The Washington Times - February 25, 2009, 05:22PM

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In their fourth and final attempt of the season, the Wizards will try to get a win against the Philadelphia 76ers. The player that has caused Washington the most headaches during this season series is Louis Williams, who has come off the bench to score 14, 26 and 15 points, respectively, raining down 3’s to distance the Sixers from the Wizards.


The plan tonight will be to use the quickness of Javaris Crittenton to match the speedy Williams in hopes that Crittenton’s familiarity with his fellow Atlanta native and former AAU rival will translate into better results for the Wizards.

The Wizards will start James, Butler, McGuire, Jamison and Songaila, and Philly will start Andre Miller, Willie Green, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Samuel Dalembert.

On the Gilbert Arenas front… the guard was a nowhere to be seen during pre-game availability in the locker room, further putting Ed Tapscott in the difficult position of having to field questions as to why the organization accepted Arenas’ request that they lie for him the last two weeks about his not practicing.

Here’s some of what Tap, who admitted “we danced a little bit,” had to say:

“Due to the circumstances under which he’s been going through this process, I can understand not wanting to build up expectations that can’t be fulfilled. He’s in a tough position having been out, and trying to work through this in the correct way, and we’ve had that process in the past where he’s had setbacks and we want to make sure this time we handle this absolutely correctly in terms of his health.”

On ‘dancing a little bit’ rather than just being honest from the start:

“There are things that you always wish that you could have done better. And now we find ourselves in the situation where we know he’s going to be participating each day and based on the reaction we get from the medical team, we’ll give him a little bit more until they tell us he can play.”

On what Arenas actually is doing in practice:

“He’s trying to do a little more each day. We let him into everything for a very limited period and now we’ll  judge how he responds…. Obviously conditioning is a factor and we also have to see what the doctors say about how his knee responds. … There’s still no timetable and we still have to go through certain benchmarks.”


Of course we started hearing whispers last week that Gilbert was doing more than just practicing, but Tap was put in a bad situation, and its yet another example of how this organization is held hostage by a $111 million headcase. How being honest about whether you’re practicing or not puts more pressure on you. Signing a $111 million contract when you’ve got a suspect knee, now maybe that does. But then again, it’s not the first time we’ve been left scratching our heads over Gilbert Arenas.