Wake-up call: Harrington, Nene near full health

Wake-up call: Harrington, Nene near full health
April 3, 2014, 6:00 am
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(USA TODAY Sports)

The prognosis for the Wizards from here gets better and better. Al Harrington is getting his three-point shot back and the soreness in his right knee appears to have subsided. Oh, and Nene is on track to return to the lineup as expected by the final week of the regular season with the primary goal -- the playoffs -- already accomplished.

Harrington's blow-by off the dribble vs. Kelly Olynyk drew oohs and aahs in Wednesday's 118-92 rout of the Boston Celtics. And the strength of his game, his three-point shot which was the reason he was signed by the Wizards (39-36) in the offseason because they lacked a stretch power forward, has slowly returned. 

"I'm not back to 100 (percent) but I'm feeling a lot better. I'm starting to wake up in the morning and not hurt. That's big for me. I'm rolling in here some days not getting treatment before (practice)," Harrington said after he scored 12 points in 16 minutes. "I go right on the court and get after it. Whenever that starts happening that means I'm starting to feel better." 

Harrington led the reserves, who combined to contributed 36 points. He drained a pair of three-pointers to begin the fourth quarter that stretched the Wizards' lead to its highest at 33. The No. 6 seed in the East officially clinched, though they easily could move up or fall back a spot pending how they finish these last seven games. 

[MORE: Wizards pound Celtics to lock up playoffs]

Harrington missed 47 games because of his right knee. It required surgery to clean out loose particles in December and he returned to the court Feb. 22. When the Wizards played three games in a four-day stretch last week, he logged 22, 15 and 21 minutes off the bench. He has reached double figures in three of the last four games. 

Nene (left knee ligament strain) has been doing non-contact drills for the past week and could return to the court as early as April 9 when the Wizards play what could be their biggest game of the season vs. the Charlotte Bobcats at Verizon Center. In other words, the Wizards haven't showcased their best just yet. 

"Even with Nene going down, missing five, six weeks now," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said, "these guys didn't blink an eye."