Jared Dudley is one of the key cogs if the Washington Wizards are going to rise up and be the second best team in the East. They need him to play some reserve three behind Otto Porter, who has to prove his playoff performance was not a fluke and he can start to fill Paul Pierce‘s shoes. Also, they need his ability to score from the perimeter and play some stretch four off the bench as the Wizards — finally — start to run more small ball, clearing space for and picking up the tempo to play to John Wall‘s strengths.
But Dudley is coming off back surgery. He has said he only expected to miss a couple of games, but when is he really coming back? He answered that on Twitter Saturday.
Expect the Wizards to ease his return, but if he can be back sometime around or before Thanksgiving the Wizards can live with that. As Ben Standing notes at CSNWashington.com, the Wizards have 14 games between the start of the season and Dec. 1. In the East, that’s not going to cost them making the playoffs or likely even much standing, and what matters is getting Dudley right for the bulk of the season and into the playoffs.
Another fan asked Dudley if Porter is ready for the task ahead of him.
Not sure what else Dudley would say here, but they need Porter to step up this season. Not just to play as well as he did in the playoffs, but a little better than that (how well he played in the postseason has been overstated).