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Miller set to start

Guard-forward Mike Miller, who has been out since Nov. 21 with a strained right calf, is scheduled to start in Friday night's game against the Orlando Magic, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders said during his pregame media session.

Miller is among the best shooters on the team and is coming back just as top scorer Gilbert Arenas is in the early stages of his indefinite suspension. Tonight will be the Wizards' first game at Verizon Center since the league announced Arenas's suspension just days ago.

"The reason we're starting Mike is because his type of injury, as far as him getting loose, getting warmed up, we thought it would be better for him if he's loose and warmed up to let him start," Saunders said. "Not let him have to sit on the bench for 20, 25 minutes before we put him in where all of sudden now he tightens up. We'll see. I really don't know how many minutes. I think he'll be a little quicker because he's a little bit lighter. You know what I'm talking about."

For those who don't, Saunders was referring to Miller's freshly cropped locks. Miller was among the most identifiable Wizards because of his long hair, but now he has a much more streamlined look.

"I think it was his wife," Saunders said when asked if Miller trimmed his hair as per team rules. "He looks good. He looks young. I'll tell you, if he make some shots, I'll like it a lot better."

So with Miller at shooting guard, here's the rest of the starting lineup: Randy Foye at the point, Caron Butler at small forward, Antawn Jamison at power forward and Brendan Haywood at center.

Inactives for the game: Javaris Crittenton, Mike James and Dominic McGuire.

By Gene Wang  |  January 8, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
 | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Mike Miller; Caron Butler; Brendan Haywood; Randy Foye; Antawn Jamison; Flip Saunders  
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Next: Haywood holds his own, and then some

Comments

Why are Mike James and Dominic McGuire inactive?

Posted by: VBFan | January 8, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

What's the deal with Mike James? I thought he was ready to play two weeks ago.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 8, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

So why is it that Arenas has to be carried as active for 5 games. Chenier gave an explanation that I did not understand.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

There's a solid NBA player somewhere in McGuire.

Unfortunately, I don't think it'll come out with this team. If it does.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 8, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The Wizard problems are solved MM is back!

I sure am glad Flip didn't sit Foye and now he's ready to play?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"So why is it that Arenas has to be carried as active for 5 games. Chenier gave an explanation that I did not understand."

So teams can't take advantage of a guy who is suspended, but otherwise would be able to play, and open up an extra roster spot for someone else.

Bascially they would have an extra active spot. It's 12 now right? So in other words they would have 13 actives and it's not allowed.

Pretty lame huh?

So the Wiz would be taking advantage of the rules by doing that so they have to keep him active.

That's a rule they really need to look at.

AJ is a class act all of the way. He was really nervous when he addressed the crowd befroe the game. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 8, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

obviously Critt is inactive...but why James and Mcguire when we're a man down to begin with? so much bs drama being played.

at any rate- only down 5!

Posted by: divi3 | January 8, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ray.

I find it interesting that AJ mentioned the huddle incident and verifies that no mockery or disrepect was intended.

Lets hope they decide on backing off fining the players.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Need to give them credit, win or lose: they're playing hard tonight.

They could just pack it in.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 8, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

You know other GM's around the League smell blood in the water.

If I were the Wizards, I would not be so quick to start busting up the Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

It’s called addition by subtraction when a team loses a ball hog the other players feel like they are more involved in the game versus just standing around watching.

Memphis is a better team without AI, Houston is a better team without TMac and the Wizards are a better team without Gil.

Like it or not those are the facts.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 8, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess another day of sunshine probably has changed the prevailing opinion of Foye and Miller again.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

They are a better team with Miller. He makes other players better and guys know that he will find them on the floor.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | January 8, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Sellout crowd, 20,000. Wow!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I really would like to see Kalo's assessment just tonight of Brendan's play against the top center in the League.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

AJ is a class act. I think I may end up going to a game or two this year after deciding not to.

Posted by: cannontl | January 8, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

You got to it first, Larry.

I hope the BH critics can find some positives in his paly tonight.

Posted by: cannontl | January 8, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

BH 18/15 vs. DH 23/11

Posted by: SteveMG | January 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

That was the most fired up I've seen Caron all year. Haywood came up huge on a night where it seemed Howard was mailing it in, maybe thats because Brendan was discouraging him, who knows. Very nice win... I'd like to let these guys play for a couple weeks before we go blowing anything up.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a scoop but everyone knows that Arenas will probably never play for the Wizards again?

He's gone.

Unless, perhaps, Leonsis or a new owner is willing to give him another chance.

Not likely.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 8, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Addition by subtract: Miller + Foye - Arenas = Better Team. It was interesting to see that the ball moved a lot better tonight with Miller in the lineup not to mention our defense was better. Haywood looked like one of the top 10 centers in the league. I think he plays better when Arenas isn't on the court and gets some touches on offense. Butler's game looked more in the flow as did the offense in general.

Now that the Wiz have a huge weight off their shoulders with Arenas not part of the team, I'd like to see how they do over the next month before they break up the team. Miller and Foye both should contribute a lot more now that Arenas isn't taking up 40 minutes a night hogging the ball at PG. I don't think he'll be missed that much on or off the court.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 8, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Seriously anyone who knew anything about NBA basketball would not be down on Haywood.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | January 8, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Good to see the fellahs not tank it.

Would really like to see more McGuire and even less Stevenson.

Will hope this team doesn't fall back into disinterested play and lackadaisical effort.

Of course, they always try and get up for superior teams. Show that kind of consistent effort against the average and weaker teams.

Posted by: bozomoeman | January 8, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

This Sunday's game should be an excellent test of where their hearts really are.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 8, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

NBA has hit Blatche, Foye, Young, and McGee with $10,000 fines based off the Arenas shooting gesture team photo in Philly on Tuesday night.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | January 8, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this entire situation has really torn Jamison up, you could tell in his speech to the fans. Afterwards he said that he had so many memories here with the fans and all the playoff games; he's a class act.
As for Gil, they even took his jersey out of the wizards team store and cleared the locker. I dont know if thats the NBA's regulations if you're suspended or not.

Posted by: washwiz | January 8, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Was watching the game sort of out the corner of my eye at a bar while talking with friends. I was a little surprised to see that the game was as close as it was by half-time -- I was really surprised by the way the team closed. Looks like a solid high energy effort. The team really earned the standing O tonight.

Hopefully they can sustain the energy from the mid-point of the season and beyond.

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice who was in the game during our offensive dead zone and who wasn't? Answers later.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

MILLER's line tonight 6, 6 and 6. Sweet. Sign that young man up for next year.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Now the WIZ sustain this level of effort, win or lose and new tix are on the horizon for yours truly.

I wonder why all the energy tonight. It was electric. Is the monkey temporarily off the WIZARD's backs.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously anyone who knew anything about NBA basketball would not be down on Haywood.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | January 8, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Been saying that since October a year ago. HAYWOOD is missed more than GIL. Seems like the team was out to prove that very point tonight.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Haywood came up huge on a night where it seemed Howard was mailing it in, maybe thats because Brendan was discouraging him, who knows."

Who knows? the dude was punked tonight by WOOD for the first time since his rookie season as far as I've seen.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Best game and win of the season for sure.. But I got a question about the fine: Why didn't Jamison get fined. He was right in front in the picture laughing. Seems pretty week to fine the guys they did.
Any1 know?

Posted by: dovelevine | January 8, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Where the h has everybody gone. Is 11:00 p.m. the witching hour on here?

Answer to the mystery question NICK YOUNG was, MIKE MILLER wasn't.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 8, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone here that doesn't like the way Jamison plays ball just doesn't get it. The man is class all the way. If each Wizzie gave at least 1/2 the effort that he does we'd be leading the division.

I like the way that Mike M brought the team together during a free throw and got everyone on the same page as to what they were gonna do.

Haven't seen that from the Wizzies before.

Now it will be interesting to see if they can do it again on Sunday.

Posted by: VBFan | January 8, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice game fellas.

Been begging for Foye all season. For some reason, Boykins got all his mins when he got hurt even when he returned. Boykins is not half the player Foye is and for the life of me I could not understand it. Why? Bc Boykins played two/three good games to start his Wiz career and has been close to horrible ever since. Man, so frustrating!

Tonight you saw that Foye can run an offense and share the ball and with Miller out there too it was about as good a flow to the offense as I've seen all season. And, go figure, Foye actually plays perimeter defense. You did not see a sieve from the PG position. In fact, I don't remember him getting beat to the rim although I'm sure it happened at least a couple of times.

Sadly, I think there were many personal issues with Arenas before the incident ever happened. For instance, most fired up I've seen CB all year. With Arenas back, he played most games like he didn't care or more precisely like he hated playing with GA.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 8, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see JJ Redick blow by NY twice in about a min? C'mon. JJ couldn't blow by anyone in college and NY is such a dolt he let him do it to him twice. That kid is probably on his way out of the league or about to buried on someone's bench for the rest of his career. Being around Arenas has probably not helped him become a serious basketball player.

Blatche has also reverted back to his pre 7 day Dre days. When is the last time he actually had a good game? And, I'm so sick of his cute moves around the basket. Sometimes it may be necessary, but damn Dre, you are 6 11 with a decent wingspan and you can't dunk the ball?

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 8, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"That was the most fired up I've seen Caron all year."

He plays better without Gil, always has.

There's one saving grace for his team...well actually two:

1) They make the playoffs, even as an 8 seed.

2) They void Gil's deal so they can sign his replacement this summer.

IFFF these two things happen I don't think you're going to see them blow the roster up. Everyone pray they keep this going a few more games.

I will be 100%.

And yes BH played well, but then so did the whole team. I still say he's soft. :P

I kept thinking to myself watching this game,"How the heck did Orlando get to the finals last year?"

Vince Carter going down was a Godsend also.

Good job AJ!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 9, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

OK,

Where the hell is Kalo and the other clueless bloggers with respect to Haywood. I have checked all 3 threads and none of them, not one has shown up to tell us once again how terrible and soft Haywood is.

Amazing. I think anybody with real knowledge can see Haywood is not what is wrong with this team..

Posted by: kevenjones | January 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Cb all ways play better with out arenas". Who is not playing well when a distructor in and out side the court is out.They just do not want say it but in action the whole wiz team play better when he is out and they like it with out him.The 2008-9 season is exceptinal for three rerasons.NO center to stop penetration, No SG,AD get injured and letter replaced by MJ.The team lost coach,Masion BH and interest to play.

Posted by: gtefferra | January 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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