Even with Nene, the Wizards were a long shot to beat the Heat. So when word came down just minutes before tip Saturday night in Miami that the center would not be playing, the Wizards had no chance.
Miami bullied Washington all game long, winning 102-72. It was the largest margin of defeat this season for the Wizards whose record dropped to a league worst 3-18.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Wizards stunned the defending champs 105-101 in D.C. for their fourth straight win over Miami, but that streak came to a screeching halt in South Beach.
Nene had played in eight straight games before having to sit out the Miami game with a sore foot, averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds in about 20 minutes a game. Numbers aside, Nene has been applauded by teammates and coaches for his leadership and presence on the court but injury once again prevented him from going.
Diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, Nene has now missed 11 of the team’s 21 games this season. Last year, the high-priced veteran sat out 11 of 24 games with the same injury.
Nene has said playing in back-to-back games would be tough to do and the Wizards were coming off a loss to the Lakers at home on Friday night.
Without starting point guard John Wall -- who is also out, with a knee injury -- the Wizards need Nene on the floor to have a chance. Against Miami they didn't come close to taking a stand.