- The Washington Times - Friday, December 26, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

BACK TO BUTLER — The Wizards activated Mitchell Butler before the game against the Miami Heat and placed Chris Whitney on the injured list with a sprained left ankle, giving them another option at small forward other than Jarvis Hayes.

“I’m just going to do what I can do to help the team, which is the same thing I’ve always maintained that I want to do,” Butler said.

Butler has appeared in four games this season, averaging 3.0 points and 1.0 rebounds. He was placed on the injured list at the beginning of the season with tendinitis in his right knee and went on the list a second time earlier this month with the same problem.

“I like what Mitchell brings us,” coach Eddie Jordan said. “We don’t have any other small forwards in the prototypical sense other than Jarvis. Mitchell will give us a lot of pressure on the perimeter, a lot of pressure in the fullcourt and more drives to the basket. He’s just a hard worker out there.”

Whitney was inserted as the starting point guard when Gilbert Arenas went down with a severely strained abdomen last month. He has started five games this season but recently has fallen out of the rotation. He last appeared Dec. 10 against Memphis and has not played in the last five games.

FAVORING BLAKE — Although Arenas’ anticipated return next week will send point guard Steve Blake back to the bench, it is clear Blake, a rookie from Maryland who made his eighth start against the Heat, has left a nice impression on Jordan.

“He knows how to play defense, he runs the floor very well and he sees people,” Jordan said. “He is a quality point guard in every sense of the word, and I see him right there with T.J. Ford, Dwyane Wade and Kirk Hinrich.”

Blake was selected in the second round of the draft. Ford, Wade and Hinrich were lottery picks.

John N. Mitchell

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