What’s been a helluva preseason for the Washington Wizards continues tonight on the mean streets of Brooklyn as the injury-rattled group squares up to face the Nets. Tonight’s game will mark the debut of the Barclay’s Center, a state of the art facility that aspires to be shrined as the premiere landmark in the borough of Brooklyn. Yes, even more so than Biggie’s gravesite.
Coming off their first victory of the preseason, the team arrived in Flatbush battered and bruised, searching for some sort of method or strategy that will help them overcome their overwhelmed state of depletion.
A few weeks ago, the Wizards were informed they would have to make due without John Wall for at least 8 weeks, quite a baffling task in itself. Til this day, the Wizards have found themselves experimenting with potential replacements and shuffling rotations looking for the best possible option to fill the temporary void.
But to the dismay of the Wizards and their faithful following, the injury bug didn’t stop biting after Wall went down. The Verizon Center locker room has literally morphed into a walk-in clinic for players, primarily their big men. The Wizards' frontcourt, an area considered to be the team’s premiere strength, has succumbed to quite a number of nagging setbacks, leaving several players including Nene, Emeka Okafor, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker and now Kevin Seraphin squandering in rehabilitation.
Seraphin, who has been shelved indefinitely with a calf strain, was in moderate spirits about his injury, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Seraphin claimed he’ll “be all right” and that “everything is in the mind.” Well, if you say so, Kev. With that ideology, just be sure to eat a lot of Wheaties, I’m sure you’ll be back in no time.
But in the meanwhile, Wizards fans will need to get accustomed to some new, tentative household names: Shavlik Randolph and Earl Barron.
Earl Barron, whose career has been quite universal, landed in DC this offseason after several worldwide stints, including Turkey, The Philippines and Puerto Rico. Barron has also ventured with a number of NBA teams as well as the D-League. In 36 total minutes thus far in the preseason, Barron has only tallied 4 points.
After limited minutes in the preseason opener, followed by a ‘DNP’ against the Knicks, Randolph stepped in after Seraphin’s fall and had his most productive game of the preseason against the Cavs, earning 9 points and 5 rebounds in only 16 minutes. However, there is no evidence of consistency. Yet.
The misfortune of the Wizards' injury dilemma has Coach Randy Wittman at impasse as he is running out of options.
“We had so many." Wittman said, referring to the team's inital depth at the big man positions. "I was worried, leading into the preseason, how I was going to get everybody minutes at the bigs. Now, I can’t find a big to get minutes.”
Nevertheless the Wizards, all black and blue, carry their woes into Brooklyn tonight. We'll see how it pans out on the latter end.