The Woeful Wizards
A quarter of the way through the 2012-2013 NBA season, the 3-20 Washington Wizards have the worst record in the league. The team has struggled to find consistency and seems to have on suffered setbacks in every way imaginable. Notably, injuries have derailed the Wizards roster and projected lineups.
The fan base in Washington grows more frustrated with each passing day. Most disappointing: there‘s no solution in sight.
Star point guard John Wall has been inactive since training camp with a stress fracture in his left knee, and was originally projected to miss about eight weeks. At one point, Wall himself predicted he would return by the November 30th game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Fast forward to now and there doesn’t seem to be much progress or optimism surrounding his situation. Though Wall’s most recent visit to his doctor resulted in clearance to “ramp up his activity,” he has not been cleared to practice. There is an ever-growing notion among those who follow this team closely that Wall could miss the entire season. The organization has yet to give a concrete timetable on his possible return to the court.
Some speculate Wall is too valuable to rush back from injury and any possible comeback will be shut down because of the team’s struggles. Why risk your star’s health for an already doomed season? Wall says, “I’m not thinking like that. You don’t want to miss a whole season. If it comes to it, you have to, but I’m not trying to think that far ahead.”
With Wall having only a 50/50 chance of returning this season, the Wizards find themselves at a huge disadvantage without their best player on the floor.
In the last month, Nene has returned from missing time with plantar fasciitis. Though the team’s record doesn’t reflect the talent upgrade, Nene’s presence makes the Wizards much more competitive. The bad news is, due to the severity of Nene’s injury, it’s likely he’ll be negatively affected the entire season. Nene is currently on a 20-minute per game limit and usually sits the second game of back-to-backs causing the team to use him in a reserve role, stunting their chemistry and rotation balance.
Most recently, AJ Price, Trevor Ariza, and Trevor Booker have been sidelined with injuries of their own; each began the year as starter at their respective positions.
Jordan Crawford has been pushed into more lead guard duties along with rookie Bradley Beal. They’ve been the team’s lone bright spot as of late. Both players are very young and coming into their own. The two of them have clearly arisen as a glimmer of hope for an otherwise desperate franchise and fan base. Beal leads all rookies in scoring for the month of December. He took a hard fall and hurt his back causing him to miss the last game—and the Wizards cannot afford to lose their top draft choice this year.
In the midst of eight games in eleven nights, the Wizards face a five game losing streak since their first road win of the season, which came against a struggling New Orleans Hornets team. Next on the Wizards’ schedule is a home and home series with the Detroit Pistons on back-to-back nights.
Hopefully, the Wizards can begin to right the ship before the holidays.