Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
What do you expect from Nene this season?
Nene's ongoing plantar fasciitis isn't a problem ... yet. He hasn't missed any regular-season games, and he's the kind of veteran that can survive with less reps in training camp.
But still, I'm concerned. Plantas fasciitis doesn't just go away. The best remedy is rest, but with the season fast approaching, the incentive to rest isn't really there. It might have been nice for Nene to sit out the Olympics instead of limp around for Brazil, but try telling that to a guy with a ton of national pride that had been prevented from playing for his country in the past. No, the Wizards just might have to live with this, and that hurts.
It also makes you think a little bit about why the Nuggets let him go. So far, when he's played, Nene has been fantastic. He's produced consistently, he's stabilized the roster with his diverse skills and he's brought an element of professionalism to the locker room. But he was also dealing with nagging injuries before the trade, and while he had stayed healthy the previous seasons before this one, maybe the Nuggets noticed something that made them wonder about his long-term health. The Wizards don't really have much choice but to hope that isn't the case, because they have a ton of money and years invested in their 30-year old center.
Again: no reason to panic yet. Still, if you asked me the chances that Nene plays a full season, I'd say they're less than 20 percent
POSITIVES TO BUILD ON: Can I say everything? Nene was that good in the 11 games he played in D.C. In particular, Nene was a really good low-post player, bringing a new dimension to the Wizards' offense and showing off skills he didn't get to display in Denver.
AREAS TO IMPROVE: The only quibble with Nene's play: he shot just 31 percent on 16-23 foot jumpers in those 11 games. He needs to be much better than that if he is going to share the court with Emeka Okafor and Kevin Seraphin.
PROJECTED SPOT IN ROTATION: He'll start and log the second-most minutes on the team if he's healthy.
OUTLOOK: His foot issues ensure he won't be quite as productive as he was last season, but as long as he is on the court, he may very well be the team's most important player.
What are your projected statistics for Nene this season? What are your general expectations for him?