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In Street Clothes

Covering sports injuries from the perspective of a certified athletic trainer and backed by analytics.

Washington Wizards


The Wizards took a significant step forward last season, pushing the top-seeded Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The team then made a major commitment to their starting lineup agreeing to a “super-max” extension with point guard John Wall and matching the offer sheet for in-house free agent Otto Porter. Now with their roster solidified, Washington will look to build on last year’s success and become a legitimate contender.

Sustained health was a driving force in Washington’s development as most of their top rotation players missed minimal time. As a result, Corey Bennett and his medical team positioned the Wizards to finish as the top team in fewest minutes per game lost to injury. The Wizards also finished in the top 10 for fewest total games lost to injury.

Offseason acquisition Ian Mahinmi was the notable exception, accounting for nearly 50 percent of Washington’s games lost. The French big man enters the year with lingering questions about his problematic knee but attempted to alleviate those fears by dropping weight in the offseason. Mahinimi will need to be an active member of the rotation with forward Markeiff Morris still recovering from offseason surgery for a sports hernia. The timing of Sheldon Mac’s ruptured Achilles will hurt the group’s final totals as well as the decision to keep him on the roster will account for 82 assumed games lost.