- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
- ISTOOK: IRS “wants to throw us in jail,” says tea party leader
- Easter woes: Chocolate costs soar, becoming ‘unaffordable’ luxury
- Michaels craft chain confirms hackers hit 3M customers
- Special Forces’ suicide rates hit record levels — casualties of ‘hard combat’
- Many Americans would quickly face financial hardship after losing job, poll shows
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thanks supporters at re-election campaign bash
- Texas seizes polygamist Warren Jeffs’ 1,600-acre ranch
Wizards’ Emeka Okafor anxious to play, ready to lead
“The Bobcats — that was a very interesting experience,” Okafor said. “I’ve been a part of young teams, so I know what to expect.”
What he expects are a lot of mistakes and a lot of growing pains. But Okafor believes that with the right mix of veterans and young players, the Wizards might be lucky enough to avoid some of those mistakes.
Expected to get the start at center Thursday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks in the team’s only home preseason game, Okafor is anxious to play after missing 39 games last season with a knee injury.
He also sat out Sunday’s preseason game against the Bobcats for precautionary reasons. Okafor, along with Trevor Ariza, was acquired in a trade from the New Orleans Hornets for Rashard Lewis and a draft pick.
In 27 games last season, Okafor averaged 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds, down slightly from his career averages of 12.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. He expects to use the preseason to work himself back into game shape.
From his seat on the sidelines in Charlotte on Sunday, he identified the No. 1 thing the Wizards need to fix when they take on the Knicks.
“Transition killed us,” Okafor said. “It just looked like some guys trying to get it together.”
But the Wizards’ struggles in their preseason opener didn’t trouble him too much.
“It’s just one game,” he said.
The Wizards have had two practices since Sunday’s 100-88 loss to Charlotte. Although training camp ended when the team left George Mason University, the camp mantra will continue.
“This whole month has been an evaluation process, so it’s going to be fine-tuning every game,” Okafor said. “Different players, different rotations, time for everybody to get together and figure it out. There have been improvements. I’m just curious to see game-by-game improvement. It’s going to be a little bit of ebb and flow, but it’s all moving in the right direction so far.”
“I’m excited to get out there with my teammates and coaches,” Okafor said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- Hillary swoons at admitted illegal immigrant: 'Wow,' you're 'incredibly brave'
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ferry captain in South Korea
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.