By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 11, 2008
PHOENIX, Feb. 10 -- Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan half-jokingly labeled the four-game road trip that continued against the Suns on Sunday night "the rookie tour."
The team is without guard Gilbert Arenas and center Etan Thomas and recent injuries to all-star forward Caron Butler, who missed his third straight game with a strained left hip flexor, and to point guard Antonio Daniels, who was out Sunday night with right ankle soreness, have forced Jordan to dole out minutes to rookies Nick Young, Dominic McGuire and Oleksiy Pecherov.
For long stretches of Friday's loss at Denver, the three were on the court together. It's a valuable learning experience for the players but not an ideal situation for a coach trying to snap a losing streak.
"We want to win games and they have to play at a high level," Jordan said. "They have to do things in a disciplined manner, they have to play very hard and they have to sustain a concentration level they can carry for 48 minutes and give us a chance to win. So, it's not just throwing them out there to let them get some playing time and some experience. We want to play to win."
Jordan said there is a chance that Butler and Daniels could return Monday night when the Wizards play at Golden State. The trip will conclude Wednesday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Meantime, Arenas put in an extensive workout prior to Sunday's game and said he is on schedule to play again in late February. Entering Sunday's game, the Wizards were 21-20 without Arenas this season, 3-5 without Daniels and 1-5 without Butler.
UP NEXT: Monday at Warriors 10:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980
Wednesday at Clippers 10:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980