Kevin Durant

Quick Links

Could the Nets' depleted roster help the Wizards' playoff chances?

Could the Nets' depleted roster help the Wizards' playoff chances?

With about a month to go before the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Orlando, Florida, players continue to weigh whether they want to play inside the Disney bubble.

We've seen players like Davis Bertans and Avery Bradley opt-out due to personal reasons, leaving their teams to figure out how to replace them for a stretch run toward the playoffs. Perhaps no team has born the burden of players choosing to forego the rest of the season more than the Brooklyn Nets. 

Already without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to season-ending injuries, the Nets lost Wilson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan over the last week. Chandler opted out of the bubble for personal reasons and Jordan announced his decision not to go after testing positive for COVID-19. Spencer Dinwiddie also tested positive and is unsure whether to go to Orlando. 

This leaves Brooklyn without its two superstars and if Dinwiddie opts out along with Chandler and Jordan, three key rotation players. Given the Nets are just half-a-game up on the Magic for seventh in the East and six games ahead of the ninth-place Wizards, could their depleted roster actually help Washington sneak into the postseason?

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

As the Wizards learned for a stretch in December and January, losing five of your top nine guys is quite the challenge to overcome.

The Nets' most common lineup that doesn't consist of Irving, Durant, Dinwiddie, Chandler and Jordan has only played a total of 26 minutes. The lineup includes Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot, Taurean Prince and Chris Chiozza. Over a small sample size, that group scored 80.4 points per 100 possessions and had a net rating of -8.7. Their second-most used lineup has 12 minutes of playing time together and they posted a -2.5 net rating.

Brooklyn's starting five -- and Dinwiddie could always elect to go and change this completely -- figures to be Chiozza, LeVert, Joe Harris Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. Not a bad group by any means, but their depth will be significantly thinner than the rest of the teams in the bubble. Considering the increased chance of injury after a long layoff and the possibility of a player contracting the virus, this is all troubling to think about for the Nets. 

RELATED: PLAYERS WHO AREN'T PARTICIPATING IN NBA RESTART

The Wizards meanwhile, only have to draw within four games of the eighth seed in the East to force a play-in scenario. Bertans is their second-best player, but they still have Bradley Beal and, as of this moment, the rest of their roster on board for the bubble. The Wizards will play the Nets in the second of their eight-game slate (8/2 at 2 p.m.) in a matchup that could have a major impact on how the rest of the East shakes out. 

Once Bertans decided against finishing the season, many believed the Wizards were unlikely to make the playoffs. That may still ring true, but the situation in Brooklyn has added a level of uncertainty to the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. 

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant says he wouldn't play in Orlando if healthy

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant says he wouldn't play in Orlando if healthy

Brooklyn Nets star, and DMV native, Kevin Durant has weighed in on resuming the NBA season in the Orlando bubble.

"I probably wouldn't have played," Durant said on a recent episode of Dawg Talk. "It's just so unpredictable. It's easy for me to say right now because I'm injured, but I probably wouldn't have went down there (to Orlando)."

Durant already ruled out his return this season to ESPN's The Undefeated earlier in June while he continues to recover from a torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. 

RELATED: WIZARDS SIGN JERIAN GRANT TO REPLACE BERTANS IN ORLANDO

"If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that's cool, I'm with them. If they don't feel like they should go down there and play or don't feel safe, I'm with them too. I'm all about what the group wants," Durant said.

Wizards John Wall, also recovering from injury, recently came out in agreeance with Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving, saying players should consider not going in light of recent protests around the country seeking social justice reform. 

"For me, if I was playing, I wouldn't want to go to it, to be honest. I just don't feel like it's safe. I just don't feel like it is. I understand why they want to do it and what they're trying to get to, but I wouldn't want to," Wall said.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

 

John Wall, other DMV stars among best individual college basketball seasons since 2007

John Wall, other DMV stars among best individual college basketball seasons since 2007

Recently, ESPN insider John Gasaway released his list of the top 50 individual college basketball seasons since 2007. That year marked the beginning of the one-and-done era that allowed players to declare for the NBA Draft after just one year of college experience.

Out of the 50 players, the DMV was well-represented on the list. From high school to college to the NBA, several players who made their mark locally also shined during their collegiate careers.

The highest-ranking DMV product on the list was Kevin Durant, who checked in at No. 4. The former NBA MVP is a Maryland native and spent his high school career playing at National Christian Academy and Montrose Christian School in Maryland and Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

Durant went on to star in his one season at Texas in 2007, averaging 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and being named the nation's best player. The inaugural one-and-done season, he took full advantage of the new rule and was selected No. 2 overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Next on the list came John Wall as the point guard was awarded the No. 13 best single-season in the last 13 years. Though Wall is a native of North Carolina, he has become a star locally thanks to his stellar career with the Wizards. What brought him to Washington was his dominant freshman year at Kentucky. Wall averaged 16.6 and 6.5 assists per game for Kentucky in 2009-10 and ended up being selected No. 1 overall by the Wizards. 

RELATED: WALL WANTS WIZARDS TO SIGN COLLEGE TEAMMATE DEMARCUS COUSINS

Others to make the list include Josh Hart, Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo. Unlike Durant and Wall, these three shined later in their collegiate careers as they did not opt to go the one-and-done route. Hart, a Sidwell Friends High School alum, averaged 15.5 points during his junior year at Villanova en route to a national title and ranked No. 19 on the list. Brogdon shined at Virginia, impressing greatly during his senior season in which he scored 18.2 points per game earning him the No. 22 spot.

Now with the Indiana Pacers, Oladipo's junior season at Indiana was one of the more incredible leaps a player has made in college. The DeMatha High School product averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during the 2012-13 season for the Hoosiers, putting him No. 23 on the list. Those aren't eye-popping stats, but Oladipo excelled in all areas of the game, earning him national player of the year consideration and greatly improving his draft stock.

Former Wizard and Georgetown Hoya Jeff Green was also part of the list earning the No. 43 spot. During his junior year in 2007, the Maryland native averaged 14.3 points per game. 

The DMV has always been a hotbed for basketball talent, and their recent success at the collegiate level and on only further proves that point. 

Stay connected with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE BASKETBALL NEWS: