Wizards’ Trevor Ariza uncertain about status for Charlotte

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 18:Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) dunks the ball during the second half of the game between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors at the Verizon Center on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards 103-93. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
I hope I can do this on Monday. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Trevor Ariza grimaced and flashed uncomfortable grins as he answered questions following the Wizards’ 101-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. On a night in which players were slipping and sliding all over a slick Verizon Center court, the result of condensation from a hockey game played earlier, Ariza took the nastiest spill and injured his left groin in the process.

After moving gingerly through the locker room, Ariza said he wasn’t certain if he would be available on Monday when the Wizards take on the Charlotte Bobcats in a game that could provide more security for a Washington team that is hoping to avoid the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“I’m okay,” Ariza said after scoring 13 points in the win, then chuckled to himself. “We’ll see what happens.”

With the Wizards leading 75-70 in the third quarter, Ariza was running back on defense when he hit the floor and started reaching for his groin. Martell Webster fouled Lou Williams to stop play and Ariza rolled around a few times in agony until head athletic trainer Eric Waters assisted him to the bench. Ariza didn’t immediately leave the game. He finished out the period, took a breather and returned to play the final five minutes.

“I try to play the game as fast as I can all the time, but after I fell and slipped, I slowed down for sure,” Ariza said. “Somebody couldn’t really gotten hurt.”

The Capitals played the Boston Bruins earlier in the day and arena workers were putting down the court a few hours before tip-off. Bradley Beal had a rough slide, along the baseline and in front of the Hawks’ bench and John Wall slipped and fell while attempting to drive to the basket. Players on both sides complained about the playing conditions after the game.

Ariza limped out of the training room with his left leg bandaged and said his plan was to get “a lot of treatment” before the team leaves for Charlotte.

“That floor was awful. I apologize for that. That shouldn’t happen,” Coach Randy Wittman said, while expressing some concern for Ariza. “He was able to finish the game. He’s a little sore. …We won’t know anything probably until” Sunday.

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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