Nobody will be more happy to see that the preseason end than the Washington Wizards; if it had gone on any longer, they’d have run out of healthy bodies entirely.
Together with Martell Webster already on the shelf after his third back operation in four seasons, the injuries just kept coming.
Bradley Beal fractured his wrist, Glen Rice Jr. rolled his ankle, Kris Humphries ripped open his arm on the rim (because when are these things sharp?) , requiring surgery to fix the gash. Even John Wall was restricted with knee tendinitis.
The Wizards’ oldest player managed to live the exhibition slate unscathed. Paul Pierce, set to begin at small forward for the Wiz, provided some veteran outlook on the parade into the trainer’s table, per Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:”It’s been tough. It’s been hard. We have not had a complete squad the majority of the preseason. The important thing is understanding it is a very long season. The crucial thing is to become healthy.”
If the collective swelling recedes and 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 the Wizards confront a world in which anything less than a top-four seed will constitute a disappointment.
Demands like that are as refreshing as they’re daunting, especially for a franchise with so little success in yesteryear. In 33-1, the Wiz are not totally out of the tournament film, but they are still a notch below the East’s elite.
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