I've been reading Gilbert Arenas' defense memo, so no long preview for tonight. Some really quick tidbits:
- Flip Saunders said he's spoken to Gilbert Arenas recently, but after pausing for a second, he said their conversations would remain between them.
- Saunders also said the whole thing wasn't an issue with his team. "You got to realize this," he told a TV reporter. "We've got eight guys here who weren't here when it happened. So that's not even an issue." To me, it sounded like he was trying to convince himself that it wouldn't be a distraction. I don't blame him: he probably doesn't want to relive the whole spectacle of January.
- Gene Banks was being very, very physical with JaVale McGee during workouts, in an obvious exaggerated attempt to introduce him to new contact. When McGee expressed some joking discontent, Banks shouted back, "They ain't gonna give you no calls." It was a more intense McGee warming up than usual.
- In light of our previous discussion about Shaun Livingston, I decided to ask Saunders how he felt Livingston affected the team when he's out there. I thought his answer was interesting: "It's tough to say right now. He is a true point guard that gets you into your offense, and that is a positive. Outside of that (pause) ... like I said earlier, we're playing him 20 to 22 minutes, so it's not like he's playing 30 or 35 minutes to evaluate him from that standpoint." That was hardly the ringing endorsement I expected.
- The first two players I saw out there? Livingston and Alonzo Gee. The guys who played in the D-League are still hungry.
- Speaking of Gee, I asked Saunders why guys like him sometimes slip through the cracks. Keep in mind that this answer came after Saunders was talking about March Madness a bit. "Eventually, they won't slip through the cracks. They might slip through initially, but eventually, someone's going to find him," Saunders said, adding that Gee's athletic-style game is "more conducive to an NBA game than a college game."
- Mike Miller will start tonight for the Wizards despite getting hurt in the Lakers game.