WASHINGTON (AP) -Stumped that the Washington Wizards have matched the worst start in franchise history, forward Antawn Jamison came very close to calling Sunday's game a must-win
``Eventually we're going to stop the bleeding, but 'eventually' needs to turn into 'Sunday,''' Jamison said. ``In the past it's been, 'Eventually we're going to get it going.' Sunday it needs to happen.''
The Wizards are 0-5, matching the 1966 start of the Baltimore Bullets. A team that has relied so heavily on its offensive firepower for three playoff seasons is now the worst shooting team in the NBA, and spark plug Gilbert Arenas isn't the same because of a knee injury. They'll need a win Sunday at Atlanta to keep from posting the franchise's first-ever 0-6.
``It's very unexpected,'' forward Caron Butler said. ``We've got a lot of talent. We've got good chemistry. We've got the same core guys as last year.''
The Wizards were embarrassed on their home court Friday night, losing by 26 to the Denver Nuggets. There were times in the third quarter when it appeared that someone needed to blow the whole roster apart and start all over again. Coach Eddie Jordan's team averaged a turnover per minute in the period, missed 7 of 10 shots and was outscored 33-11.
``The sense of urgency is upon us now,'' said Jordan, who had been heartened by his team's performance in a close loss at New Jersey the night before.
There are various explanations for all the team's ills. Jordan spent more time emphasizing defense during the preseason, so the offense has lacked its usual flow. Certainly Arenas' surgically repaired knee, which has been drained twice in recent weeks, is a major concern.
Whatever the causes, the Wizards suddenly look like a team very unsure of itself.
``We don't have that swagger about us offensively,'' Jamison said. ``And that's something I never expected to come out of my mouth, especially dealing with this team.''
Washington started slow last year, going 4-9, but this year's start is exacerbated by the big 0 in the win column. Also, there's a sense that the team might eventually have to start playing for Jordan's job if the losing continues, even though he's the most successful Wizards coach in two decades.
``Guys seem to love Eddie and think he's a great fit for this team,'' Jamison said, ``And we definitely don't want to see that happen. I definitely think it's too early for that. I don't foresee it to get to that point, and that would be another couple of months down the road. If that happens, that's guys not doing their job.''
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