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Nene’s return gives hope to avoid worst start
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 25, 2012 @ 6:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Wizards remain winless at 0-11, a franchise-worst start to a season. But they’re getting closer to a victory, and that coincides with the return of center Nene.
In the two games Nene has played, the Wizards lost 101-100 to the Atlanta Hawks in overtime on Wednesday and 108-106 to the Charlotte Bobcats in double overtime Saturday.
In Nene’s 49 minutes, the Wizards are plus-31. He had 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Bobcats.
“He makes everybody a little bit better for us. … He has a very bright basketball IQ that we need more of,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman told news reporters.
Nene’s minutes are limited as he tries to overcome a painful bout of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and the Wizards are still without point guard John Wall. Wall’s initial timetable on returning from a left knee injury suggested he would return in late November or early December, but he hasn’t returned to practice yet.
The Wizards need a win soon to avoid the NBA record for the worst start, which was set by the New Jersey Nets, who lost 18 to start the 2009-10 season.
It won’t be easy, five of the Wizards’ next six games are against teams with winning records: the San Antonio Spurs at home on Monday, at the New York Knicks on Nov. 30, the Miami Heat at home Dec. 4, at the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 7 and the Golden State Warriors at home on Dec. 8.
“All I can control is my game, my actions, and my focus,” Nene told reporters. “All I know is that we will keep trying and we will keep fighting. We have to focus more in the beginning of the game, and we are going to pull out a win.”
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