Washington Wizards Player Grades: Week 5

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce: 18.0 PPG (51.4 FG%), 5.3 RPG, 2.7 APG

Even at 37 years of age, Paul Pierce is still one of the coldest men alive.

Pierce had easily his best week as a member of the Washington Wizards, carrying DC to victory with a 25-point, 10-rebound outburst in Milwaukee and then scoring a tidy 15 points on five shots against Cleveland. Pierce finally showed some accuracy from deep – he shot 50% from long range this week – and he continues to impress with his rebounding and defense.

When the Truth plays like this, the name “Trevor Ariza” slips further and further into the haze of Forgotten Wiz Memories.

Grade: A-

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Nene: 2.0 PPG (50.0 FG%), six minutes played

Correlation does not equal causation, but it should be noted that the Washington Wizards are 9-2 in games that Nene plays, and 0-3 in games that he does not play. Again, correlation does not equal causation – this figure also includes Saturday’s game with Milwaukee, where Nene only played six minutes, turned the ball over three times, and the Wizards won going away.

But the Wizards are undoubtedly lesser without the Brazilian big man, who was felled yet again by his eternal nemesis, plantar fasciitis. Without Nene’s calming presence, the Wizards looked confused on both offense and defense in games against Atlanta and Cleveland.

Nene is always good for an injury or two a year, and hopefully the Wizards can learn to adjust to his absence if it goes on for much longer.

Grade: #Pray4Nene

Next: With Nene Out, The Big Men Have To Step Up