Rivers Lends Butler His All-Star Support

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 22, 2007

Count Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers among those who feel that Wizards forward Caron Butler should join guard Gilbert Arenas in the Feb. 18 All-Star Game.

Before Butler helped Washington beat the Celtics, 115-110, on Saturday night at Verizon Center by scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, Rivers said he had already decided to vote Butler in as a reserve.

"I said it before we came down here the first time [Nov. 4] that I thought he was an all-star player coming into his own," Rivers said. "I think he should be on the all-star team. He deserves it."

The five starters will be announced Thursday and seven reserves will be selected on Feb. 1. Should the Wizards remain in first place in the Eastern Conference through games played on Feb. 4, Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan would coach the East squad.

Jordan still would coach the squad if the Wizards have the second-best record behind Detroit because Pistons Coach Flip Saunders would not be eligible to coach the team two years in a row.

Songaila May Practice Soon

According to a team source, forward Darius Songaila could be cleared to practice within the next two weeks. Songaila has been out since undergoing lower back surgery on Nov. 2.

Songaila has been running through the offense with Jordan and the assistant coaches and has also been doing one-on-one work in the low post. So far, Songaila has not been cleared to participate in contact drills.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company