By Michael Lee
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Antawn Jamison's season debut was delayed the first time when he dislocated his right shoulder in Cleveland last month. It was delayed again when he came down with an illness that left him bedridden last weekend. But the two-time all-star forward, who has been sidelined five weeks, is finally expected to return on Wednesday against the Cavaliers.
And it couldn't come any sooner for a team that has stumbled to a 2-7 start and is in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Jamison on Monday participated in his first full contact practice since he collided with Cavaliers reserve center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and suffered a shoulder subluxation on Oct. 14. Coach Flip Saunders said "he didn't show any ill effects or anything, so that was a positive."
"He looked real good," guard Mike Miller said. "Looked like 'Tawn."
The 33-year-old Jamison led the Wizards in scoring in each of the past two seasons and is one of just two players in the NBA to average at least 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in each of the past five seasons (former league most valuable player Dirk Nowitzki is the other). He played 81 games last season, when he averaged 22.2 points and 8.9 rebounds. The Wizards did not make him available to reporters.
Asked if Jamison's return meant that the Wizards should start living up to their expectations, Miller said: "We'd better. We don't have any more excuses. We're not waiting for anyone else. It's on us now."
Saunders said Jamison provides leadership and someone with a high basketball IQ who can spread the floor and put the other players in their proper positions.
"Now with 'Tawn in, are we going to be [good] right away?" Saunders said, snapping his finger. "No. I think we're going to be better. Because of some of the things he brings, but I think everyone is going to get into more of a comfort level."Injury updates
Randy Foye was unable to practice because of sprained right ankle and Fabricio Oberto was held out of the second half of practice after experiencing some tightness in his left hamstring, Saunders said.