- The Washington Times - Monday, February 9, 2009


While Caron Butler’s triumphant return from the flu was the focal point, the Wizards also got center Andray Blatche back in uniform Sunday.

Blatche didn’t see any action for the seventh straight game, but his return after a strained left knee gave Washington 11 players in uniform. Four players — DeShawn Stevenson (back), Etan Thomas (knee), Gilbert Arenas (knee) and Brendan Haywood (wrist) — remained in street clothes.

Thomas, who is recovering from a torn MCL, said before the game that he’s still experiencing some pain but gradually is gaining better range of motion. He remains at least two weeks from being able to attempt running, though.

Butler finished with 35 points, including the winner at the buzzer.

Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott said he doesn’t allow himself to speculate about when his sidelined players will return. But he did confess to daydreaming every now and then about what it would be like to have a full roster to work with.

“In my weaker moments, I think about what it would be like to have a full deck,” he said with a chuckle. “But you really can’t spend a lot of time projecting about what-ifs. You’ve got to coach the guys that are in uniform on game day and in uniform on practice days and come up with solutions to solve issues that are our weaknesses on the floor and try to come up with schemes that enhance strengths on the floor.

“So daydreaming about what you would like to have isn’t really productive time, especially when you’re looking for as many answers as we are.”

— Mike Jones


“C’mon, we’re not losing to this team.”

— Pacers center Greg Foster during a timeout with his team down 76-69 early in the third quarter


15 Points scored by Caron Butler in the last four minutes, the Wizards’ final 15 points in their comeback victory.



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