Once again, Wizards unable to return to D.C.
Wizards (17-32) at Bobcats (24-25)
Wizards starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood
Bobcats: Raymond Felton, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Nazr Mohammed
Line: Magic by 13
For the second time in as many games, the Wizards were forced to stay behind because of inclement weather in the D.C. area. With another round of the snowpocalypse slated for the mid-Atlantic, the Wizards were forced to spend the night in Charlotte. Although some were inconvenienced is wasn't the same as the situation in Orlando last weekend.
With the all-star break starting the moment their game against the Bobcats ends, several members of the team simply made plans to ditch the team plane and head to their respective destinations from Charlotte on Wednesday morning. The rest of the team hoped to return to Washington by Wednesday night.
"I ain't going back," Coach Flip Saunders said with a laugh before the final word came down about being grounded. "I'm going to Minnesota. I would go back, but I'm not taking a chance."
Saunders and assistants Don Zierden, Randy Wittman, and Ryan Saunders all reserved flights from Charlotte back to Minnesota. Mike James said he's going to see his family in Houston. Nick Young and Mike Miller are on the same flight headed home to Los Angeles. Dominic McGuire is going to San Diego. Andray Blatche planned on driving back with his mother, Andrea Oliver, who lives in nearby Greenville, S.C. DeShawn Stevenson is headed back to Orlando after benefiting from an unexpected mini-vacation to his offseason home because of the postponement of the Hawks game last Saturday.
"That was lovely," said Stevenson, who got to sleep in his own bed in Orlando from Wednesday to Sunday. "That was great."
Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood had no plans of going back to D.C. anyway. They both keep offseason homes in Charlotte. Haywood already considered it a blessing that the Wizards ended the first half of the season in his town.
"I'm home now. I had a nice bed last night," said Jamison, adding that his family flew down from Virginia on Tuesday. "I know some of these other guys are frustrated. It's crazy."
Fabricio Oberto probably came out the loser with the weather. He had promised to take his young daughter to Disney World this weekend. He almost bought a ticket out of Charlotte but he was unable to get his family to fly out of Washington to Orlando.
The Wizards didn't have many complaints about staying in Orlando over the weekend, but they will be forced to pay the price for having their Atlanta game postponed until March 11. The Wizards will have to play back-to-back-to-back games from March 11-13. They will host the Hawks, head to Detroit, then host Orlando, harking back to the lockout year of 1999, when the league crammed a 50-game schedule.
"Welcome to the NBA baby," said Jamison, the only Wizard to play during the lockout season, when he was a rookie. "It's been a while since I was playing like that. It is what it is. We know what he have to do. Mentally, we have to be prepared more than we ever have been. It was already a tough stretch anyway."
After playing three days in a row, the Wizards will have a day off, then play back-to-back games in Utah and Denver, which means they will have to play five games in six days.
"You got to play them. It doesn't matter," Saunders said. The lockout year, I didn't think it was that bad. I don't think there was ever a complaint that much. You have to realize, this is the age of AAU basketball. They play four games in a day, going to McDonalds in between. The difficult thing is going to five different cities, with the travel. Of course, I say that now, but when we have to play them, I'll probably complain about them."
The Wizards played three sets of back-to-back-to-back games in 1999. They went 2-1 in the first set and 1-2 in the next two sets.
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