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Crittenton Starts At Point Guard

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2009

With Caron Butler at home battling the flu for the second consecutive game, Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott altered his starting lineup for last night's game against the Denver Nuggets by starting Javaris Crittenton at point guard and shifting Mike James from point guard to shooting guard.

Nick Young started in Butler's shooting guard spot in Wednesday's loss to New Jersey.

Last night marked the first career start for Crittenton, the second-year guard out of Georgia Tech who made previous stops with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies before coming to Washington in a trade on Dec. 10.

Crittenton finished with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting with seven assists and two turnovers in the Wizards' 124-103 loss.

Tapscott's reasoning for the change was twofold: that a move to shooting guard would help James snap out of a shooting slump, and in recognition that Crittenton has been making steady progress as a Wizard.

James finished with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes.

Crittenton was especially impressive during a loss at Philadelphia on Jan. 30, when he scored a season-high 15 points while dishing out a career-high seven assists in 20 minutes.

"He's done a good job of catching up, trying to learn the nuances of our offense," Tapscott said before last night's game. "He's gotten to the point where we feel comfortable with him on the floor. That game in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago kind of turned a corner for us."

Up Next Tomorrow vs. Indiana 6 p.m. Comcast SportsNet+, WTEM-980 Tuesday at Atlanta 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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