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Young understands why he was benched

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Sports,Wizards,Pick and Roll,Craig Stouffer

An MRI on Nick Young’s twisted right knee did not reveal any structural damage, but Young didn’t practice on Friday, essentially ruling him out for the Wizards on Saturday against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.

Young was injured during the fourth quarter of Washington’s 102-95 loss to Orlando on Wednesday.

“I just came down on somebody’s foot, twisted it a little bit,” Young said. “I’m happy it’s nothing bigger than I thought. [After the injury happened] I pretty felt like I couldn’t plant as hard as I wanted to, and it just felt like something was wrong.”

Having already been left out of the starting lineup for the first time since the second game of the season, Young finished against the Magic with five points and his second-fewest minutes of the year. He also played just four minutes in the second half of the Wizards’ 119-118 loss at Milwaukee  on Tuesday, benched for most of the second half alongside JaVale McGee.

But unlike McGee, Young said he gets Wizards coach Randy Wittman’s message.

“I understand what he’s trying to do so I’m just going to play my heart out if I come off the bench or start,” Young said. “I’m just going to get out there and play, try to do my best to get the team a victory. He just wants me to get out there, just play harder. I been missing a couple shots, and he said I can’t let that affect me out there.”

Young had his best game of the year in the Wizards’ 124-109 victory at Portland on Feb. 14, hitting 7 of 8 three-point attempts and going 12-for-17 from the field overall for 35 points. But he hasn’t been the same since, shooting 28 percent overall (23-for-83) and from beyond the arc (9-for-32) in the last six games, averaging 9.8 points, well below his season average of 16.5.

“At times I let it get to me,” Young said. “It’s a part of the game. I gotta get in the gym, get some shots up, really just get my confidence right.”

Don’t expect Young out too long, not with the Los Angeles Lakers coming to town on March 7.

In other Wizards injury and absence news, Rashard Lewis (sore left knee) did not practice on Friday either. Meanwhile, Ronny Turiaf (broken hand) hasn't been around all week. While he was expected to visit a specialist in New York on Tuesday, it's been revealed that he also has some U.S. visa issues. Turiaf, who hasn't played since Jan. 1, is in fact overseas trying to get those things sorted out, and Wittman said he anticipates that Turiaf will be back to Washington in a few days.

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