Nobody will be happier to find that the preseason end compared to the Washington Wizards; when it had gone on any longer, they would have run out of bodies entirely.
Together with Martell Webster on the shelf following his third back operation in four seasons, the harms just kept coming.
Bradley Beal fractured his wrist, Glen Rice Jr. rolled his ankle, Kris Humphries ripped open his arm onto the rim (since when are these items sharp?) , requiring surgery to mend the gash. Even John Wall was restricted with knee tendinitis.
Somehow, the Wizards’ oldest player managed to live the display record unscathed. Paul Pierce, set to begin at small forward for the Wiz, offered some veteran perspective on the parade to the trainer’s table, per Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:”It has been tough. It has been hard. We have not had a complete squad the majority of the preseason. The important thing is understanding it’s a long season. The crucial thing is to become healthy.”
When the collective swelling recedes and all the stitches hold, Washington can nevertheless make great on the lofty expectations it set last season. Forty-four wins got people believing in D.C., and now the Wizards face a world where anything less than a top-four seed will constitute a disappointment.
Demands like that are as sterile as they are daunting, especially for a franchise with so little success in its recent past. In 33-1, the Wiz aren’t completely out of the championship film, but they are still a notch below the East’s elite.
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