The second night of back to back games this weekend for the Wizards couldn’t be more different than the first, but it will be an equally difficult challenge.
“We’ve got to play with a high passion tonight, more aggressive and more physical than them,” said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. “They try to be bullies.”
As expected, Washington will be without backup point guard Kirk Hinrich, whose sprained right elbow is still swollen.
“I tried to pass to Kevin [Seraphin], my arm got hyperextended, and I felt a pop,” Hinrich said to describe when the injury happened in the Phoenix game. “I guess it’s a sprain, some ligament in my elbow.”
“There’s nothing fractured or anything, but we’re more concerned about ligaments in the elbow and that because of how it was hyperextended,” said Saunders. “We’ll know more when we get an MRI in another day or so.”
Enter Mustafa Shakur, who arrived from the NBA Development League on Saturday afternoon after a sleepless Friday night and is likely to make his first appearance in an NBA game even though this is the fourth team he’s played for.
“We’re hoping he can give John [Wall] some breathing room because I don’t know if John’s ready to go 48 minutes after having to chase around [Steve] Nash last night and having to chase [Rajon] Rondo. We’ll try to get him some quality time, just to settle us down, have another ball handler.
Shakur thought his agent was joking when he got the call.
“My emotion is really just to be ready and try to pick up as much as I can from the guys on the team and the coaching staff,” he said.
Rashard Lewis will start for Washington despite leaving the door open that he might be held back by right knee tendonitis.
The Celtics have won five in a row but added Shaquille O’Neal to their casualty list after he suffered a hip injury in Friday’s win over Utah. Rookie Semih Erden will take O'Neal's place in Boston's starting lineup.