Wizards drop season opener to Pistons
WAKING UP with the Wizards on Thursday, after a 113-102 season-opening loss at the Detroit Pistons. ....
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Marcin Gortat may start sooner than expected.
The 6-11 center came off the bench for nine points and nine rebounds in his debut in a Wizards uniform, but an injury to Nene could speed up the timetable.
After the game, Nene could be seen limping as he left the locker room and it's a left calf injury, CSN later confirmed. The Wizards will practice at Verizon Center on Thursday to prepare for their home opener Friday vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
Nene opened strong for the Wizards by hitting his first three of his first four field goals, all mid-range jump shots. But he apparently came down awkwardly with all of his weight on his left leg on the third attempt. He finished with 12 points and three rebounds in 30 minutes.
Nene missed the start of last season because of a tissue injury in his left foot and has issues with both knees. He started at center vs. Detroit and Trevor Booker at power forward. Nene would prefer to have Gortat in the middle. Kevin Seraphin is the next center off the Wizards' bench.
"We (had) a couple mistakes. We need to fix the help on defense, box out, the reaction. We lost a little bit of concentration. And in the third quarter we (tried) to play physical with them but we miss a lot of rebounds, a lot of help," Nene said. "Made it harder. A couple things we could control. We didn't play our best so we have a lot of potential. We didn't play together. We need to start the beginning of the season with confidence. Play the right way. That's what playoff teams do, play the right way."
The Wizards traded for Gortat last week from the Phoenix Suns, and he only practiced three times with his new team before the opener.
"He did really well. When we lose it doesn't matter who plays really well. We're supposed to shine as a team," Nene said. "We didn't do good enough so it doesn't matter who played good. That's what I think. When you lose the right way, you feel OK. When you lose the wrong way, you feel mad. That's how it is. That is me."
If the Wizards practice Thursday, it looks unlikely that Nene will be a full participant, if at all.
UPDATE 31 October, 2013, 1:35 p.m.