- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
RIP NOT PLAYING Washington Wizards shooting guard Richard Hamilton did not play because of a stomach virus. Hamilton, who is second on the team in scoring at 19.9 points, did not practice Saturday and was hospitalized briefly later in the day. Coach Doug Collins said he got a phone call around 11 p.m. Saturday from trainer Steve Stricker.
"He said Rip had gotten some muscle spasms and got dehydrated and took him to the emergency room, and I guess he had some IVs last night," Collins said. Collins expects Hamilton to be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Chicago Bulls at MCI Center. Hamilton contacted the flu before Friday's game in Chicago but played through it. Courtney Alexander started for Hamilton.
TWO BIG MEN WITH NOTHING TO DO … Centers Brendan Haywood (knee) and Jahidi White (shoulder) were in uniform for the first time in their past three games. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Orlando Magic's big men posed huge matchup problems for Collins, and he only played Haywood limited minutes. Haywood logged 15 minutes and scored one point.
Collins cited the ability of the Magic's big men Horace Grant, Pat Garrity and Patrick Ewing to go outside and knock down shots instead of playing a traditional low-post game. "They invert their offense. They post their smaller guys and have their big guys out shooting," Collins said.
Added White, "Everybody would like minutes, but I'm more about trying to get some wins under our belt. If I have to sit out for us to be a better team, I will."
WE CAN HANDLE THIS Without Michael Jordan and mired in a seven-game losing streak, Collins doesn't want anyone crying for his team.
"This is the business of basketball that you're in," Collins said. "When you get in it, you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. We also had a nine-game winning streak and had things running well for us for a while. We were 2-9 once; we got it going. We've had injuries, we've had all kinds of guys out all year long, and the one thing I've tried not to do is let guys make excuses. Somebody is going to play, so we've got to go out and try to play well. If you get into the excuses, then you're beaten before you start. I don't want our guys to ever play that way ever."
Ken Wright


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