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Arenas Practices, Will Try to Play Game 4

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who sat out of the second half of Game 3 with what he and the team are calling a bone bruise and a pinched nerve in his surgically repaired left knee, participated in practice yesterday and may try to play today in Game 4.

"Gil practiced and he looked pretty good out there today," Coach Eddie Jordan said. "I was trying to slow him down so he could save his legs, but he looked good and it looks like he's ready to go" today.

Jordan said that if Arenas is cleared to play, he will be in the starting lineup. Jordan said he does not know how many minutes Arenas will play if he does suit up.

"If he feels better than he did the other night we'll play him more," Jordan said. "But we don't know."

Arenas is averaging 11 points and three assists in 20 minutes during the series but clearly has been bothered by the knee, which has undergone two surgeries to repair a torn left meniscus since last April.

On Friday, Arenas said that he is determined to play even if he's limited to just a few minutes. Arenas also said that warming up and playing initially is not a problem but that once he sits, the knee stiffens considerably.

The White Brigade

The team is encouraging fans who attend today's game to wear white -- again. Jordan and players on both teams commented that the "white out" conditions and energy displayed by the sellout crowd made a difference in Game 3.

"In my three years here that is the loudest I've heard this arena," guard Antonio Daniels said. "It was electric in here. The crowd was amazing."

Jordan said it will be important for the team to energize the fans with solid play early, as was the case in Game 3.

"We need to bring our fans with us," Jordan said. "We need to show them that we are working hard, getting rebounds and playing physical. When you do that, your fans start coming with you and they really came with us."

A Mark of Time

Daniels was the proud recipient of a shiny new watch yesterday. Daniels, who is in his 11th NBA season, was awarded the watch by the Commissioner David Stern for 10 years of service to the league. Daniels said he will give it to his mother.

"It means a lot," Daniels said. "When I left Bowling Green, I was just happy getting here. A lot has happened in 11 years. It's gone by fast, that's for sure."

Asked what he could expect to receive from the league should he make it 20 seasons, Daniels laughed.

"A wheelchair," he joked.

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