- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 18, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

NO LOVING FEELING — Wizards coach Eddie Jordan has become increasingly frustrated with both his players and the referees in the last week, questioning the intentions of both.

Asked before the game if the referees were showing his players more love after he was ejected from the New Jersey game, Jordan said, “I’m staying away from that. Ask me another question. … My kids love me. You know what to expect in this business. You just have to keep working hard.”

Jordan’s most positive comments were reserved for Torraye Braggs, the newcomer from Yakima, Wash., who committed three hard fouls in 10 minutes in Detroit. To hear Jordan tell it, Braggs probably took the team lead in that category.

“He gives us a physical presence in the paint that we haven’t had,” Jordan said.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW? — Jordan said the Wizards have the same problems they had in training camp. They are careless with the basketball, lack a physical presence on defense and sometimes shoot the ball with all the accuracy of Mr. Magoo. They also are missing their two leading players, Jerry Stackhouse and Gilbert Arenas.

KWAME’S EMPTY NUMBERS — Much of Kwame Brown’s recent statistical climb has come against the backdrop of one-sided losses, a fact not lost on Jordan.

“Sometimes it is hard to measure,” Jordan said of Brown’s double-double in New Jersey. “What you really would like to see from Kwame is effort put together through all 48 minutes. Things that don’t show up on the stat sheet — that’s what I’m concerned about with Kwame.”

RUNNING ON FUMES — Larry Hughes is beat up from having to carry much of the team’s offensive load. His lower limbs are becoming ever more familiar with ice packs, seemingly his favorite accessory.

“He’s banged up, but he’s playing the right way,” Jordan said. “I’d like to see him rebound the ball a little more, but I have to live with what he does.”

Tom Knott

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