Nene has missed 48 games total the past two seasons, and been limited in stretches when he plays, due to plantar fasciitis and knee issues. His body has looked worn down. Him getting healthy is a big key for Washington’s playoff hopes this season.
And according to everything we hear he is healthy (he took the summer off, no Brazilian national team). He is already in Washington training with some fellow teammates in advance of training camp opening at the end of the month.
Coach Randy Wittman echoed all the positives from other sources, speaking with J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.
“He got in town Aug. 30. He’s been on the floor. He feels good. He’s had a whole summer where he didn’t have to worry about the pounding and the stuff he did last summer having the injuries he did and having to play on the (Brazil) national team and never gave his body a chance to recover. He’s feeling good. He looks good. I’m pretty pleased with that.
“I anticipate him being ready to go. When did we play our last game? Five months ago? He’s done a lot of good work this summer, not only from a rest standpoint but from physical therapy. He’s built his strength back up. I anticipate we’ll head into the season with no restrictions.”
It’s good news there are no restrictions, but as Nene has battled wear and tear injuries the past few years maybe Wittman should be looking to keep his minutes under control anyway. Say 25 a game, give or take a little.
That will depend on Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely stepping up (Vesely looked good in EuroBasket, but he was used in different ways than the Wizards have traditionally used him). Washington needs to show a little depth.
When he did play last season, Nene averaged 12.6 points a game on 48 percent shooting, with 6.7 rebounds thrown in as well — his efficiency had dipped some, but that could come back with health. Washington needs Nene healthy and on the court because they need his inside game to balance John Wall and Bradley Beal on the perimeter.