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Wizards preparing for Orlando without injured Gilbert Arenas

The Wizards held their final practice at Verizon Center before their season opener on Thursday against the Orlando Magic. And Gilbert Arenas was unable to participate for the third consecutive day because of soreness in his right ankle.

The players and coaches have spent the past three days preparing for the Magic as if they will not have Arenas. "It's going to be a big loss for us, but we've been practicing without him in there," John Wall said, when asked how the team would adjust without the three-time all-star. "He's been sidelined, getting treatment and stuff. We've been preparing ourselves in case Gilbert doesn't play, so it'll be tough not to have him out there, but you've got to move on and keep playing. You know you got other talented players on the team that can take up some scoring slack that we're going to be missing."

Al Thornton would start at small forward if Arenas is unable to go, with Wall sharing the backcourt with Kirk Hinrich. But Coach Flip Saunders didn't rule out having his three-time all-star before the game. "We'll have to see what happens in the next 48 hours. You'll know 10 minutes before the game," Saunders joked. "That's our new policy."

Saunders said on Monday that the team could still be effective without Arenas, but added that the Wizards would prefer to have him. "We need him, there's no question," Saunders said. "You take a guy that last year, before he went out, he was a 22-point scorer and seven and a half assists, so you'd like to put that in your lineup. What it does is, it puts more pressure on your main guards, John and Kirk. Those guys may have to play more minutes than maybe what you'd like them to until you get him back, whenever that is."

Thornton said he would be ready whether or not Arenas is available. "I have a chance to step up," he said. "But I mean, of course, we want Gil out there. He's an all-star type player, but I think we're going to just have to go out there and work as a team."

The team flew immediately after practice down to Orlando, where they will practice on Wednesday. The Verizon Center is currently occupied by the Washington International Horse Show.

By Michael Lee  | October 26, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
 
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Comments

@KTV1

I know you're not one of the haters, but don't be among the last to figure out that the Wizards are built to be playoff team NOW. The ingredients are all there. They just need to have to have a little good fortune with their veterans' health while the youngsters continue to mature.

I submit to you that this preseason the Wizards won all three games in which they had at least 80% of their projected starters available for the full game. In other words, the team, as intelligently and painstakingly constructed by one Ernest Grunfeld, has been built with the attention to detail and precision of a Swiss watch - when their core players are suited up, a "W" for our Wizards is there for the taking. Granted, since injuries occur throughout a season, the team's young players will have to get accustomed to changing their mindset from that of guys who come off the bench to guys who are willing and able to start when called upon. I have no doubt that they will get better at this aspect of the game sooner rather than later and the Wizards will make the playoffs despite what the offkey haters spew from their acidic constitutions.

The official start of the Grunfeld Era is nearly upon us and Ernest Grunfeld is no longer working with one hand tied behind his back. Wizards Faithful, I ask: Are you ready?

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 26, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

All part of Gil's plan to get his boy nick PAID??

I'd like Gil to be healthy, but honestly I am so averse to a 6'3" SF that I'd rather see KH and Thornton starting than KH and Gil.

Will be interesting to see who gets minutes between CMartin and NY in this first game.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

shocker, shocker,

Agent 9 is injured. the dude seems like an ok guy, a little loony but not mean but man is he getting the sweet end of the stick; big bucks to workout and rehab, I don't care what you say about a guy missing out on his NBA career, getting paid to workout is a sweet gig, getting paid millions is even better, whatever hits his ego takes float away on the 15th and 30th...The 'zards been paying for this since April 7th, 2007. (that's approx 3yrs and 7 months)

Posted by: jbrady84 | October 26, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I have no issue with Gil as a person or a player, but it's in the best interests of both him and the franchise to part ways. Really, it's just that simple.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Arenas will play in the opening game but if i am the coach,i will get him from bench since he did not practice with the team for three days.It will also send some thing to his damaged brain and might help him to wake up.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 26, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Arenas will play in the opening game but if i am the coach,i will get him from bench since he did not practice with the team for three days.It will also send some thing to his damaged brain and might help him to wake up.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 26, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

you sure you wanna send that type of message to a guy as unbalanced as Arenas? I mean , if he's as bad a guy as yall make him out to be, then who knows how he'll respond to being benched because he was hurt. If he wasn't healthy enough to practice so be it. If the subsequent rest has him game ready, then why trip. i swear, Ted and Flipper said they'd turn the team over to JWiz, but all we (us and the media) talk about is Gil. I think the Post may have glossed over the fact the JWIz missed some practice with a groin injury, but we get 2 of the last 3 threads on this blog about Gil, "stoking this will he or won't he?" deal and the whole "is it real or is he faking?" "Is it real or is he being traded?". i wanna know what's up with seraphin, we haven't heard much on the clubs plans for this kid.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What a jerk, hurting his ankle like that. And how sweet it must be, to work your ass off your whole life, then have to miss your prime years due to injury. Some of you people have no empathy.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 26, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Starting 5

Wall
Hinrich
Thornton
Blatche
Mcghee...

that match up between Mcghee and Howard will be a measturing stick to see how far off Javale is. I am hoping he can use his abilties to compete with Howard and not totally be overwhelmed.

the PG match up between Nelson and Wall will be interesting as well.

it will be a good test for this young team. So if they at least compete we will be in for a good season

Posted by: mrhney03 | October 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

How about using Seraphin's 6 fouls on DHoward's grill? All we hear is about how big and strong Seraphin is, time to use some of it!

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Man, Gil and all these leg problems. He always has stuff on both legs too which makes it even worst. Might as well sit him the 1st 2 games and let him play when we come back home against Philly

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt be shocked if he played though. Still, Gil isnt always the most mentally tough guy in these type of situations. He's the type that if he does play then he will play all passive or just totally suck so much that we wouldve been better off without him. The good thing is that its the opener and its against Orlando. Gil ususally always plays well in the opener and Im sure he wants to play well against maybe the only team that might make a trade for him.

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

hat match up between Mcghee and Howard will be a measturing stick to see how far off Javale is. I am hoping he can use his abilties to compete with Howard and not totally be overwhelmed.

the PG match up between Nelson and Wall will be interesting as well.

it will be a good test for this young team. So if they at least compete we will be in for a good season

Posted by: mrhney03 | October 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say it's THE Measuringstick, but definitely a good test. DH12 is a 4 time all star if i recall correctly, with deep playoff experience. Even if McGee took a quantum leap forward I'd expect DH12 to get out on him. He's built like a tank,with just as muck hops and Pat Ewing in his corner. It'll be a good matchup, but I'd take more away from JMc shutting DH12 down and scoring 30 than i would from DH12 beasting all over JMc as i expect him to do. Javale has gotten bigger and stronger but i don't think he's at DH12's level yet. Like I said a big game out of Javale, heavy on the defense would be encouraging. If he struggles against DH12 i wouldn't trip to hard, he's 3 yrs in. It took DH some time to round into the almost completely one dimensional player he is .Dwight didn't reach his first allstar game til after he was 3 yrs in.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How about using Seraphin's 6 fouls on DHoward's grill? All we hear is about how big and strong Seraphin is, time to use some of it!

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That should take about 7 minutes?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 26, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Dwight didn't reach his first allstar game til after he was 3 yrs in."

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:41 PM

But it was clear from day 1 that he'd be an All-Star. It was just an issue of when not if. There's no comparison between him and McGee.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

How about using Seraphin's 6 fouls on DHoward's grill? All we hear is about how big and strong Seraphin is, time to use some of it!


Agreed and why add Armstrong & Ndiaye?
They will get schooled but what great experience for the young guys to go against one of the best.

Posted by: spoooooooon | October 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld = Snake Oil salesman and Con Man

If it's a blowout tonight, they should go ahead and use both French-speaking Wiz players.

Posted by: closg | October 26, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Ernie Grunfeld = Snake Oil salesman and Con Man

If it's a blowout tonight, they should go ahead and use both French-speaking Wiz players.

Posted by: closg | October 26, 2010 5:16 PM

here here, hear hear!

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 26, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse


Is this really a surprise?


Posted by: mortified469 | October 26, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

INJURY PRONE!

As if it can't get any more clear, Gilby can't be depended on.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 26, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

If Arenas can't toe the mark anymore then he shouldn't be on the team. This constant injury business makes it seem like he is playing everyone for a fool. I am sure if he goes to another team he will magically overcome all his injury problems.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | October 27, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

"If it's a blowout tonight, they should go ahead and use both French-speaking Wiz players.Posted by: closg"

I thought they didn't start playing until Thursday.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 27, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

I think you'll be able to figure it out Samson.

Posted by: closg | October 27, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

"What it does is, it puts more pressure on your main guards, John and Kirk."

So Gil is now a three?

Posted by: StLou | October 27, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse


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Posted by: jiajia1333 | October 27, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

So you guys can't see that he intends to either get paid for sitting out, or Haynesworth his way out of town? This ain't the NFL, players rule. He can sit as much as he wants and nobody is ever gonna do anything about it. By mid-season he will be either out for the year with injury, or released. Either way, he wins1

Posted by: 54465446 | October 27, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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