- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 31, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT WACHOVIA CENTER

PHILADELPHIA - When Ed Tapscott took over as interim coach Nov. 24, one of his goals was to streamline the Wizards’ rotation. He hoped that using fewer players would help each have a clearer understanding of his role.

But because of injury, Tapscott hasn’t settled on a consistent rotation. For the second straight game, the Wizards used a starting lineup of Mike James and Caron Butler at guard, Dominic McGuire and Antawn Jamison at forward and Darius Songaila at center. That’s Washington’s 10th different starting lineup this season.

And with Washington dressing only 11 healthy players, Tapscott had to use an expanded rotation that featured some unconventional looks. With only one healthy center on the roster, the Wizards went small most of the time. The most unusual lineup featured the 6-foot-9 Jamison as the tallest player on the court, along with DeShawn Stevenson (6-5), Juan Dixon (6-3), Javaris Crittenton (6-5) and McGuire (6-8).

BY THE NUMBERS

15 Consecutive games missed by Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson, who returned Friday after having not played since Dec. 30 while nursing a pinched nerve in his back. Stevenson previously had played 280 straight games.

TODAY’S GAME

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS at WASHINGTON WIZARDS

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Verizon Center

TV/radio: Ch. 50, ESPN 980

Probable starters: Clippers - F Al Thornton, F Marcus Camby, C DeAndre Jordan, F Eric Gordon, G Fred Jones. Wizards - F Dominic McGuire, F Antawn Jamison, C Darius Songalia, G Caron Butler, G Mike James.

Injuries: Clippers: Out: F/C Zach Randolph (knee), C Chris Kaman (foot). Wizards - Out: C Andray Blatche (knee), C Brendan Haywood (wrist), C Etan Thomas (knee), G Gilbert Arenas (knee).

Outlook: In a battle of two of the league’s worst teams, the Wizards return home for only their second game at Verizon Center in the past two weeks. The Clippers have had their share of injuries this season, having just gotten offseason acquisitions Baron Davis and Marcus Camby back from extended absences. But both players struggled in their return Wednesday, and the Clippers still are without two of their best players, Kaman and Randolph. This is the teams’ first meeting of the season; Washington won both games a year ago.

- Mike Jones


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