Jordan takes bow at home vs. Nets

He, Brown make debuts at MCI in preseason game

star yet to find his form

Pro Basketball

October 20, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - While tonight's game against the New Jersey Nets is merely considered an exhibition, it will mark the MCI Center debut of two key members of the Washington Wizards.

Neither Michael Jordan nor Kwame Brown played in Tuesday's private intrasquad scrimmage witnessed by local military personnel, firefighters, police officers and their families, but both are expected to be in the lineup against the Nets.

The game, which will be telecast nationally beginning at 8 p.m. on TNT, is a sellout.

Jordan has seemingly recovered from the strained left foot that kept him out of the scrimmage, as evidenced by his 24-point, six-rebound performance in 32 minutes of Thursday night's 114-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Though he looked better than he did in his first exhibition game against the Pistons (eight points in 16 minutes), a week before, Jordan appeared to still have the rust on his game that wasn't there last weekend against the Heat in Miami (18 points on 7-for-11 shooting in 13 minutes).

Among Jordan's 7-for-20 shooting effort were several missed layups.

"I don't doubt that those type of situations will be completed once the season begins," said Jordan, who was on the floor when the Pistons blew open a close game with a 31-10 fourth quarter. "I'm getting my legs back. You guys are anxious for me to dunk the ball."

More of a concern to new Wizards coach Doug Collins was the way Jordan's new teammates seem to stand around and watch him play. "I thought we got caught spectating," Collins said.

Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said that he was impressed by Jordan's more recent performance against his team.

"He looks better every time he plays," Carlisle said. "I saw him play the other night in Miami on film when he had 18 points in the first quarter. I thought he played better tonight.

"It looked like he was more comfortable out there. I'm not relating it to his 7-for-20. I'm relating it to his presence, how he affects your defense. I thought he played at a real high level at times."

Brown looked very much as he did the first time he faced the Pistons - overmatched. The 19-year-old, who was drafted first overall last June, had two points and three rebounds in 18 minutes and was outplayed by former Wizard Ben Wallace (10 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks).

Brown is still playing on a tender right ankle, which he rolled in the Heat game.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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