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Wizards 2014-15 Player Preview: Nene

Nene hands

2013-2014 Key Stats

Games played, started: 53, 37

Total minutes, per game: 1560, 29.4

Total points, per game: 754, 14.2

Rebounds per game: 5.5

FG pct: 50.3%


In his 13th season in the NBA, Nene proved to be the catalyst to the Wizards’ success throughout both the regular and postseason campaign.

It’s rare to find a player as passionate and aggressive as Nene is game in and game out, but yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Wizards have this player and for some reason, the basketball gods continue to smile down upon us.

In the postseason, it was simple to see the drastic amount of weight Nene carries for this team (kept mostly in his mammoth-sized arms). His experience, attention to detail and dominance in the post will continue to be a key factor in what should be another lengthy postseason run for the Wizards in 2015.


The Best and Worst of 2013-14

Nene is a beast….when he’s healthy. That oft-injured knee of his gave Wizards fans quite a scare last season.

On February 23, #WizardsTwitter held their breath for a number of days as Nene went down with a sprained MCL. The speculation was that he would be out for a lengthy period of time. Then, the rumors started flying— he would be out for the season.

All #WizardsTwitter could do wait and…

nenehands

Thankfully the reports that he would be out through the playoffs were false. In fact, he was the main reason the Wizards made it to the second round to face the Indiana Pacers.

Nene was able to completely shut Joakim Noah down in the first round series versus Chicago which allowed him to have a field day from not only the paint, but also seemingly everywhere 15 feet from the basket.

How about Nene leading the fastbreak?

Or maybe Nene making the NBA Defensive MVP look like jelly?

He had it all and obviously was the MVP of the Washington Wizards’ postseason. Well…sans that one time he headbutted Jimmy Butler resulting in a one-game suspension…

(+10 points for Kevin Seraphin’s smirk and high-five for Nene as he heads back to the bench)


Block Party

Besides being 9-feet tall and 800 pounds all muscle, Nene is one of the most intimidating players in the NBA due to his post presence and ability to swat the living crap out of your feeble attempts at scoring baskets.

Oh, you don’t remember any, you say? Well here are just a few…

How about that time he made the “Best player in the NBA” look like a rag doll?

David West, please go back home.

Roy Hibbert’s a couple inches taller than Nene, but still no concern to him in the post.

With that being said, Nene is one of the most soft-spoken people in the locker room with his gentle Brazilian accent that would lead you to believe he was reading bedtime stories to Joakim Noah to take away the nightmare that was the first round for him. But when he’s on the court, he’s the most passionate, emphatic and feisty player out there.

Sometimes some outward aggression isn’t a bad thing, ya’ll.

The future and his much-needed help

Okay, #WizardsTwitter, let’s not pretend like he’s going to miraculously play the full 82 games this season without injury. There’s just no way.

What I think we can rely on, however, is that he may miss fewer games due to the fact that the Wizards’ frontcourt is on PEDs right now with the depth, size and talent.

If Wittman sees Nene needs a break, he now has more than just Kevin Seraphin to go to. The options are plentiful and if used correctly, Nene should be able to get the rest needed for his (aging?) joints.

In addition to much needed rest, the Wizards will also have options to go to should (God forbid) we go through the #Pray4Nene phase again.

In Summary…

As I try to wrap this player preview up with some sort of class and professionalism loaded with stats, shot charts and I realized I don’t need to tell you what he’s going to mean to this team this year; you already know.

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