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Flip Saunders pleased with small forward production

The Wizards didn't have much go right in Orlando on Thursday, but Coach Flip Saunders was not disappointed with the effort he got from the small forward tandem of Al Thornton and Cartier Martin, who combined to score 26 points and nine rebounds against the Magic. Martin came off the bench and led the team in scoring with 17 points, while Thornton led the team in rebounds with seven.

"The one question we had a week and a half ago, because Al was still hurt a little bit, was who are you going to have at the three? That was our best position," Saunders said. "I thought Al and Cartier together played pretty well."

Saunders placed rookie Kevin Seraphin on the active roster in favor or Hamady Ndiaye on Saturday against the Hawks. Saunders said Seraphin earned the spot after putting together a string of three consecutive solid practices and setting some solid screens.

Seraphin may not get much action, but he floored several teammates in practice on Friday. "He showed a physical presence yesterday in practice," Saunders said, adding that he needs his team to play with some fire. "We just have to fight and compete on the front line. The disappointing thing is, we got mauled inside. Rebounding wise, defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding, physicality and we have to have a presence there."

Trevor Booker also set some solid screens in practice, at one point, knocking Yi Jianlian to the ground for several seconds. When asked if Booker would see more action against the Hawks, Saunders said, "Everything is up in the air."

Nick Young scored 24 points against the Hawks in the preseason, but Saunders said that wouldn't be a factor in whether he saw more action on Saturday. If anything, Saunders said, Young would play if he can put the ball in the hoop. "We've got to score," he said. "We struggled to score and when you're not shooting the ball well and you're not scoring, the other team is going to get out and transition and you're always going to struggle."

By Michael Lee  | October 30, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
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Next: Open thread: Wizards (0-1) at Hawks (2-0)


This coach got more excuses then the the man in the moon. For not playing Nick Young. When Young score well coach he need to play D and rebound. Come on coach you are doing wrong here. And you have to pay for that the big G. don't like ugly.

Posted by: maejude | October 30, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

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