Wizards react to losing Nene
The loss of Nene isn't a shock to the Wizards. This rodeo isn't anything new, though this time it's for a prolonged period -- six weeks -- and during the stretch run of the regular season. They'd already been without him for seven games, lost Trevor Ariza for five, Bradley Beal for nine and Al Harrington for 47. Still, they're one victory away from matching last season's win total going into Tuesdays' game vs. the Orlando Magic at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
At shootaround Tuesday, they weighed in on where they go from here and what's ahead:
Bradley Beal: "We got (Trevor) Booker, we got Kev (Seraphin) and we got Chris (Singleton) and we still got March (Marcin Gortat). We still got other guys who can come in and hopefully fill Nene's role ... and creating mismatches on the other end. We'll be tested. We have to be prepared for moments like this."
Marcin Gortat: "It's a huge opportunity for a lot of guys on the team. Huge opportunity for me to step in and play big. Everything is going to shift right now. People are going to look more at me. I have to put myself in better position to score. I have to be more patient. I have to be precise with everything I do on the court. I've got to make plays. I can't make those mistakes like I did in Cleveland. Missed too many easy bunnies (layups). I got to execute better. I hope we won't change too much. Right after Nene got hurt I actually was cracking jokes, 'Seriously Nene, now I got to take all the shot?' ... I'd like to be the focal point offensively, especially under the basket, be the guy who's going to get some buckets and stuff like that but we'll see. We got to go with the flow of the game. If we're going to make shots from outside, we're going to continue to shoot. If it works on the pick-and-roll, we're not going to change and force anything. I really believe Al Harrington can help us. He's a guy who can stretch the floor for us and open up the whole middle for me, especially on the pick-and-roll."
Trevor Booker: "We had a good chemistry going. He was playing so well right now, to lose him, a big key to our team, somebody else has to step up. We've experienced so much since I've been here I think we know how to handle adversity now."
Al Harrington: "Guys going to have to grow up fast. When we win, I think we grow a lot. We're learning that the defensive end is what's helping us win these ballgames. ... Whenever our defense is clicking, the offense usually follows. ... It's going to be all of us, a collective unit. We might even see Trevor (Ariza) play the four sometimes. It's going to take all of us. And we'll get Drew Gooden in here today or tomorrow, hopefully he can help also. It's definitely going to be by committee."
Kevin Seraphin: "If Nene is out we have to do the same thing, playing like he's there."