- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Washington Wizardspoint guard Antonio Daniels was a spectator at practice Monday as he continued to rest his right knee, which kept him out of Saturday’s game at Orlando.

Daniels had been nagged by the knee during the summer and preseason; some swelling and soreness returned after Friday’s loss to New York. A sprained medial collateral ligament in the knee kept Daniels out of nine games last season, but no MRI has been scheduled, and for now the team hopes rest will be the solution.

“Antonio’s going to be day-to-day,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said Monday. “We’ll see how his rehab goes today and [Tuesday]. It’s whenever he’s ready. That’s going to be up to him and the trainer and doctors.”

Regardless of Daniels’ status, Juan Dixon will make his second straight start at point guard Wednesday against Utah (5-1).

“I like Juan there,” Jordan said. “He did a good job there the last two games.”

On Friday, Dixon came off the bench and logged career highs in assists (11) and rebounds (eight) while scoring five points in 28 minutes. The next night, he made his first start since the 2006-07 season with Toronto and finished with three points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal.

While he welcomes the chance to start, Dixon - a natural shooting guard known for his ability to make clutch shots - has had to alter his approach.

“It’s different than coming off the bench because on the bench you get to get a feel for the game and see how the game is going. When you start, you have to set the tone early,” Dixon said. “I’m playing with two All-Stars, so now my job is to get those two guys involved as much as possible, get the team in the set, execute the offense and hopefully we can get a good shot.”

Last of the winless

When the Los Angeles Clippers improved to 1-6 with a win against Dallas on Sunday, the Wizards (0-5) became the only winless team in the NBA.

The Wizards face a tough task against Utah on Wednesday, but the absence of point guard Deron Williams could slightly improve their chances. Williams has yet to play this season while nursing a sprained right ankle.

But the Jazz still have plenty of weapons, including Carlos Boozer (20.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game), who leads five double-digit scorers. The Wizards’ focus is on improving their own play while trying to maintain a positive outlook.

“We’ve come close a few times,” Jordan said. “It’s a little bit down, but we had a good practice. [The players] understand where we are, and we have to just fight through and fight through until we come up with a win.

“Every game is an opportunity, and you never know where your wins come from.”

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