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Preseason Practice No. 1

Practice this morning was mostly defense. Eddie Jordan said they only spent the last 10 minutes on offense.

(You know, if you want actual basketball news, you could also go here. Official Wizards Beat Writer and Disappointed Twins Fan Ivan Carter has been sitting in this hotel room with me and typing up his own blog, which premiered today, just moments ago. This is what the Washington Post has come to; two staff writers sitting in one hotel room, 10 feet from each other, and blogging about the exact same event. Tomorrow let's make it three bloggers! And the next day four! Actually, once all of our beat writers have their own blogs, you have to sort of wonder why they'd still pay me. Hopefully none of the bean counters will think about that one too much. If anyone has any job openings, my e-mail address is above. I'm a hard worker and very pleasant to deal with. My areas of expertise include cheese, Marriott points and George Washington fans.)

(Official Wizards Beat Writer Ivan Carter thinks the twin, overlapping photos of he and Former Official Wizards Beat Writer Michael Lee on their blog makes them look a little bit more than co-workers. "My wife's gonna be jealous when she sees that," he said.)

So, actual basketball news. A commitment to defense. Two solid centers, Eddie said. Less full-court defense. They're just gonna concentrate on protecting the paint and half-court defense. Gilbert approves; says it helps the guards save their energy for when the defense really matters. A guest coaching appearance by Kevin O'Neill. Blatche is still impressing. Less clowning around than last year. Plus, "everyone's in shape and that's surprising me," Gilbert said.

We only got to watch them for about 30 minutes, during which they mostly did conditioning drills and shot around by themselves. So I'm not going to make any grand judgments. Caron Butler, on the other hand, will.

"Everybody was getting down, taking charges, diving on the floor, getting after loose balls," he said. "The energy was great. If I was an outsider looking in I'd say you're looking at a team that's got high expectations. You know, not just making it to the playoffs; you know, going deep and, you know, possibly winning a championship. That's our goal."

(You know how our story on Byron Leftwich a few days ago claimed he had never met a white person before he went to Marshall, a claim that I find completely and totally ludicrous? Well, Ivan Carter claims I'm the first vegetarian he's ever met, which I find equally hard to believe. Maybe I'm not gullible enough.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 3, 2006; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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