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Howard has knee surgery; Flip talks Billups

Wizards (21-44) at Nuggets (45-22)

Wizards starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee

Nuggets: Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Johan Petro

Line: Nuggets by 14.5

The last time these two teams met, Josh Howard scored 20 points to help lead the Wizards to a surprising 107-97 upset over the Denver Nuggets at Verizon Center. But as the teams hooked up on Tuesday for the rematch, Howard was in New York, where he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left knee. Howard injured himself on Feb. 22 against Chicago and had to wait about three weeks for the swelling to subside. David Altcheck performed the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgeries in New York. Howard is expected to make a full recovery in six to eight months.

Coach Flip Saunders coached Nuggets all-star point guard Chauncey Billups for two years in Minnesota and three seasons in Detroit, and joked, "He'll know the offense better than anybody else."

Saunders added that he was a bit spoiled coaching Billups, who had a solid grasp of what he wanted done on the floor. "He's a great competitior. He's got great knowledge of the game, but he's also a basketball junkie. He keeps in tune of whats happening in the league. He watches games all the time," he said. "Even now, he'll text me what guys he thinks are doing, not doing and tries to keep me pumped up when things aren't going well. I text him a lot when I watch him play.

"Not only his coach, I look at Chauncey as being a good friend," Saunders said.

Howard said last week that he has stayed in contact with James Singleton, his teammate the past two seasons in Dallas, and tried to spread words of encouragement. Singleton said that the current eight-game losing streak has been difficult to handle.

"I'm just trying to stay positive. I would lie if I said I don't get frustrated with myself, but I'm human," Singleton said. "Even though the percentages say that we're out of it, I want to win every game. I just want that the carry over to everybody else. It's been real tough, extremely tough, but it's the nature of the game. I care too much about this game not to compete."

The hoopocalypse - five games in six nights - comes to an end in Denver, but Saunders doesn't want his team to think that the current west coast road trip will be over. He said that given the circumstances, he would look to play a lot of guys against the Nuggets. He also added that the schedule can never be excluded as a factor in success in the NBA.

"You have to do what you can to try to get as good a schedule as you can," Saunders said. "What made this worse is the game that we lost, the snow game."

I spoke with a Nuggets player about what happened in the previous meeting and he explained to me that the team was coming off an emotional overtime win the night before in Cleveland and simply "got tired" in the second half. The Nuggets lost last night to the Houston Rockets in a 125-123 shootout. So the Wizards actually arrived in Denver before the Nuggets, who got back around 3 a.m.

By Michael Lee  |  March 16, 2010; 8:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Blatche sprains ankle, expects to play Friday

Comments

Dray gotta finish that with the left. Thats one of my huge pet peeves how a ton of pros still never finish with the left when on that side of the basket

Posted by: dlts20 | March 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

May sound strange but I'm thinking that Evan Turner and Wes Johnson are already better players than Nick Young, even three years into his career.

Notice I didn't say more talented. But better. Turner needs to work on his outside shot, and Johnson is after all 23 years old. Still, even in college, they show me a maturity that Nick's game doesn't have.

Wall is different -- he's still undeveloped, but what a talent. Those of you who talk about being unimpressed, did you see him take the ball to the basket? He just blew by people. Not a teachable skill. It's a little like Steve Strasburg's fastball.

It's not like me to make pronouncements about players, but I think that guy is as far above the others in this class as Blake Griffin was last season.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 16, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Flip and Chaunce are great people. Too bad things ended the way they did in Detroit for both parties, it was a great partnership but that team imploded cause of knuckleheads like Sheed, Tay, or Rip.

Posted by: Roman5 | March 16, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Dray gotta finish that with the left. Thats one of my huge pet peeves how a ton of pros still never finish with the left when on that side of the basket

Posted by: dlts20 | March 16, 2010 9:33 PM


`

Sorry.

Most NBA players are more concerned about scoring the points versus which hand they scored with.

Posted by: Vicc | March 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

anybody seen mike miller?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

At a minimum, Gee is making a strong case tonight for a second 10-day contract.

Posted by: JPRS | March 16, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

earl is killin everyone's flow

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

miller,boykins,singleton,thornton, AB a real offensive group there. we may not score again now that AB is down.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

al's bringing it, i stand corrected

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

anybody seen mike miller?

Posted by: lilhollywood10


`

Beside the ref, he's the only white guy on the court; swear you can't miss him...do you have HD?

Posted by: Vicc | March 16, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Beside the ref, he's the only white guy on the court; swear you can't miss him...do you have HD?

Posted by: Vicc | March 16, 2010 11:24 PM |

---
Wouldn't a shot from the doctor clear up that HD?

Wait... never mind.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

i do have the hd on my 55 inch, but i don't think this game is presented in hd. unless you got the league pass, you're watching a basketball game on a 8mm snuff film.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

sorry guys i don't know why that happened.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10,

I think Comcast only has the HD cameras on the home-court. For road games they're using the old cameras (either that or they haven't upgraded their trucks relaying the signals).

As far as tonight's game goes, I don't understand why Flip closed the game out with Boykins. Boykins hasn't won a game for the Wizards in the 4th Q since November. Livingston had a positive +/- in the early going. Playing him in the last 5 minutes would have at least had some value in terms of evaluation purposes. Even Foye would have been worth a look.

Posted by: JPRS | March 17, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

sorry guys i don't know why that happened.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 16, 2010 11:51 PM


`

do you have High-Speed Internet?

jk :)

Posted by: Vicc | March 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

janky laptop with questionable power cord, coupled with jerry-rigged comcast router. but i may have jammed the button.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 17, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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