- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

GETTING THE CALL — The Wizards started Jared Jeffries at power forward, marking the second time the second-year player has started a game.

DEACTIVATED# — To make room for Gilbert Arenas on the roster, the Wizards placed Mitchell Butler on the injured list with right knee tendinitis. Butler had been playing decently and his toughness will be missed, especially since the Wizards are still waiting for the return of Jerry Stackhouse.

WOUNDED WOLVES — This season many teams have injuries, none more than the Timberwolves.

Minnesota, which has been bumped from the playoffs in the first round seven consecutive times, made a boatload of moves in the offseason to improve, and the consensus was they were successful.

The Timberwolves were without center Michael Olowokandi (knee), and may lose him until January. Also failing to play were Wally Szczerbiak (plantar fasciaitis) and Troy Hudson (sprained right ankle).

Olowokandi was to be the team’s big free-agent signing but has yet to show anything since leaving the Los Angeles Clippers. The Timberwolves have gotten decent performances from Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, acquired via trades last summer, but it is far from certain how well the Timberwolves will do or how far they will go.

“That’s going to be the true test right there,” coach Flip Saunders said. “I think we’ve got a very talented team; we just haven’t had the chance to see them together.”

John N. Mitchell

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