The high ceiling on this Wiz team was in the 40-win range, and that was before John Wall and Nene got hurt. Now here they are at 0-7, the NBA’s last remaining winless team. Undefeated at losing!
Without Wall and Nene, the Wizards are as bad as I can remember them being, which is really bad, you know. They’re bottom-five in shooting percentage, three-point shooting percentage and free throws attempted. The leading scorer, Brad Beal, is averaging 11.3 points. That is not many points.
The thing is, Wall and Nene’s return isn’t sure to turn it around. Washington started 0-8 last season, and Wall played in those games. They’ve gone 43-105 the past two, and Wall played in 135 of those. Washington did close 6-0 last season, and Nene was around, but teams were just playing out the string. Nene isn’t that kind of difference-maker, even if he has lovely hair and a beautiful smile.
There’s not much reason for optimism beyond this year, either. Wall’s career growth has been no growth. Nene is old/injury prone. Beal is promising, but his early career highlight is getting shoved to the ground by Brandon Jennings. Jan Vesely is a hilarious bust. Kevin Seraphin has low-post scoring touch. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza are overpaid vets. What else is there, aside from Jordan Crawford jokes?
I’ll stop, because this is sad, but let’s be clear about this season, at least: It won’t get better, not by much, and it’ll be easier if we accept this now.