Monday December 13, 2010 1:45 p.m.
By Frank Hanrahan
The Washington Wizards will be undermanned when they face the two time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night as coach Flip Saunders has already ruled out forward Andray Blatche because of a swollen left knee. Meanwhile, guards John Wall (sore right knee) and Gilbert Arenas (overall soreness) both sat out practice today with Wall listed as very questionable and Arenas probable for the Lakers game.
"This has been more of the norm than it has has been abnormal, " Saunders said about getting ready for a game with the health of your top players in doubt. "You go in with who you have and it gives guys opportunities the chance to step up and opportunities to show what you can do."
Wall, the prized rookie guard, has missed 7 of a possible 22 games already this season due to various knee and foot injuries. Wall did play in the loss to the Knicks on Friday night, scoring just 8 points on 4-14 shooting and his lack of usual speed was quite noticeable due to a sore foot. He has missed the last two practices leading up to the second and final game of the season series versus Los Angeles. If Wall can't go, which seems likely, Saunders said the game plan would absolutely be different versus the Lakers."We are going to have to try and control tempo more and just try to do things as far as not play as fast a pace game as we would like to," Saunders said.
The Wizards lost to the Lakers last week 115-108 as Nick Young led the way for D.C. with 30 points. "It's kind of tough because you never know who is going to play and everybody has been a little banged up a little hurt...we are just trying the best we can with the players we got out there." Young said. "You know we have some time to rest a little bit so hopefully the guys are getting their bodies right and we should come up ready to play at home."