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Da Wiz and the Grizz

Well, I finally made it back to Washington after getting stuck in Denver for three extra days and missing thrilling Wiz wins at Sacramento and Phoenix but I hustled back by driving to Kansas City and hopping a flight home Sunday. The good news was that I had a chance to grab some KC BBQ and see a couple of friends before getting out of there.

After a couple of days off, the Wizards are back on the court tonight against the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, losers of three straight games. I'm interested to see whether the Wiz play with the same energy and intensity they played with in Los Angeles against the Lakers, at Sacramento and at Phoenix because this Grizzlies team thumped them down in Memphis one month ago without Pau Gasol, who is back and starting to find his form.

Gilbert Arenas scored a season-low three points on 1-of-12 shooting in that 95-80 loss and looked nothing like the cat who has been tearing it up recently. Good thing those Adidas commercials weren't running that night huh? The Wizards appear to be hitting their stride and will have a prime chance to gain some major ground in the Eastern Conference standings the next few weeks. New Jersey no longer has Nenad Krstic, Miami is still without the big fella and Orlando has lost seven of its last 10.

And you have to love how the schedule sets up: the struggling Grizz at home tonight, at Charlotte tomorrow night, Orlando at Verizon Center Friday night and at Milwaukee on Saturday before coming home to host the Bucks (with the old leather basketball) on Jan. 3. My personal key: no injuries! This team cannot afford to lose Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Stevenson, Daniels, Haywood or Hayes in the next few weeks.

I'll check back after the game with some lockeroom info.

By Ivan Carter  |  December 26, 2006; 5:13 PM ET
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