 minutes. Brown played 21 minutes and scored two points in Game2 and did not score Saturday.

Jeffries struggles

Wizards starting power forward Jared Jeffries has scored just 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds through three playoff games.

Although Jordan wants to see Jeffries become more involved in the offense, he doesn’t figure to get more than one or two plays called for him during a game.

Jeffries said he’s concentrating on other aspects of his game than just scoring.

“I think I have been able to give energy on the defensive end,” Jeffries said. “I’m making good passes, and I’m trying to get everybody involved. Ball movement is very important for us.

Chandler is ready

One Bulls player who can’t wait for Game4 is Tyson Chandler.

Chandler, who has been plagued by foul problems all series, fouled out of Game3 after scoring a team-high 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Chandler, who dislocated his ring finger in the game, said the injury won’t present a problem tonight.

“The beautiful thing about this is we play them again [tonight],” Chandler said. “I’m sure we are going to be hyped and ready to play.”

Sign of things to come

During Game 3 at MCI Center, one fan held up a sign directed at Bulls forward Andres Nocioni that read “Break his Nose-ioni.”

Nocioni wound up sprawled on the floor early in the third quarter, the result of a Larry Hughes knee to the groin. After several moments, he left the court with some assistance while some in the crowd booed.

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