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Wake-Up Call: Should the Wizards have kept Trevor Ariza?

Today's Wake-Up Call takes a look back at how things would be now for the Wizards had they held on to Trevor Ariza, a closer look at the team's recent struggles, and tonight's matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. What if?

Last offseason the Wizards had to make a choice -- sign Marcin Gortat, a center who meshed well with their franchise point guard, or sign Trevor Ariza, a two-way player who excelled next to said point guard. Signing both would have hindered them financially for the future, so they went hard after Gortat and quickly snatched Paul Pierce to replace Ariza after he left for Houston.

But what if the Wizards went harder after Ariza instead of Gortat? Would they be any better than they are this season? Debate!

2. Why things have gone south quickly

Say what you may, but five losses in a row and a quick drop in the standings isn't a good thing for the Wizards, who need to pick themselves up and get back to near the top of the East (but I didn't need to tell you that).

Otherwise, if the team ends up in their current spot, or worse, they risk facing a team that is bound to give them trouble once the playoffs come around -- because they can't find a way to beat any of the best teams in the regular season.

Here's a look at why the team is in their current position and struggling so much lately.

3. Rasual Butler needs to step up

A more-than-pleasant surprise to begin the season, Butler has slowly begun to get back to where he was - hitting shots and making his presence felt. With Bradley Beal's status up in the air for tonight's contest, Butler will need to play a big part if the team is going to jump out on top of the Nets.

4. Smile! It's Saturday!

Or try to, at least. I know there hasn't been much to smile about in recent weeks, but the crew over at Hoop District put together a Top 5 List of best plays from the past week.

At least there were a few good things to look back on.

5. Wizards host Brooklyn Nets tonight

The team got a day off yesterday and are back at it tonight when the Nets (21-28) come to town. The Wizards (31-20) have had their problems with Brooklyn this season, especially the last time these two teams played in the Verizon Center. Will they come out strong tonight or let Brooklyn get into an early groove, as they've allowed most other opponents to do recently? Lets' hope it's the former.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch live on Comcast SportsNet and listen on 99.1 WNEW.