Split in two halves, the players sprinted up and down the floor, trading baskets, and in the end, Gray secured the victory for him and Singleton by burying the game-winning jumper.
“I used to do this in high school,” Singleton said after finishing up at the Toronto Raptors’ practice facility at Air Canada Center. “That’s the last time I did it.”
The game was important, because it also signaled that Booker (left hamstring) and Singleton (right shoulder) are getting closer to getting back on the court; Booker and Singleton said that they plan on playing on Wednesday against the Raptors. With ice bags strapped to his right knee and on his left hamstring, Booker said that he was, “Tired. Especially for my first hard day back.”
The two-on-two, full-court exercise also revealed the Wizards’ different approach with trying to keep players ready for game action. Players who have received limited action in games will now use live action game sequences to get their bodies better prepared than simply running on the treadmill or riding bicycles.
“Getting the cardio up. Getting a feel for playing basketball again,” Singleton said. “I hate the bike. But it’s different when you’ve got a ball in your hand.”
Booker plans to make his preseason debut after getting hurt in the final set of two-a-day practices on Oct. 4. Coach Randy Wittman is ready to get some more big guys back, with the team already without Nene and Kevin Seraphin.
“We’ll look at him, see how he feels, if it doesn’t stiffen up,” Wittman said of Booker. “Probably a good chance that he’ll go. It helps. More bodies up front. He’s missed some quality time here, that’s going to be important to get him back here and see how he plays with Emeka [Okafor] and the new guys.”
Booker said sitting out the past two weeks have been difficult after he already missed the last month of the regular season with plantar fasciitis and spent so much time this summer getting healthy and prepared for the upcoming season.
“I was tired of watching the team just play. I wanted to be out there so bad,” Booker said.
Wittman wasn’t as optimistic that the team would have Singleton, who admitted that the soreness in his right shoulder was actually something that developed in the preseason opener against Charlotte.
“I had bruised it. It was bothering me,” Singleton said. “Then the Knicks game, I hit it like three or four times boxing out and that night it just locked up and became real sore. I had to take some time off to let it heal. I might play tomorrow, depending on how it feels.”