More Injury News in DC
You have to wonder what the case would be if the Wizards were going to be fully healthy for 82 games this season. Personally, I think they would be right there with the Boston Celtics, giving them a run for their money in the Eastern Conference Finals. Washington has their own big three and a well-rounded, deep roster.
We all know what Gilbert Arenas can do when he gets it going at 100 percent health. Antawn Jamison seems to keep getting better with age, and Caron Butler is coming off an all-star season. Brendan Haywood is quietly developing into one of the better centers in the league, while there is plenty of young talent rounding out the rotation in Nick Young, Andray Blatche, and Javale McGee. The Wizards at 100 percent health are a scary team. Unfortunately, there has been nothing bad news on the injury front in DC over the past few years.
This year has been no different. Gilbert Arenas and his fat new contract aren’t going to be back on the court until January. Brendan Haywood is out 4-6 months with wrist injury. Antawan Jamison has a banged up knee and might not be back for the regular season opener. The rest of the roster is going to have to hold the fort down until everybody is back. Yet, that formula has equated to a bottom 4 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs the past three years, and a first round exit.
With Arenas out, Caron Butler is going to be the go to guy, which is a role he handled well last season. If Jamison is healthy, they are a solid 1A and 1B, who can carry the Wizards to a win on most nights. DeShawn Stevenson, Antonio Daniels, Nick Young, and Juan Dixon will man the backcourt rotation. Young is a player to keep an eye on. He performed well when given the chance last season, and might steal major minutes from Stevenson, unless he can become more consistent with his outside shooting. Daniels is a decent point guard and Dixon provides outside shooting.
Losing Haywood was a big blow. He was finally developing into a reliable player under the basket. The Wizards spent a first round pick on Javale McGee and he is going to be asked to step up right away. Andray Blatche showed some potential last year and should be able to handle more minutes while McGee develops.
Perhaps the injuries will end up helping the Wizards in the end. Maybe when Arenas and Haywood return at 100 percent, Young and McGee will have developed into consistent, reliable players. The Wizards could have a scary, deep rotation if that happens. Yet, with the injuries in DC you never know. I am still waiting to see Caron Butler, Gilbert Arenas, and Antawn Jamison out there together for more than 10 straight games.