Wizards at the quarter turn: Centers

Wizards at the quarter turn: Centers
December 28, 2012, 4:00 pm
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Nene: After missing the first nine games of the season due to plantar fasciitis, Nene has worked his way back into the starting lineup, averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds a game. Still on a minutes limit because of his sore left foot, Nene has made a difference when he is on the court for the Wizards. In the most recent loss, Nene showed why he is one of the better big men in the game, scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds to go along with 4 assists and 2 blocks.

When Nene has been available to play, the team is 3-10. That's obviously not good but without him the Wizards haven't won a game, as their overall record stands at 3-23. If John Wall can get back from a knee injury and Nene continues to round into shape, we might finally get a glimpse of what the Wizards had envisioned prior to the season with those two running the court together. 

Emeka Okafor: The Wizards had hoped the 30-year old center/power forward still had some very productive years ahead of him after coming over from New Orleans in a summer trade, but so far Okafor is averaging career lows in points (7.7) and rebounds (6.3) a game. Okafor has had to primarily play center with Nene nursing that sore foot, but with Nene now starting Okafor moves into a more natural position for him at power forward. With more focus on Nene, this might free up Okafor to be more productive. Okafor had his best game against Cleveland on Wednesday night -- scoring 17 points and hauling down 10 rebounds -- and that was with Nene up front with him.

Kevin Seraphin: After a fast start, Seraphin's numbers have gone down considerably, especially in the last five games in which he is only averaging 6 points and 4 rebounds. In November the 6'-9" burly center averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds and it looked like he was ready to become a force down low, but his play has been less effective of late. Arguably the last good game Seraphin had was against the Lakers on December 14 when he went for 16 points and 8 rebounds. 

Seraphin must improve on initiating contact down low as he settles for a lot of jump shots and baby hooks and rarely gets to the free throw line where he only has 19 attempts this season. Seraphin has shown considerable improvement since his rookie season two years ago. Let's hope he hasn't hit the wall.