WASHINGTON (AP) Nene and Jordan Crawford are out for the Washington Wizards against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.
Nene (right knee tendinitis) has played just 20 games this season while dealing with a foot problem (plantar fasciitis), but he had played in the Wizards' previous eight contests. He's averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Crawford (sore left ankle) is averaging 15.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Cartier Martin (hyperextended left knee) is also out.
With John Wall and Trevor Booker already inactive, Washington will have just 10 players available.
Trevor Ariza, who missed the last 17 games with a left calf strain, will return against Oklahoma City, according to Wizards coach Randy Wittman. Wittman said A.J. Price will also return Monday after missing 15 games with a broken right hand.
ATLANTA -- The seeds of Bradley Beal's max contract were planted at Philips Arena two years ago, when the shooting guard showed he can run a team and be an elite player on the ball with John Wall injured during the Wizards' semifinal series with the Atlanta Hawks.
"I still have a salty feeling about that," Beal said after the Wizards held shootaround Thursday morning before they opened the regular season at 6:30 p.m. ET on CSN.
"I do. They're a great team. They beat us and I'm still salty about that. Every time we play here it's always competitive."
The Wizards lost that series in six games. Wall broke his hand and wrist in multiple places and missed three games. In his absence, Beal had 22 assists for a 7.3 average and still averaged 23.6 points.
Now with coach Scott Brooks putting greater focus on Beal running the offense more to help Wall, it can make both dual threats on a consistent level that has been absent. The three games was a small sample size, but it was a snapshot of what Beal could be not only if he stays healthy but allowed more freedom.
The Wizards invested $128 million in him for that to come to fruition, but Beal has to avoid what happened to him in his first game in Atlanta last year. He missed time with his first injury courtesy of a knee to the shoulder that kept him out with a contusion for two weeks. His season never could get back on track.
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The Capitals have a lot to lament after Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat in Edmonton. They’re still not scoring. The special teams are still struggling. And the second periods, well, they haven’t been great.
But it has also become clear what’s irking Coach Barry Trotz the most. And it’s not poor execution.
“We've got the right elements to do what we can do. But there has to be a level of everybody [being] all in. You can’t be half in. I know there’s a lot of games in the regular season. But there’s a lot good teams, and we saw a good one tonight in the Edmonton Oilers. They played very well. You can’t let your foot off the gas in this league or you find yourself in a hole sometimes.”
It’s not hard to decipher what Trotz is getting at. He wants better focus and commitment from certain individuals as the team heads to Vancouver for a Saturday night meeting with the Canucks.
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