Wizards big man anxious for return

Wizards big man anxious for return
October 10, 2012, 8:30 pm
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Its been eight months since Emeka Okafor last played in anNBA game and the Wizards 6-foot-10 center cant wait another day.Its been a long time, saidOkafor, who will make his Wizards debut Thursday night at Verizon Centeragainst the New York Knicks. I mean, just getting back into the flow. Practiceis one thing, games are a completely different thing.The Wizards are hoping theirhome preseason debut is a lot better than their preseason opener on Sunday,when they committed 20 turnovers in a 100-88 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.What needs to be better in Game 2?A little bit of everything, really, Wizards coach RandyWittman said. The whole thing.Obviously, turnovers is going to be a big thing for ourteam. We cant have individuals with six turnovers in a game no matter who it is.Forward Trevor Ariza committed a team-high six turnovers in theloss to the Bobcats.If we can eliminatehalf those 20 individual ones, were pretty much where we need to be,Wittman said. Weve got to get it done. Rebounding and execution. Passing theball. I think we held it a little too much in the first game. Its what weve workedon the last couple days, ball movement.Wittman said he expects to see gradual improvement from histeam, which has been without John Wall and Nene since the start of trainingcamp. The arrival of Okafor should help that process. He missed the final 39games of last season with a knee injury and was traded from New Orleans to the Wizards on June 20 alongwith Ariza.The first game looked likea first game, Okafor said. It was a bit sloppy. Transition killed us. It justlooked like some guys trying to get it together. But its the first game so itsnot the end of the world.Okafor said hed like fansto show a little patience with the Wizards as they try to learn each othersgames and the new system installed by Wittman. Wed like to see it come sooner rather than later, he said.Im just curious to see game-by-game improvement. Its going to be a littlebit of ebb and flow. But were all moving in the right direction so far.