Monday, October 20, 2008
Jamison not experiencing pain in knee; guard Young practices
WASHINGTON -- Wizards All-Star forward Antawn Jamison practiced Monday without a protective sleeve on his banged-up right knee and expects to be at 100 percent for the start of the regular season next week.
"No pain at all. No stiffness or anything like that," Jamison said after practice. "I feel pretty good."
He bruised the knee and left in the first quarter of Washington's first exhibition game, at Dallas on Oct. 7.
Jamison sat out the next three outings before playing 29 minutes -- shooting 4-for-14 -- in a 102-80 loss to the New Orleans Hornets in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday. He wore a sleeve on his right leg in that game.
"I'm glad that everything worked out pretty well, and it wasn't as severe as they thought it was going to be," Jamison said. "No lingering effects."
That's important news for a team that is missing All-Star point guard Gilbert Arenas and starting center Brendan Haywood. Arenas has had three operations on his left knee in the past 1½ years and is not expected back before December, while Haywood had surgery on his shooting wrist and could miss the season.
Jamison led the Wizards by averaging 21.4 points and 10.2 rebounds last season, when he earned his second All-Star Game selection, then signed a $50 million, four-year contract in the offseason.
There was more positive injury news Monday when second-year shooting guard Nick Young went through a full practice. Young skipped Washington's trip to Europe because of a bothersome left knee, and he was wearing a blue brace on that leg Monday.
"Nick was much better today," coach Eddie Jordan said. "We'll have to see how he recovers."
The Wizards (1-4) have two exhibition games left -- at the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, then at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday -- before opening the regular season Oct. 29 at home against the New Jersey Nets.
Jordan and Jamison both spoke about the need to improve the team's defense during the last two preseason games.
Asked what he hasn't liked about what he has seen through five exhibition games, Jordan said: "Our defensive commitment, our sincerity to really commit to defending the proper way, to staying with the possession, defending as hard as we can through each possession. I thought we gambled some, we gave up some, we didn't do things technically correct a lot of times."