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Butler starting, rotation to tighten

I just came back from the lockeroom here at Conseco Fieldhouse (great arena by the way, my favorite in the NBA) and word is that Caron Butler will be in the starting lineup despite that sore left knee that has been bothering him lately. I watched Caron warmup earlier and he appeared to be moving pretty well. He is wearing a sleeve over the knee but not brace.

Also, the inactives are Andray Blatche, Donell Taylor and Mike Hall. In his pregame chat session with reporters (today that was me) Eddie Jordan said he is planning on slimming his playing rotation down from the 11 and 12 players he's been using to 9 or 10 as the team hits these last 20 games. While he wouldn't come out and say that Andray is the odd man out, it's pretty easy to draw that conclusion.

I chatted with Andray before the game and though he's dissapointed - "It kind of feels like I'm right back to where I started: on the bench" - he said he's going to keep himself ready.

Indiana note: PG Jamal Tinsley and C Jeff Foster are out. C Jermaine O'Neal won't start but will be active and is expected to play. The Pacers have lost 10 straight and really need one, probably even worse than the Wizards do.

By Ivan Carter  |  March 14, 2007; 5:19 PM ET
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Next: Butler: "It's going to be awhile"

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