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Wizards (5-10) at Raptors (7-11)

Wizards starters: Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Raptors: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani

Line: Raptors by 6.5

Javaris Crittenton is moving closer to a return. Crittenton, the third-year point guard, has been sidelined with a left foot injury since training camp and had surgery in late October. He said he was able to run for the first time on Tuesday. He said he experienced a little soreness after running a few sprints and participating in a few drills with his teammates at the morning shootaround.

If he can keep going without any setbacks, Crittenton said he hopes that he can practice some time next week. Last week, Coach Flip Saunders let Crittenton go home to Atlanta for Thanksgiving, which was the first time he spent time with his family for the holiday since he entered the NBA.

The Raptors average 104.9 points per game but allow 109.3 points. Coach Flip Saunders called the Raptors "an East Coast version of the Phoenix in that they score a lot of points. We're going to have score 100 or we're probably not going to beat this team."

Saunders will start Arenas, Young, Butler, Jamison and Haywood for the fourth game in a row. That is the most consecutive game for one starting lineup this season for the Wizards. They have already had eight different lineups, with Jamison missing the first nine games and Butler and Mike Miller shuffling in and out with injuries. The current lineup hasn't scored more than 100 points since getting 108 against Philadelphia.

Miller will host the Laws of Washington on Wednesday for the first day of the annual "Wizards Care' 12 days of holiday cheer. The Laws will arrive via limosine and have a pre-game meal and watch the Wizards face the Bucks from VIP Box seats. Miller will present the family with gifts.

The National Basketball Players Association and the District of Columbia will participate in feeding 10,000 impoverished families on Thursday at the D.C. Armory. Special guests will include players' union executive director Billy Hunter, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Wes Unseld, John Thompson, Phil Chenier and members of the Wizards and Raptors. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

By Michael Lee  |  December 1, 2009; 6:23 PM ET
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Next: Wizards 106, Raptors 102


Not going to work out.

They need to trade Butler and another body for something different.

Butler's the obvious choice since Arenas and Jamison aren't going anywhere.

But this just isn't going to do.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 1, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Well...we're ahead. It ain't pretty but a lead is a lead.

Clever move on defense having Haywood guarding Bosh and AJ on Bargniani. Just the type of move I would never expect EJ to execute and it worked pretty well. Have to stick to that matchup.

Butler another just completely stupid turnover. Behind-the-back pass to the bench. Lovely! Butler, if you get stripped taking it to the hole or something I could live with it, but your bs turnovers are really getting annoying!

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 1, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Drove me to drink.

Posted by: VBFan | December 1, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Jamison was a stud tonight, Haywood solid, good defensive effort and Arenas showed some signs. Never all good of course (free throws, Butler's ongoing offensive struggles, and a classic Blatche hangdog space cadet performance). One game, who knows what to make of it. Good defensive effort but Toronto were pretty awful in the 4th and seemed to miss a lot of open jumpers. But a win's a win.

Guess we should savor it. Given a back to back tomorrow night against a low-profile opponent I guess we should steel ourselves for a listless 20-point blowout loss at home. I'll offer the jet lag excuse in advance. It is an international flight back home after all.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | December 1, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

3 out of 4

Posted by: ptp23 | December 1, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Where's Dave Hopla or Buzz Braman. These guys will lose a lot of close games shooting foul shots like this.

Posted by: ptp23 | December 1, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Ugly enough win but Gilbert showed some nice flashes of a return to form...solid stat line, solid night. Still very much a work in progress but notice that Gil's best work came when he was off the ball and Boykins was the ballhandler. Wiz need a real PG

Posted by: Crunkenstein | December 1, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some carryover at home tomorrow against the Bucks. Can Arenas have another solid night on the second half of a back-to-back? I guess we'll find out...

Posted by: ArmChairQB | December 1, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Note to Steve MG: Caron's going nowhere if they get him involved early then along with AJ and Gil this team becomes a force again i don't know what Flip is thinking but when Gil was injured it was AJ and Caron that carried this squad i know one thing they had better find Dave Hoopla or Buzz Braman because that form that Haywood showed tonite was straight outta the boys club, yeah he was building a house with some of those bricks, LMAO!!

Posted by: dargregmag | December 1, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Before I get to my "I told you so," I will admit that I had it all wrong about Haywood on Bosh. Haywood did a fine job, albeit because he played hard and tough, which I said he'd need to and he forgets to do sometimes.

So...Dom on Turk, just like I said, made him work more than he is used to.

And Jamison gets his to the tune of 31 and 11... We are 3-0 when he does.

Posted by: Blurred | December 1, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

sorry..Jamison was 30 and 11...should have been 31 or really 33, but he missed those FTs

Posted by: Blurred | December 1, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Blah had nothing to do with being off the ball...he just finally found a rhythm. Sick of all the off the ball crap. He didn't play off the ball in the Princeton. He was all over it!

And, Boykins didn't play particularly great either. The thing that won the game for us was Flip's insistence we take it to the rake and we finally did it with consistency in the 4th.

Hey, a win is a win. Arenas showed a pulse. Now onto tomorrow!

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 1, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Arenas had a 9 assist game. Does that make him a "pure PG" now?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Arenas had a 9 assist game. Does that make him a "pure PG" now?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 1, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

No he will never be a "pure PG" but it's better than 6 ast's and 5 to's.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Good win on the road. Need to follow that up with a win tomorrow against the Bucks. FT shooting was awful. Gil had his best game in a few weeks. I have a new found respect for Jamison these last few games. What a beast. 6-10. Work in progress. The ship has not sunk.

Posted by: dominic10464 | December 1, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Go Wizards! If they don't beat them at home on Friday it is kind of pointless though.

Posted by: chinatown | December 1, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Cheer up everyone, we've won 3 of the last 4.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 1, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

This was a good win. And like I thought, Flip is smarter than some of you are giving him credit for. He realizes that Gilbert has to get back to being a scorer first rather than the point guard for this Team.

However, the true test comes tomorrow at home on whether there really is some light at the end of the tunnel.

If they play well tomorrow night and win, look for this Team to be surprising in the month of December.

My vote was for 10-12 wins and closer to 12.

They the Wizards, realize that the success of the big three should not have ever been taken lightly, if you know what I mean.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse


I donot think that Flip has any question at all whether his system will work with this team.

He probably was just as surprised as anyone that at this particular time Gilbert is not ready to run point guard.

Other than that, I think Flip will get the job done, even though you know I wanted Mark Jackson.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse


A little while back you took note of the fact that since Carolina lost 4 of the starting 5 that they might be ripe for a Maryland crab feast this year.

Since then upon further monitering of dem' dar' tarheels', I think they will not only whip up on Maryland this year, they will contend for The Final Four.

This Tarheel team is a lot better than I thought they were at the beginning of the season.

Look for Carolina Blue to be in the Cream of Crop again this year. We will not have to wait till next year.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 1, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Arenas showed flashes of his previous self tonight. He has yet to calibrate his shot, but his movement, instincts and timing were the best I've seen since... 2006? Haywood came up big, despite his foul shooting. Slamming back two or three O rebounds per game has become routine for him, and I like it. Blatche and Mcgee were subpar, but at least they were aggressive, and is it just me, or does Mcguire look bigger, and not in a good way? He appears to be entering the early stages of late period Ladell Eackells. Hit the weight room young man, and millions await you. Juice had some tough back, while the game was really won by an elegant, veteran performance from Jamison.

BTW, what's up with that mournful Mike Miller Wiz commercial? I dig the Rocky I overtones, but I keep expecting the PETA or American Cancer Society logo to pop up at the end of it.

Posted by: SammyT1 | December 2, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

People or should I say Sheeps, lets look at the caliber of team we were playing to only barely win give me a break. Toronto is not a playoff team. The so call big three are only big here in DC area, on other teams they're coming off the bench. This team is not or ever going to win any title or championship game, not going to happen with this same group of player from 3 years back, regress not progress.

Posted by: getagripped | December 2, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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