Washington Wizards: 3 players that need to step up with Deni Avdija out

Washington Wizards Deni Avdija. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Deni Avdija. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Injuries suck. Even worse are season-ending injuries, which is why Deni Avdija‘s recent injury is such an unfortunate blow to a Washington Wizards team that is currently surging up the Eastern Conference standings.

Deni Avidja suffered a hairline fracture in his right fibular during the Wizards’ recent win over the Golden State Warriors. The injury looked gruesome initially — Jordan Bell quickly covered Avdija’s leg with a towel, and Avdija left the floor in a wheelchair — but he won’t need surgery. All things considered, it’s a decent diagnosis for what looked like a much more serious injury at first.

The injury ends Avdija’s rookie season, in which he averaged 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists over 54 games. Avdija didn’t fill up the stat sheet during his rookie season, but he had been playing well as of late.

Before Avdija went down in the second quarter vs. Golden State, he showed off some of his versatility, grabbing rebounds and pushing the pace. It’s in those instances when Avdija has the ball in his hands with room to operate that he seemed to show the most offensive potential throughout his rookie season. Although his role often relegated him to a stationary shooter, Avdija flashed some smooth playmaking ability.

Plus, the Wizards’ recent defensive success has almost certainly been due, at least partly, to Avdija and Rui Hachimura emerging as tenacious on-ball defenders. Avdija isn’t making any All-Defense teams anytime soon, but his presence on the wing will be sorely missed as the Wizards continue to make their play-in push and, hopefully, a playoff run, as well.

However, the Wizards have the pieces to keep things rolling with Avdija out of the lineup. And they proved that by beating the expertly-tanking Oklahoma City Thunder 129-109 in their first full game since Avdija’s injury.

Here are three Washington Wizards players that will need to step up now that Deni Avdija is out.