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All for One: Team Unites for First Win

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 12, 2007

ATLANTA, Nov. 11 -- After the Washington Wizards fell to 0-5 with a humiliating 118-92 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, Caron Butler called fellow captain Antawn Jamison and suggested that they gather the team together for a players-only meeting.

The idea was to hear everyone's thoughts and then channel that energy into Sunday's game in Atlanta.

After the meeting, which took place before Saturday's shoot-around at Verizon Center, the Wizards played their best basketball of the young season at both ends of the floor in a 101-90 win at Philips Arena.

From the tip-off, the Wizards played with more energy than the sluggish Hawks but also played with a sense of togetherness. Players encouraged one another from the bench and the defensive communication was excellent throughout.

"We just wanted to get everyone together and just get on the same page," said Butler, who had 24 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 steal. "It was a time for everyone to share what was on their mind and just let everyone know that we're going to be all right. We talked about sticking together and making sure we didn't have a lack of communication about what we need to do out there."

Slumping Pacers Come to Town

The Wizards host Indiana (3-3) at Verizon Center on Wednesday. In the Oct. 31 season opener for both teams, the Pacers beat the Wizards in overtime, 119-110, in Indianapolis. After opening 3-0, the Pacers have dropped three straight.

UP NEXT Wednesday vs. Indiana7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Friday at Minnesota8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet Plus, WTEM-980 UP NEXT Wednesday vs. Indiana7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Friday at Minnesota8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet Plus, WTEM-980

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