- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

THOMAS IS DONE Reserve center Etan Thomas' eye surgery revealed more damage to his fractured left orbital, and he is almost certainly finished for the season.

Thomas, who has been on the injured list since he was smacked in the left eye Feb. 21 by New Jersey's Richard Jefferson, has had double-vision since.

"The surgery was a bit more delicate than they anticipated," Wizards coach Doug Collins said. "There was something on his sinus that they had to work around. It will be four weeks before he can do anything, in terms of exercise."

10-DAY CASUALTIES When the Wizards suffered that infamous 84-75 loss to the Raptors back on Jan. 14, Toronto had three players on the roster who were on 10-day contracts. However, two of the three are no longer with the team. Art Long and Damone Brown were let go. Guard Rafer Alston was signed for the remainder of the season.

BETTER THAN THEY LOOK The Raptors have been in the lower echelon of the Central Division for the entire season. However, before the game Collins said that the Raptors posed a threat because, according to Collins, "they are a 50-win team."

Right now they aspire to be a 25-win team.

SEATED COURTSIDE Vince Carter's mother, Michelle, was seated courtside, two seats from agent David Falk.

THROW IT DOWN! Following a timeout in which center Brendan Haywood missed a point-blank layup, Collins told the 7-footer, "Son, you've gotta dunk the ball!"

Collins was right. On the play absolutely no one stood between him and the basket.

John N. Mitchell

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