Wizards (1-1) at Raptors (1-2)
Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Antawn Jamison, Fabricio Oberto
Raptors: Jose Calderon, Sonny Weems, DeMar Derozan, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani
Line: Raptors by 4.5.
Flip Saunders is mixing up his starting lineup again, inserting Randy Foye at shooting guard after starting Nick Young and DeShawn Stevenson in the previous two games. Mike Miller will start in place of Caron Butler, who got the afternoon off after participating in a charity event in D.C. earlier Sunday morning. Fabricio Oberto will start in place of the injured Brendan Haywood (ankle).
Haywood was able to move around without a limp today. He said his ankle is feeling better than it was on Friday, but he still has some swelling and doesn't know when he'll return. His ankle was heavily taped as he walked through some drills before the game. He did dress.
Saunders likes to give his veterans one game off in the preseason and Sunday provided him an opportunity to rest Butler. Butler was co-chair, along with Mayor Adrian Fenty, for the "Sister to Sister's Bike For The Heart" event at Verizon Center on Sunday. The fundraiser, which raised awareness to heart disease, was hosted by Wizards co-owner Irene Pollin. Saunders told Butler that he could stay in Washington and join the team in Grand Rapids, Mich., but Abe Pollin wanted Butler in Toronto in support of his teammates. So, he allowed Butler to fly to Toronto on his private plane. Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld joined Butler on the flight.
"The day was spectacular," Butler said. "I had a chance to see a lot of eager fans who saw us out there. Encourage them to get screenings. I was able to greet the crowd, hop on a plane and get here in the nick of time. Unbelievable, man."
Butler was able to get in a pre-game workout. I heard that Miller and Gilbert Arenas got here at 12:30 to get up shots.
Miller has struggled some with his shot the first two games, missing nine of his 11 attempts from the floor and all four of his three-point attempts. Miller, though, is tied with Antawn Jamison for second on the team in rebounds with 13 (Andray Blatche has a team-best 17). Miller said he is still trying to find his comfort zone with his new teammates. "This is the first time I've played organized basketball all season. I'm not worried about it," Miller said. "The one thing I know for sure is I'm going to make shots. I just have to get a feel for everything."
Foye has played primarily at point guard through training camp and in the first two games of the preseason, but Saunders wanted to see how he played off Arenas. I asked Saunders who would be the primary ballhandler with those two on the floor. Saunders said, "I think we will wait and see where we have a mismatch," Saunders said. "I think it's easier to start someone at the point and move him over. I'm sure he's not going to know all the intricacies of the two spot, but I'm sure he'll be able to pick it up quicker."
The Wizards have new blue road warmups with the alternative "dc" logo playing a prominent role.
New Raptor Hedo Turkoglu isn't playing today.
By Michael Lee |
October 11, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
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