Nobody will be more happy to see that the preseason end than the Washington Wizards; when it had gone on any longer, they would have run out of bodies completely.
With Martell Webster already on the shelf following 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 (since when are those things sharp?) , requiring surgery to mend the gash. Even John Wall was restricted with knee tendinitis.
Somehow, the Wizards’ oldest participant was able to survive the display slate unscathed. Paul Pierce, place to start at small forward for the Wiz, offered some veteran perspective on the parade into the trainer’s table, per Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:”It has been tough. It’s 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 get healthy.”
When the collective swelling recedes and the stitches hold, Washington can nevertheless make good on the lofty expectations it set last season. Forty-four wins got people thinking in D.C., and now the Wizards confront a world in which anything less than a top-four seed will constitute a disappointment.
Demands like that are as sterile as they are daunting, especially for a company with so little success in its recent past. At 33-1, the Wiz are not totally out of the championship picture, but they’re still a notch beneath the East’s elite.
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