So this is it. The last game thread of arguably the worst season in franchise history. A bittersweet moment if there ever was one. Let's get right to it.
- A bunch of us caught up with Josh Howard before tonight's game. Howard had a big brace on his knee and down his leg, but otherwise, he was walking normally. He went to see a specialist when the team was in New York and said the doctor told him his knee is progressing ahead of schedule, mostly because he's been rehabbing 2-4 hours a day. When asked about a timetable, he said that he should be ready for the start of next season, based on the original timeline of six months. "With me and how I work out, hopefully I'll be ready in time [for next season]."
- Howard also said he will continue to rehab with the Wizards' trainers this summer, at least, of course, until he's a property of another team. He said he has no plans right now to go to an outside trainer like Tim Grover, even though Gilbert Arenas and Shaun Livingston both did. A word of advice, Josh: go to Grover.
- Howard also said Arenas called him the day before he was scheduled to go under the knife, wishing him luck. "That's a big plus for me, for him to reach out for me."
- Flip Saunders didn't want to directly discuss the question of whether he'd lobby management to keep Shaun Livingston next summer, understandably, but he still found a way to send a strong message indicating he wants him back. "There are a lot of players who are successful on one team, but on another team, they're not as successful. If you find a good situation and you find your niche, sometimes, you're better off making sure you stay there."
- Flip also had this to say in response to a question about whether he's relieved the season is over. "I've enjoyed these last six weeks with these guys, because they've been coachable, they've played hard just about every night [and] they've given a great effort. They've accepted coaching, so as a coach, you can see yourself in the role of a teacher."
- Al Thornton made a bold prediction about the NBA Playoffs (well, at least more bold than pretty much everyone else who was asked). He said Orlando is going to win the NBA Championship. "I like Orlando, a lot," he said. "I just think, with Vince Carter, it'll put them over the top."