By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 4, 2008
RICHMOND, Oct. 3 -- One of Coach Eddie Jordan's primary goals for training camp was to get out of the week without any injuries.
The Wizards nearly made it but suffered what the team hopes will be a minor setback when center Brendan Haywood sprained his right wrist during practice Thursday morning.
Haywood, who missed Friday evening's camp-ending intrasquad scrimmage, is expected to be out at least a week, at which point he will be re-evaluated.
The Wizards capped the week with a scrimmage that featured a team made up mainly of reserves, led by second-year forward Dominic McGuire, beating a team of starters and other regulars, 81-68, in front of 1,500 at the Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
"We saw it all camp; our white team [the reserves] has played very well," Jordan said. "They've done some good things and we like that, we want our core to expand and we have three guys who can fit right in there."
Jordan was referring to McGuire, who capped a strong week by posting eight points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals; fourth-year forward Andray Blatche (15 points, six rebounds) and second-year guard Nick Young, who started for the regulars and matched Caron Butler with a game-high 16 points on 5-for-12 shooting.
The continued development of McGuire, Blatche and Young along with third-year forward Oleksiy Pecherov (11 points on 4-for-8 shooting) will be one of the focal points of the seven-game preseason, which opens Tuesday night with a game at Dallas.
McGuire, the team's second-round pick out of Fresno State in 2007, had a strong showing in the Las Vegas Summer League, where he displayed an improved jump shot and better overall awareness at both ends of the court. He carried those things into training camp and the scrimmage.
"I just have to keep this momentum I have going right now and carry it into the preseason games," McGuire said. "As soon as we get back, I'll be back in the gym because it's all about preparation. I'm going to be in there getting shots up, working on my game."
Etan Thomas started in place of Haywood for the black squad along with Antawn Jamison, Antonio Daniels, Butler and Young. The white team started Blatche, McGuire, Darius Songaila, DeShawn Stevenson and Dee Brown.
Jordan replaced Stevenson, the regular starter at shooting guard, with Young on the first unit because he wanted to balance the teams.
The scrimmage consisted of two 10-minute periods, one eight-minute period and a final period that began with the black team trailing by six points with 5:30 to play. Jordan staged the final period that way to challenge the black team with coming from behind.
In a display of the roster's potential depth, the white team not only held on, it increased its lead to 13 points with a run that included six points by McGee, a dunk by McGuire and a three-pointer by Pecherov.
After Young scored for the black team, the youngsters on the white team continued their run with a pair of dunks by rookie forward Taj McCullough and the day's most sensational play: a thunderous put-back dunk by McGee off a missed three-pointer by Pecherov.
"Those guys did a great job all week long of pushing the vets and we need that if we want to get where we want to go," said Daniels, who finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. "The intensity was there on a daily basis all week long. The young guys came out there very intense, very focused every day and that helped us."
Wizards Notes: Washington native DerMarr Johnson came off the bench to contribute 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting for the white team. . . .
Former Bullet Gheorghe Muresan will be available to sign copies of his book "The Boy's Fitness Guide" on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner.