Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas said yesterday his bruised right heel was "probably about 35 percent," but he wasn't going to let it keep him from playing tonight in Miami. Arenas was still walking with a limp after practice.
"If I have to limp the whole night, I'll limp the whole night," he said. "I did it here."
Arenas scored 27 points against the Heat on Saturday night at MCI Center despite injuring his heel following a hard foul. The Wizards did not practice on Sunday, and Coach Eddie Jordan tried to hold him back in practice yesterday. Arenas, however, was determined to work through the pain.
Arenas said he didn't think playing hurt would be counterproductive, especially considering the Wizards' difficulty of containing Dwyane Wade. "Hope not," he said. "Once your body gets to going, you don't feel it until after the game."
Jordan didn't want to dwell on his hobbled floor leader.
"We have capable people to step in," he said. "If Gilbert can't go full speed, we won't hesitate to use Juan [Dixon]."
Dixon scored 28 points starting in place of Arenas in the season-opening win against Memphis and is averaging 16.3 points and shooting 55.9 percent. . . .
The Wizards are surrendering 101.7 points per game. The Heat scored a season-high 118 points and shot a season-high 55.8 percent against the Wizards on Saturday. Jordan didn't want to address the deficiencies.
"The more I talk about defense the more points we give up, the better our opponent shoots. So, we're going to talk about offense until our defense kicks in," Jordan said with a laugh.
The Wizards are averaging 104 points per game, which is tied for third-best in the league.
-- Michael Lee