Wizards (3-2) at Hawks (3-1), Arenas, Miller Out
Wizards starters: Randy Foye, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Andray Blatche, Brendan Haywood
Hawks: Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Line: Hawks by 5.5.
The flu has wiped out the Wizards' starting backcourt tonight, as Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller were both sidelined against the Hawks. Arenas was bedridden at the morning shootaround and felt well enough that he asked to join the team on the bus to the game. But the training staff decided it was best to leave him at the team hotel, so that he wouldn't infest the rest of the team. .
Coach Flip Saunders said Arenas won't even travel with the team to Philadelphia for the team's reunion with 76ers Coach and former Wizards coach Eddie Jordan. Arenas will stay behind and fly back to Washington, where he be evaluated further.
"He's not feeling great, but he wanted to test it right away," Saunders said.
Miller participated in the shootaround, but was noticeably under the weather. When Brendan Haywood spotted Miller in the locker room about 90 minutes before the game, he asked, "You feeling better?"
Miller nodded that he was okay, but he obviously wasn't. Because moments later, Miller had his temperature taken and he had a fever that was approaching triple digits. Saunders wasn't sure if Miller would be available for Philadelphia, either.
"If he can get a mask and we can quarantine him in the back of the plane, maybe," Saunders said.
Saunders said it probably wasn't a coincidence that the Wizards are getting hit with the flu bug only a few days after they played the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had several players, including LeBron James, sidelined with Influenza A, which is the same strain as H1N1, also known as swine flu. James, Darnell Jackson and Coby Karl all missed the Wizards' 109-104 win over the Cavaliers.
"When you're going through that, you have that type of contact with players, you're touching them," Saunders said. "That's how that stuff happens. You can wash your hands all the time and everything else."
But Saunders said he wasn't sure if the illnesses were the result of playing the Cavaliers or that the players all received flu vaccines last week. Either way, Randy Foye and DeShawn Stevenson are the starting backcourt tonight.
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