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Roger Mason Jr. starts

It wasn't made official until just before tip-off but Roger Mason Jr. started in place of rookie Nick Young tonight against Atlanta. In his usual 6 p.m. chat with media before the game, Coach Eddie Jordan talked generally about what his thinking was when making the decision.

"The first thing you look at is past performances and it's just not about making shots," Jordan said. "It's about how you perform and how you execute, how hard you work, if you're trying, giving effort. We knew that Nick was going to have some bumps along the way. Now, do those bumps warrant a move to the bench or, is it he's making progress and you don't want to hurt his confidence? So, several things factor into it."

It is the first start as a Wizard for Mason and fourth of his career. It should be a big night for a kid who grew up in the area and played at UVA but Roger is also dealing with some personal pain right now. His grandfather, Frank Mason, passed away on Tuesday and the funeral is tomorrow here in DC. Roger will not fly with the team to Indianapolis tonight but said he will get into town in time to play against the Pacers tomorrow night.

By Ivan Carter  |  December 21, 2007; 7:14 PM ET
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