The three-man race to replace John Wall as the Wizards starting point guard is down to two, at least for the immediate future.
Veteran Jannero Pargo, signed by the Wizards on Monday to provide depth at the guard position, sat out Fridays practice with what he believes is a strained cartilage in his left ribcage.
Pargo, 33, said he felt pain in the area when he tried making a cross-court pass during Wednesdays practice. He did not play in Thursday nights scrimmage and sat out Fridays drills.
I felt something pull or something, Pargo said. Im not too sure what it is right now. Im thinking maybe cartilage, attached to the ribs. But were not sure right now.
I didnt get hit. Thats the scary part about it.
Pargo said hes hoping an X-ray sheds a better light on the injury and provides more insight into how long he will be sidelined.
With Pargo out of the picture, the Wizards will look to A.J. Price and Shelvin Mack to fill the void left by Walls stress injury to his left kneecap, which will keep him out at least another seven weeks.
Price, who turns 26 on Sunday, was signed by the Wizards as a free agent on July 23 after three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 assists in 44 games last season.
Mack, 22, averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 assists in 64 games as a rookie with the Wizards last season.
Even with Wall in the lineup last season, the Wizards averaged just 19 assists a game, fourth-worst in the NBA.
I think thats what I do best, Price said about distributing the ball. Just control the offense and try to get everybody touches. As a point guard if you do that it makes the game so much easier. Guys tend to play harder on the defensive ended when they get touches.
Forward Trevor Ariza said he was impressed by Prices ball handling in Thursday nights scrimmage in front of season ticket holders at the Patriot Center.
He did what he was supposed to do, Ariza said. He did what hes done his whole career, from my understanding, as a point guard. Hes going to demand the players to be in the right spots. He put us in the right spots and got us the ball where we needed to be effective.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman also tried shooting guard Jordan Crawford at the point on Thursday night, with mixed results.
We lost, so it didnt go too good, Crawford said. Weve got a long way to go. A lot of sloppy play. Weve got to learn each other so its going to take some time.
Crawford said its important for him to show he can play both guard poitions.
Just being a coach on the floor, so Wittman doesnt have to get up and call all the plays.
In the meantime, Pargo has no choice but to sit and wait for his ribs to feel better.
Its just tough, because Ive been here battling since the start of camp, he said. Its not something I normally do, not something Im accustomed to. It doesnt feel good. It doesnt feel right when other guys are out there working and Im not able to.
I played through it Thursday. I practiced. It just kind of hurt even making pass, running up and down the court. Hopefully, we get it checked and its not too bad.