Nene is expected to start in the playoffs, according to report

Jonathan Daniel

The Big Brazilian will reclaim his starting gig after recovering from injury, according to one report.

Nene's health is the big question for the Wizards as they face the Bulls. How ready is he? How many minutes can he play? Here's a good sign: Nene will reclaim his starting spot for Game 1, according to J Michael of CSN Washington:

Nene is supposed to talk after Saturday's practice, before the Wizards hop on a flight to Chicago where they'll open Game 1 of the playoffs, but there's no real mystery about his status Sunday. While it's not official, the plan is for him to be starting at power forward for the first time since Feb. 23.

"Everybody is available," is all coach Randy Wittman would say after Friday's practice. It's typical for him to be evasive about lineup adjustments.

This is absolutely the right move. Nene is especially crucial in this series, and the Wizards need him out there for as many minutes as possible. Their best chance is if Nene is on the floor for 30 minutes a game.

It'll be interesting to see how Wittman manages the rotation from here. Trevor Booker has played well of late, but the Bulls are the kind of team that can exploit his weaknesses. Drew Gooden provides much-needed shooting, but he struggles on defense (imagining him going against Taj Gibson is making me sick) and has been out of the rotation of late. Wittman should be smart about managing Nene's minutes. One idea: start him, take him out early with Bradley Beal, then bring him back in to start the second quarter.

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