Wizards notebook: Booker starts for Nene

Wizards notebook: Booker starts for Nene
April 27, 2014, 12:45 pm
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*Trevor Booker will start in place of Nene with the Brazilian big man suspended by the NBA for one game following his tussle with Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Booker, who played extensively in the fourth quarter of Washington's Game 2 victory, is averaging 4.7 points and 5.7 points in the series. The fourth-year forward also started all 21 games after Nene went down with a knee injury on Feb. 23. The Wizards went 12-9 in that stretch, though they lost 96-78 to the Bulls on April 5 at the Verizon Center. Washington leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

*Even if Booker and center Marcin Gortat can avoid foul trouble and play 35 or minutes, there will be another 20 or so that coach Randy Wittman must fill on the interior. Drew Gooden likely gets the first shot due to his ability to rebound and shoot from the perimeter. Regardless of who starts or plays during the first three quarters, Booker likely plays in the fourth against Chicago's Taj Gibson, who is a force on the offensive glass. Gooden and AL Harrington will have issues defending Gibson's length and agility. Center Kevin Seraphin could receive his first minutes of the series.

*Another option could be going small with Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster for a span or Harrington as a stretch four. While the Wizards would give up size, they would also force Carlos Boozer or another big man to chase shooters on the perimeter.

*Earlier I posted a story about Joakim Noah's struggles with turnovers this series. The Bulls had 17 in Game 3, including four from Noah, who has been frustrated offensively by Nene. Will he return to from with the Brazilian big man out of the lineup?

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