-- When Sarunas Jasikevicius left the University of Maryland in 1998, he wasn't on the NBA's radar. After spending five seasons working on his game overseas, primarily with F.C. Barcelona and Maccabi Tel Aviv, Jasikevicius signed with the Indiana Pacers and has quickly carved out a place for himself as a sharpshooter who can play either guard position.
Jasikevicius is averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. Among NBA rookies, Jasikevicius is tied for second in three-point percentage (50 percent).
Jasikevicius made his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured Jamaal Tinsley at point guard. Some might remember Jasikevicius for hitting seven three-pointers and scoring 28 points while leading Lithuania to a 94-90 victory over the U.S. team in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"He's an excellent shooter and good ballhandler who gets them in their offense," Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan said. "When you've got Jermaine [O'Neal] doing his thing in the post, you have to give some help whether it's an outright double team or by shading a guy to him but if you do that with [Jasikevicius] on Jermaine's side, he can get open and make you pay because he can really shoot. He's impressive."
More Eastern Conference Foes
Thursday night's game continued a stretch of contests against Eastern Conference opponents for the Wizards. The string continues this weekend with games against both of Washington's 2004 playoff opponents: the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.