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Posted at 2:15 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Andray Blatche latest Wizards player to be hurt

By Gene Wang

As if the injury situation couldn't get any worse for the Washington Wizards, their 95-76 loss to Milwaukee tonight included second-leading scorer Andray Blatche leaving early in the first quarter with a sprained right shoulder.

The injury happened with 8 minutes 46 seconds to play after Blatche became trapped between a double-team of forward Luc Mbah a Moute and guard Brandon Jennings. Trying to gather the loose ball, Blatche landed with a thud on his right side and stayed down on Washington's offensive end as play went the other direction.

Wizards Coach Flip Saunders shortly thereafter called a 20-second timeout, at which time trainers attended to Blatche on the court. Blatche eventually rose to his feet and walked back to the locker room with his hand on his shoulder. He did not come back, and Saunders said afterward he would have an MRI tomorrow morning.

Blatche's injury could not have come at a worse juncture for the Wizards, who were without three players going into the game. Rashard Lewis was out with knee tendintis, and Josh Howard missed the game with a sore hamstring. Both have started at small forward this season.

Also out was guard-forward Cartier Martin, which left Washington at a considerable deficit at the No. 3 spot on the floor. Maurice Evans started there, but rookie Trevor Booker, normally a power forward, had to play the position coming off the bench.

"It's tough having a lot of people out," rookie point guard John Wall said. "We didn't really have a true small forward, and Mo did a great job doing as much as he can without knowing all the plays. It was tough to lose Dray. That gave other people an opportunity to step up, and tonight, they didn't step up in that position, and nobody else stepped up in the other positions."

Evans finished with 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting, but Booker managed eight points in just over 31 and a half minutes. The bench contributed 36 points, but remove Jordan Crawford's game-high 22 points, and the reserves were barely noticeable.

It's unclear when Howard and Lewis will be back in the lineup. Howard has missed the past two games, and Lewis sat out Sunday's 113-102 loss at Detroit. Even before that game, however, Lewis had been dealing with knee discomfort. He played five minutes against Golden State on Wednesday and just under 10 minutes against Chicago on Feb. 28.

"There's no question, especially when you have four guys that have been here all year long that are not playing, that does hurt you a little bit," Saunders said.

By Gene Wang  | March 9, 2011; 2:15 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche, Cartier Martin, Flip Saunders, Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis  
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Next: Wizards get set for in-season 'training camp'


Explain to me again, why did we cut Al Thornton?

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 9, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

In other words . . . Thibadeau was never going to be the Wizards' head coach. Get over it and move on.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 8, 2011 4:07 PM

I see some things never change. You're still the same pompous 'Richard' you've been for the past few years. Amazing that Ted hasnt called you up to be the GM .You always sem to have all of the answers.
Makes me wish '88' was still here.

For the record, money is ALWAYS a factor. And I'm not 'under it'. This is a forum. You're not required to answer...'Richard'.

Posted by: original_mark1 | March 9, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah really. We lose all of our SF right after Thornton leaves. What timing! We're snakebitten.

Posted by: original_mark1 | March 9, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, it's that loser mentality that you share with the Wiz mgmt. that has us reaching out to get retread par or subpar coaches. Unless you're part of the Thibodeau family, you have no clue whether he would've come here or not.
Fact is, his defenses rely on long armed and collapsing defenders who challenge jumpers and clog passing and driving lanes. With McGee, Wall, AB, Josh Howard, NY all being physically suited, the right offer may have swayed his decision. MAY HAVE. defense is about desire and the right coach might spark that desire. Just like we went from one of the best FT shooting teams to middle of the pack after we let our shooting coach go, some of the decisions about coaches are just as important as player personnel decisions.
I dont have to win every time. Dan Snyder proved that this method doesnt always guarantee success. I just want to be in the game. Not making a serious offer to a coach that has proven to make a difference is giving up, IMO.
Stop being a Richard, Kal. You know no more than anyone else here.

Posted by: original_mark1 | March 9, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"For the record, money is ALWAYS a factor."

For the record, you still have no idea what you're talking about. There was zero chance Thibadeau was going to take the Wizards' job, I don't care it they backed a Brinks truck full of gold up to his door.

"You're not required to answer"

Actually, I am. I'm contractually and duty bound to refute ignorance and stupidity when I encounter it. It's a calling.

"Fact is, his defenses rely on long armed and collapsing defenders who challenge jumpers and clog passing and driving lanes. With McGee, Wall, AB, Josh Howard, NY all being physically suited, the right offer may have swayed his decision. "

The key word there is "defenders." Fact is, McGee, Wall, and Blatche could have arms like Stretch Armstrong, but it wouldn't change the fact that they're all poor defenders who have shown little to no proclivity to commit to playing it. And not being a moron, Thibadeau would understand this.

"Not making a serious offer to a coach that has proven to make a difference is giving up, IMO.",/i>

Accept they did make a serious offer to him. They hired him to be an assistant coach. And once he got into town and got a look at how the organization operated, he bolted for the hills. He did so despite, by many reports, having a tacit understanding that he would likely end up replacing Jordan as head coach. In fact, he didn't so because of that understanding. That's how much hen didn't want to be coach of the Washington Wizards.

What else you got, genius?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 9, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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