Jamison and the All-Star Game
This morning was certainly not your typical shootaround atmosphere for the Washington Wizards. The hallways surrounding the practice gym were filled with bishops, priests and cardinals, all getting ready for 10 a.m. mass as part of a Right to Life event in the nation's capital.
Center Frabricio Oberto stopped briefly to pose for pictures and exchange what I can only assume were pleasantries with a group of priests outside the doors to the practice gym. He spoke to them in Spanish.
Finally, after the throng of men in flowing white robes began walking to the Verizon Center court, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders addressed the small gathering of media and talked about the potential for forward Antawn Jamison to be a coaches selection to the All-Star team.
"What always happens when you get to the All-Star situation is there's usually 16 guys who are deserving, and so those spots end up becoming difficult," Saunders said. "If you can make it, it's great. How I've always voted a lot, I've voted on record to be honest, so if he [doesn't] make it, it's not because he's not playing at an All-Star caliber. It's because the team is not fuctioning at the level it needs to be."
The Wizards finished the first half of the season 14-27, including Wednesday's 94-93 loss to Dallas. The Wizards had a chance to win with the last shot, but Caron Butler's jumper was blocked with 1.9 seconds to play.
The subject of trade rumors and speculation, Jamison had just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting against the Mavericks. It was the first time since a 105-98 loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 22 that the two-time All-Star did not reached double-figure scoring.
"It's just a game," Jamison said. "I think the more you dwell on it, that's when it lingers. I've been doing this for a while, and it was a tough one. After the game, you're just sitting there like 'If I would have played better, maybe the outcome would have been different.'
"But my teammates picked me up, and we still had a chance to win it. You just learn from those mistakes. You try to be more prepared for the next game. You try to be more aggressive."
The Wizards play the Miami Heat (21-20), coming off a 104-65 loss to Charlotte, tonight at 7. Check back here about an hour before tip-off for the starting lineups and inactives, as well as other pregame news and notes.
January 22, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
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