A day after just beating the trade deadline and sending Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics, the Wizards will host the team that it danced with at the trade deadline last season. JaVale McGee will play his first game at Verizon Center since he was dealt to the Denver Nuggets last March in exchange for Nene.
The Wizards won the first matchup, 112-108, at Pepsi Center on Jan. 18 as John Wall saved the game by blocking Ty Lawson’s potential tying layup. When asked about facing his former team again, Nene played down the reunion.
“Yeah, that was my past. Was my team. But the special moment was in the Pepsi Center,” Nene said. “That’s done. I’m Wizard and that’s what I can say.”
Bradley Beal and Cartier Martin will both be available after their nasty collision to conclude Thursday’s practice.
Coach Randy Wittman was asked about the reason that he felt the Wizards had to deal Crawford.
“It was a direction I think, after getting healthy bodies back, John coming back. I think the development of Bradley and seeing the steps that he was taking. I think a lot is lost, the emergence of Martell Webster and his play. Trevor” Ariza, Wittman said. “The situation arose, the minutes weren’t what I think he wanted and what it was at one time. It changed. And that happens all the time in this game. The roles change all the time. We want to continue to grow Bradley and we got in a rhythm. That’s the direction this organization.”
Wittman said Crawford’s behavior after being moved to a reduced role in the past two weeks contributed to the move. “I do observe that and that is a big part of being a part of a team. How do you handle adversity? And it’s important for all of our guys. Roles fluctuate and in this business, you got to stay committed, no matter if it’s happening good for you or not. That’s the main thing. That applies to all of our guys. Being in this league as long as I have, I’ve seen guys play 13, 14 years, just by taking that approach.”
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Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)