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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Bradley Beal
One of the Wizards' walking wounded returned to practice on Sunday. Washington hosts the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
The recent success of the Wizards has to do with a lot of different improvements -- from defense to Nene to Marcin Gortat to three-point shooting -- but the max player, John Wall, gets credited.
The Wizards fought back from a 15-point deficit and game-ending injuries to Martell Webster and Nene, but wilted in overtime to the Bucks 109-105.
With a limited roster, starting lineup and end of game decisions are rather apparent for the Wizards. When all return, not so much.
A breakdown of advanced statistics from the NBA, shows exactly where the Wizards are thriving and need improvement.
Washington has to win 41 more games to live up to center Marcin Gortat's projections, and he didn't back down from his words Wednesday.
Washington has won nine games so far, and would have to win 41 more to live up to center Marcin Gortat's projections if they're able to resume full health.
Otto Porter has yet to play for the Wizards, but coach Randy Wittman hinted he might play as early as this week vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
The value in Trevor Ariza comes from his defense, but in his last two games he has made 9 of 10 three-pointers to provide an unlikely consistent spark the Wizards.
With top scorer Bradley Beal out of the lineup for the fifth straight game, Trevor Ariza supplied the offense. He was 8 for 9 from the field and made each of his four 3-point attempts, three off passes from John Wall.
Now that the Wizards have six wins in the last eight games entering Monday, they're starting to see the big picture in the wide-open East.
Coach Randy Wittman is unapologetic about his starting lineup playing extended minutes because he can't trust his bench to perform consistently.
After a 20-point loss at the Pacers and a season-low 73 points, the Wizards are desperately seeking scorers without Nene and Bradley Beal in the starting lineup.
The Wizards lost their first three games and seven of their first nine, but have now won six of their last eight. They won eight games in November for the first time since 1984.
The 26 points scored by the Wizards' reserves look good on paper, but 13 of them came with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
"It's definitely possible to be able to return to play within two weeks, depending on the level of the stress reaction that's occurring on the bone," he told CSN Washington. "They're going to monitor both the symptoms and also the amount of inflammation that's in the area, but its very feasible that he would be back in two weeks."
[RELATED: Bradley Beal says injury was caught early, isn't major]