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John Wall: "I'm just ready to see where I stand"

Coach Flip Saunders said he wasn't worried about how John Wall would respond in his NBA debut, adding that Wall is always aware of when the spotlight is on. Saunders relayed a story about how Wall had "an average" practice on Tuesday, but the moment reporters were allowed into the facility, Wall got an inbounds pass, sliced into the lane and dunked over Nick Young.

"He's a guy when he sees the lights go on, and he smells the popcorn, his game is going to go up," Saunders said.

When told that that was high praise for a rookie yet to play an NBA game, Saunders laughed and said, "That's why we took him No. 1."

Wall tried to maintain the same routine as he had during the preseason, doing some pre-game work with assistant Sam Cassell and signing autographs with fans before heading to the locker room. But with this being his NBA debut against the Orlando Magic, the No. 1 overall pick broke from this usual hamburger and had a steak on Thursday afternoon. It was similar to his pre-game meal before his preseason debut in Dallas.

Wall was asked if the buildup for this game was anything like the emotions he felt before his debut at Kentucky. Wall said, "I feel the same, but it's a different level. I'm just ready to see where I stand."

The Wizards will get a chance to see where they stand right away, against the Orlando, an elite yet under-the-radar team, with its neighbors to the south, the Miami Heat, stealing most of the headlines this season. Saunders has elected to put Kevin Seraphin on the inactive list with Josh Howard (left knee) and Gilbert Arenas (right ankle). Hamady Ndiaye, one of the last players to make the roster, will be active with Saunders hoping to use his fouls against Magic center Dwight Howard.

"No question," Saunders said. "With Dwight Howard shooting 41 percent from the foul line, I might get out there. So we're going to use everybody we can."

"No question," Saunders said. "With Dwight Howard shooting 41 percent from the foul line, I might get out there. So we're going to use everybody we can."

Saunders said that Arenas received a shot in his ankle during his visit on Thursday with orthopedist Mark Myerson in Baltimore. The strained tendon is Arenas's right ankle will be reevaluated "on Sunday or Monday," he said, adding that he remains optimistic that Arenas can return for the home opener next Tuesday. "We're hoping. We'll wait and see how his ankle reacts over the next 48 hours."

By Michael Lee  | October 28, 2010; 7:30 PM ET
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Next: Open thread: Wizards at Magic


Gonna be a looong season with this roster. Certainly not on the level of the Magic, Heat of Celtics.

Posted by: tundey | October 28, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

ummmmm, folks will be crying for the hibachi and agent zero very soon!!!!

Steve Kerr let you into the NBAs view of the wizards. THEY ARE UNDISCIPLINED!!! on the defensive and offensive ends.

john wall has no talent around him. grunfeld built this team.

Posted by: oknow1 | October 28, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

John Wall did not dunk over Nick Young they were just playing. And Wall is just all hype.It not the team it's Flip Out, and Wall they both are trying to do to much. Oh; we blame Nick Young excuses,excuses we all have one.

Posted by: maejude | October 28, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'd say it's pretty obvious where you stand ... the bottom of the pile.

Posted by: Matte | October 29, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

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