USA TODAY Sports
Nene has been excellent when he's been on the court, but that still hasn't happened quite enough. We evaluate the first half of his season.
It's not technically midseason, but with this being the all-star break, we could think of no better time than to issue midseason report cards. In this edition: Nene, who has been fighting through injury.
STATS: 12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, 18.6 PER, 55.3% TS%, 14% rebound percentage, 23.9 USG%
Nene has indeed been the Wizard that makes the most impact on the team's success when he is on the court. The Wizards are over nine points worse offensively and more than six points worse defensively with Nene off the court, according to 82Games. While some of that is due to Nene going up against reserves early in his comeback from injury, a lot of it has to do with Nene's importance as the hub of the team's post-oriented attack. His intelligence on both ends gives everyone easy looks.
To that end, over 20 percent of the Wizards' points when Nene has been on the floor have come because of a Nene assist, a mark that's over seven percentage points higher than his previous career high. Nene has a tendency to overpass to cutters sometimes, but the Wizards will take it given all the easy looks he creates. Nene's ability to dish encourages players to cut hard and helps provide easy points, which the Wizards haven't consistently gotten.
Nene has shown his age a bit thanks to the lingering foot injury that he carried over into the season. His shooting efficiency is at its lowest since he returned from cancer, and he's had issues finishing easy shots at the rim. As has been his tendency throughout his career, he probably has overpassed this season as well. Mostly, though, the big problem with Nene has been his health and ongoing minutes limit, neither of which he can control much.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF
Hopefully, Nene's foot can start to withstand more minutes in the second half of the year. Assuming it does, I expect to see consistent 36-minute outputs and continued steady play.
How would you rate Nene's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate Nene's first half of the season?
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