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Offense Sputtering Without Key Pieces

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 23, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 22 -- The value of having a true point guard has been made evident in the Washington Wizards' recent games. In the six games before Antonio Daniels sprained a ligament in his right knee, the Wizards went 5-1 and averaged 105 points per game.

Without Daniels and Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards scored 92 points in a win over Sacramento, 84 in a loss to Chicago and 92 in Friday's loss to Atlanta.

Entering last night's game at Indiana, Coach Eddie Jordan was looking for ways to create the offensive flow that existed before Daniels went down. However, with DeShawn Stevenson, Roger Mason Jr., and rookie Nick Young being asked to assume more ballhandling duties, that has been a challenge.

The team clearly misses Arenas's ability to break down defenses off the dribble and Daniels's knack for creating open shots for teammates in pick-and-roll situations.

Daniels expects to return as soon as next Saturday's home game against Miami, but in the meantime, Jordan said he may look for chances to play Mike Wilks, who signed Wednesday and played 10 minutes in Friday's loss to Atlanta.

"You miss the instincts a point guard gives you," Jordan said before Saturday's game. "Leading the break, making decisions in the open floor, pick-and-roll situations . . . so hopefully, Mike Wilks can pick the offense up and a little bit more. I thought he had some good moments" against Atlanta.

UP NEXT Wednesday at Bobcats7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet-Plus, WTEM-980 Friday at New Jersey7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet-Plus, WTEM-980 UP NEXT Wednesday at Bobcats7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet-Plus, WTEM-980 Friday at New Jersey7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet-Plus, WTEM-980

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