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Arenas Likely to Start

Just wrapped up with practice and interviews here at Verizon Center. A quick breakdown:

- Gilbert Arenas remains on schedule to make his debut Saturday night against Detroit and will likely start, according to interim coach Ed Tapscott. Officially, Arenas is called a "game-time decision" but as long as all goes well in shoot-around Saturday morning, he's going. Tapscott didn't say how many minutes he'll play Arenas but did say it wouldn't be anything outlandish like in the 36- to 38-minute range. The word he used was "intelligent."

- Caron Butler practiced and will be a game-time decision on that hamstring. Darius Songaila did some work and will be a game-time decision with pinched nerve in his neck. Juan Dixon is officially a game-time decision but the Achilles' continues to bother him and when I chatted with him a bit ago, it sounded like he may not push. The last thing that guy needs at this point in his b-ball career is an torn Achilles'.

- Mike James injured his right pinkie and was wearing a splint. He was to undergo an MRI exam, and said he may have broken it. What else would you expect with this team?

- Brendan Haywood practiced for the second time since he was cleared, but there's still no real timetable on when he may or may not play.

By Ivan Carter  |  March 27, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
 | Tags: Arenas, Butler, Dixon, Haywood, James, Songaila, injuries  
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Comments

The only harm in Mike James hurting his pinkie is for the games that Arenas is not going to play the rest of the year -- otherwise it is as much of a non-event as an update on Juan Dixon. With Arenas back, the backup should be Critt. Mike James will be a non-factor next year except for trade bait.

Arenas has to start -- just for the sake of the home crowd!

Posted by: Chad32 | March 27, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

This is great! I'll tune in to see how his knee handles a game situation. Maybe we'll go undefeated and challenge for a playoff spot! Haha!!!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | March 27, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

either cut Mike James or cut Mike James' pinkie off and resign Dee Brown. we are about to have rofl 7 healthy bodies for tomorrow

Posted by: prescrunk | March 27, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Remember that game where DEE BROWN sank 2 back to back threes for us? I thought he was gonna stick around for sure. O WELL!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 27, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

good to hear Gilbert starting, sad but what else do you expect with James being injured. Love him or hate him, this is not good news but too little too late so whatever right?

http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | March 27, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow another Guard injury. Good Grief.
Welcome Back Gil! Happy Trails Ivan!

Posted by: djnumb | March 27, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Tapscott didn't say how many minutes he'll play Arenas but did say it wouldn't be anything outlandish like in the 36 to 38 minute range. The word he used was "intelligent.""

There are just too many obvious jokes to make here, I won't even bother.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 27, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

is he playing because no one else can go? at this point start Jamison at PG and let him pick the remaining four at the start of each qtr.

Posted by: nodis5 | March 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Based on Tapscott's statement it is clear that he will not be deciding the number of minutes Arenas plays tomorrow -- there is nothing intelligent in Tapscott's coaching decisions.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Swapping out Mike James for Arenas is a huge net positive for the Wizards. Critt will also now see major minutes. James' injury is a good thing because it may "force" Tapscott to do the smart thing and play NYoung and Critt and Arenas the vast majority of minutes at the guard positions. There is no reason for Juan Dixon to come back -- he can watch the game in a 3-piece suit just as well.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited to see what Arenas is like after all the surgeries. I have to say though, I'm wary of Arenas starting in his first game back after 2 years of dealing with a knee injury. I think you start by bringing him in against the second unit, let him get some timing back, get up to game speed etc.

If he looks good, then you have him start a couple games at the end. It's not that I think he won't be able to play well against the first unit, it just seems like you should be careful in the first games back from injury.

The most important thing is that he plays no more than 20 minutes. I'd really think it should be in the 15 min range which would amount to three or 4 shifts with the second unit.

Me? I think if you've had a guy out for any period of time, you want to ease him in and see how he responds. That goes for 1 week or 1 year, much less 2 years of being out.

Posted by: manifested | March 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Only the Wizards would be stupid enough to allow Arenas to play right now. It buys the team nothing except for possibly 1) a lower draft pick and 2) another injury to Arenas.

Worst Franchise Ever

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | March 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is up Gilby's buttagain in today's piece.

Gilby is clearly delusional in saying that Les BouleS were at the level of the Miami Heat and Cavs before he got hurt.

Mike Wise is stoopid for attributing Gilby's absence to this season's bad record.

In case he forgot, Les BouleS were without Gilby last season, and did just as well compared to the season before with Gilby.

Mike Wise, wipe the brown stuff from your nose.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/26/AR2009032604082.html

BTW, there is absolutely no reason why Gilby should be blogging, so why are people like Steinberg and others taking it so hard?

What in the world would Gilby possibly be blogging about? About why he's not on the bench when his team plays homes games? How about how skaters were skating on his olympic sized pool this past winter?

Gilby will keep a lid on it until he feels confident that he's back and he's producing something on the court.

If he spoke first before producing, he'd know that would get shoved down this throat.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Unless Arenas is without a doubt 100% healthy there is no reason for him to start/play. At this point we might as well keep bombing games to increase the probability that we have the opportunity to draft Blake Griffin.

Posted by: learnedhand2 | March 27, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, i agree with the people saying that he shouldn't return because if the Wizards win a few games it might hurt their chances at the number 1 overall pick. However, i think everyone wants to see Gil back just to see how he looks on the court and besides the draft pick issue, if his knee is fully healed and hes got the green light from the training staff then i don't see why he shouln't be playing.

Posted by: jamalnasir_2000 | March 27, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I appreciated David Aldridge's take on the idea of deliberately losing so as to obtain a higher draft pick. Here's a snippet, but you can check out his article at nba.com:

"[T]he historical record doesn't bear out the notion that the teams with the worst records get rewarded in the Lottery system. In its various incarnations, the Lottery has been around since 1985. That's 24 Lotteries going into this year's, which takes place May 19. In those 24 years, the team (or teams, in case of ties) with the worst records have received the first pick in the draft ... four times. One-sixth of the time. About 16.6 percent, on average. It's happened twice since 1991. Last year, Chicago had a 1.7 percent chance of getting the first pick; the Bulls had fewer chances than eight teams, including Miami, which had the worst record. But the Bulls got Derrick Rose."

Posted by: satchmore | March 27, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks playing a rusty Arenas for

Its a few extra ping pong balls out of a thousand at best/worst.

Arenas needs to play.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 27, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who thinks playing a rusty Arenas for

Its a few extra ping pong balls out of a thousand at best/worst.

Arenas needs to play.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 27, 2009 8:11 PM "

Gilby needs to play, but start?!?!

It's f'n joke.

Also, to those who kept chiming in the past about Gilby being so good that he makes his teammates better, well, if you read today's article, you would have learned that he admitted he didn't do anything to make his teammates better.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 27, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert has less chance of getting injured versus starters than he does against out of control second team players. If he's ready, he should start and play an appropriate amount of minutes. The wiz already are guaranteed a lottery pick and they are likely to trade any pick. A higher pick just gives them more trade value to bring in a veteran.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 27, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"

Gilbert has less chance of getting injured versus starters than he does against out of control second team players. If he's ready, he should start and play an appropriate amount of minutes. The wiz already are guaranteed a lottery pick and they are likely to trade any pick. A higher pick just gives them more trade value to bring in a veteran.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 27, 2009 9:53 PM "

Huh?

It was Geralde Wallace who gave Gilby his first boo boo, and he starts.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 27, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The most important decision of the summer is who will coach this bunch. The state of Arenas' health will play an important role in persuasion. If he is 100% cleared they must play him. starting? I am not sure. But I think he should play.

Very disappointed in the lack of progress of Young. I am not sure it is just poor coaching but I hope that's all it is. He has talent galore, but is so inconsistent. Last few games he looks to be doing more than trying to score. I am keeping an eye on that down the stretch.

and Blatche...someone needs to tell him that a dunk is a higher percentage shot than a finger roll. He would have 6-8 more points per game if he simply DUNKED THE BALL!!! Guys like me, who could never dunk it, get so frustrated looking at that guy play.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | March 28, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"The most important decision of the summer is who will coach this bunch. The state of Arenas' health will play an important role in persuasion. If he is 100% cleared they must play him. starting? I am not sure. But I think he should play.

Very disappointed in the lack of progress of Young. I am not sure it is just poor coaching but I hope that's all it is. He has talent galore, but is so inconsistent. Last few games he looks to be doing more than trying to score. I am keeping an eye on that down the stretch.

and Blatche...someone needs to tell him that a dunk is a higher percentage shot than a finger roll. He would have 6-8 more points per game if he simply DUNKED THE BALL!!! Guys like me, who could never dunk it, get so frustrated looking at that guy play.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | March 28, 2009 8:29 AM "

They need to bring in a tough defensive minded coach, not a Gilby yes man.

Ewing is obviously not the choice.

I think Avery Johnson would fail here unless he was able to get the team on the same page.

AB cannot dunk the ball every time because his hops is lacking. He's not Dwight Howard. He's a duck footed knobby kneed guy who's more finesse than power.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 28, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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