Wake-up call: Wizards yet to win minus Nene

Wake-up call: Wizards yet to win minus Nene
December 16, 2013, 6:00 am
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(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Worse than the Wizards' four-game losing streak is this: They're 0-6 this season without Nene, who has been battling tendinitis in his right foot and Achilles since the preseason.

And when Nene exited in the third quarter of the Dec. 6 game vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards lost that one, too, in overtime.

In late-game situations, they're usually disoriented. The ball doesn't go inside-out. They wait until too late in the clock to initiate the offense. They settle for low-percentage jump shots. John Wall isn't finishing through contact. Marcin Gortat is passing up open looks from mid-range or not cutting to the basket strong enough to meet the ball. 

[WATCH: John Wall not discouraged by Wizards' losing streak]

In the first three losses of this four-game losing streak, the Wizards fell by a total of seven points. Not having Nene, who they run most of their offense through, is a major reason why.

"I don't know if it's confidence," coach Randy Wittman said when asked if his team was lacking in that area without the Brazilian. "Nene is a talented person. We don't have the capability of putting somebody like Nene back in the game that you can play off in the post, that he's going to read and make plays. We lose a lot of our effectiveness from an offensive standpoint when we lose him it's not just points. It's the attention he draws. That opens up a lot of things, too. The whole combination of that package is different when he leaves the game."