Nick Young hobbled down a tunnel at Oracle Arena, headed to the team bus, upset because his left knee just can’t get right. In his second game back from injury, Young only lasted 13 minutes in the Wizards’ 114-104 loss before he stepped down awkwardly and came up limping. He went to the locker room in the second quarter, hoping to return but never did.
He will have an MRI on Monday and won’t play when the Wizards end their five-game road trip against the Utah Jazz. “I planted the wrong way and my knee kind of gave out. I ain’t played in a while, so it’s been kind of weak,” said Young, who has already missed six games this month with complications from a bone bruise on the outside of his knee.
Young had actually played pretty well against the Warriors, scoring seven points on just five shots, which made his early exit even more disappointing. “Games like this is making me mad a little bit. It’s very frustrating and it’s tough, knowing you can’t be out there. I think I could’ve made a difference,” Young said.
The Wizards (17-55) will have to go with their 27th different starting lineup in Salt Lake City, where they will have just 10 healthy players available. Trevor Booker suffered an inflamed tendon under his right foot in the loss on Friday to Denver, and he was starting only after the Wizards lost Andray Blatche to a sprained right shoulder and later Josh Howard to more troubles in his left knee. Howard and Rashard Lewis are both likely done for the season, creating a difficult situation for the Wizards for the final 10 games.
“Short handed is a really familiar theme around here,” said Maurice Evans, who scored a season-high 23 points in extended minutes against the Warriors.
John Wall has been a part of 17 different starting lineups in his 60 games this season and said that adjusting to new teammates every night has been challenging. “It’s tough because you never know who you’re going to have. We knew we wasn’t going to have Book, but we didn’t know we was going to lose Nick. You can’t help what happened if an injury happens, but it’s tough when you play a game and you’re already down.”
The Wizards have lost their first four games on this road trip, but Wall said he doesn’t want to return home to Washington empty handed, especially with the Wizards 1-35 on the road and five losses from matching the 1990-91 Sacramento Kings for the worst road record for a full season in NBA history.
“We’ve got to get one road win, at least one,” Wall said. “You don’t want to have just one road win [for a whole season]. It’s tough to hear what people say. We got to go out there and play and control it ourselves. Can’t nobody else control it.”
Coach Flip Saunders said he’s been pleased with the way the Wizards have competed against difficult odds. “We’re not good enough. We’re just young and not as talented as the teams we’re playing. It’s frustrating, but from a positive standpoint, guys don’t give up. Our guys are playing their butts off, they’re playing hard. I’m happy that they are going out there and competing and I’m hoping we can get something done” in Utah.
FROM THE POST
Here is the game story from last night’s contest.
Former Wizard Al Thornton talks about joining the Golden State Warriors.
AROUND THE WEB
Jon Kelman presents his keys to the palace (Bullets Forever).
Rashad Mobley breaks down Trevor Booker’s pre-injury performance against Denver (Truth About It).
And despite the Spurs losing their third game in a row and Manu Ginobili, Ben Golliver thinks San Antonio can make it to the Conference finals — if Tim Duncan gets healthy (CBSSports.com).
Danny Chau asks if Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose are ready to step into the real world (Hardwood Paroxysm).