Wizards' McGuire Asserting Himself on Both Ends of the Floor

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 22, 2008

Since Ed Tapscott took over for Eddie Jordan as Washington Wizards coach on Nov. 24, he has looked to expand the role of second-year forward Dominic McGuire. Specifically, Tapscott has challenged McGuire to be the team's off-the-bench defensive stopper.

Last night McGuire entered the game late in the first quarter and was immediately matched up against Mavericks guard Jason Terry, the team's second-leading scorer and a strong early candidate for this year's sixth man award.

McGuire has also played with more confidence at the offensive end with the increase in minutes.

"I think he did a good job this summer of working on certain aspects of his skill set," Tapscott said. "He's shooting the ball with more confidence, he's driving the ball with more confidence and he's one of the better passers on the team. On occasion he'll make a high-risk pass, but he does see the floor well. But, he plays the game as a facilitator first and I think that helps us."

Crittenton Progressing

Second-year guard Javaris Crittenton, who was acquired in a trade on Dec. 10, has been taking a crash course in the team's offensive and defensive systems and finally saw his first extended action last night when he entered at end of the first quarter and played point guard for a six-minute stretch. He finished with 10 minutes played.

"The important thing is getting him caught up as quickly as possible," Tapscott said. "You don't just want to put a guy out there until he's at least a little bit comfortable with what we do."

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