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Butler and Jamison Are Stepping Up And Standing Out

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Washington Wizards have played solid basketball most of the season without three-time all-star Gilbert Arenas mainly because Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison have played like all-stars themselves.

Entering last night's game against Detroit, Butler was one of three NBA players -- with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James -- averaging at least 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Also, Butler, who was selected to the Eastern Conference all-star team a reserve last season, led the East in steals (2.2 per game) and was shooting a career-best 49.9 percent.

Jamison, who was an East reserve during the 2004-05 season, entered last night as one of only two players in the conference -- Dwight Howard is the other -- averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Also, Jamison ranked second in the East and sixth in the league with 20 double-doubles and led all conference forwards in rebounding (10.8 per game).

However, neither player has received much love in fan balloting. In the latest voting returns released by NBA.com, Butler ranks sixth among East forwards and Jamison ranks 10th. Arenas, who has not played since Nov. 16, ranks fifth among East guards.

Fan voting continues through Jan. 20 and starters for the Feb. 17 game will be named Jan. 24. Reserves will then be selected by coaches and named Jan. 31.

UP NEXT: Tomorrow at Milwaukee 8:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Sunday vs. Seattle 1 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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