Originally posted on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 4/15/13
The Wizards' 2012-13 campaign is winding down to a finish this week, prepping  us for our last in-season 3-on-3 segment. Here's what's on tap: So the Wizards recently decided to pull the plug on Nene, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster for the remaining two games of the season, giving the injured trio a headstart to their offseason as they nurse some nagging injuries. Meanwhile, in related news (unrelated to the Wizards), Kobe Bryant's season (and very likely most of next season) came to an abrupt halt after he ruptured his Achilles tendon. And lastly, John Wall was ranked no. 21 out of 30 players in ESPN's #NBArank list, positioned ahead of Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, and Tyson Chandler. Check out our responses below, courtesy of Abdullah, Charles and Mike. 1. The Wizards just announced that Nene, Trevor Ariza, and Martell Webster have all been shut down for the last two games of the season. What's your take on this decision? Abdullah: The health of all three of these players is key for the Wizards' steady progression into next season so, to me, the decision to shelf them for the final two meaningless games of this season is a no-brainer. Nene, especially, could use the head start to rehab his oft-injured knee, because the hefty amount of time we're seeing him miss could start to raise questions about the legitmacy of his hefty price tag (as if it hasn't been questionable already).  Charles: While the late season run for the Wizards was inspiring and fun to watch, I have no qualms with the decision to shut these guys down. They have proved to be very influential to the Wizards turnaround despite being banged up for the majority of the season. I am m perfectly fine with the team shutting them down and allowing these guys to heal up for next season. Mike: Anyone who has any issue with this is out of their mind. For the past three seasons, fans have been pleading to the team to "tank" the season in order to get a better lottery pick once it's realized that the season is lost. Well, the Wizards didn't get their goal of the 9-spot, so now the guys who were playing for something while somewhat injured and worn out decided to sit out, which may result in the team moving down to the 11th spot if Detroit wins out and the Wizards lose out. I have no issue with it, these three guys have been working their butts off all season, and if they're not physically ready to go for the last few games, then it is what it is. 2. Trevor Ariza called Kobe Bryant's injury "devastating to the league." What's your reaction to the end of Kobe's season? Abdullah:  For me, Kobe Bryant has always entailed everything about sports. The dedication, the work ethic, the resilience, and not to mention the WINNING. His absence creates a huge void in the game of basketball, and it'll surely be felt. When you consider the melodrama that has absorbed the Lakers franchise all year long, combined with the desperate (yet seemingly successful) late-season push for the playoffs, to lose Kobe Bryant at such a sensitive time is nothing short of....devastating. Charles: Ariza summed it up perfectly. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of Bean, so it was awful watching him go out the way he did. If anyone is still in any doubt about the relevancy of Kobe and the Lakers, they must not have been watching the compelling race for the EIGHTH SEED. Mike: I don't find it too devastating for this season, but rather for his career as a whole. I figure that if the Lakers made the playoffs this season, then it was probably going to be a sweep or a 4-1 scenario for them in the first round. The thing that is sad is that even though he says he's going to be back, this really could be the end of the Kobe era. This could be the end of the career of arguably the best player of this era. Even if he does come back, it's just not going to be the same and I don't think he will last long once back. 3. John Wall was ranked #21 in this year's ESPN #NBArank player ratings. Was this fair? Abdullah: No diggity. I think it's about time to truly understand what John Wall is about and stop underestimating his talent. He's given everyone ample reason to feel this way given his surgingly improved numbers since his return in March. In that time, Wall has averaged 22.9 points, 7.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, shooting just under 48% from the floor. Not to mention he turned around a team that was 5-28 without him, and 24-23 with him (yes, the record could have been better if not for a few bad games and late season injuries). But all in all, Wall has achieved everything he needed to solidify his mark as a max deal player, despite missing nearly half the season. Oh and by the way, his ranking of #21 was 33 spots better than last year. Holla.  Charles: Eh..I'm not one to complain about favorable Wizards coverage because usually, the national media is pretty nonexistent and local media are some haters too, but #21 might be a little of a reach, mainly because I'm not sure if a healthy John Wall is better than a healthy Rajan Rondo and Derrick Rose. I believe that next year these rankings will be much more accurate. Hell, John might even crack the top 10. Mike: I have no qualms with this. He was injured for a great portion of the season, so without a fair sample size, there isn't really much to argue. If he had played the way he played once he came back and had averaged those numbers for the entire season, then I'd be screaming bloody murder. But for now, I'm good with it. Hopefully, this gives John more incentive to want to perform to the best of his abilities next year, as well.  
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