Nene Hilario in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Trapped in a Glass Menagerie | Wizards Blog Truth About

Nene Hilario in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Trapped in a Glass Menagerie

Updated: May 21, 2013

[Wizards 2012-13 Player Reviews from the TAI crew are going down; let’s reflect—index so far:
Jannero PargoJason CollinsShaun LivingstonShelvin MackCartier MartinEarl Barron,
Jan VeselyChris SingletonTrevor BookerGarrett TempleEmeka OkaforTrevor Ariza,
Martell WebsterA.J. PriceJordan CrawfordKevin SeraphinBradley BealNeneJohn Wall.]

Nene Hilario 2012-13 Washington Wizards Player Review

Nene Hilario

6-11 : Height
260 lbs. : Weight
30 : Age
11 : Years NBA Experience
2 : NBA Teams

Traded for by the Wizards on March 15, 2012.

Time as a Wizard in 2012-13

61 : Games
49 : Starts
1,659 : Minutes

1.63 out of 3 stars

Average Truth About DC Council Game Rating
{Nene evaluated over 55 games} 

17.0 PER

NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Anderson Varejao for the 2004-05 Cleveland Cavaliers (17.0)
maybe A.C. Green for the 1993-94 Phoenix Suns (17.0),
maybe Frank Brickowski for the 1992-93 Milwaukee Bucks (17.0)

.116 Win Shares/48 Minutes

NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Jermaine O’Neal for the 2000-01 Indiana Pacers (.116),
maybe Amar’e Stoudemire for the 2002-03 Phoenix Suns (.116),
maybe Gheorghe Muresan for the 1994-95 Washington Bullets (.116)

With Nene on the Court…

The Wizards offense scored 5.9 points more per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 3.9 points less per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: plus-2.7

Numbers : Per 36 Minutes

16.6 : Points
8.8 : Rebounds
0.8 : Blocks
1.2 : Steals
3.8 : Assists
3.0 : Turnovers
3.7 : Fouls

0.90 PPP

Nene had 850 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.90 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 231st in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.84 PPP over 370 possessions, ranked 122nd.


48% Field Goals (285-594)
72.9% Free Throws (196-269)

[stats via and]


Nene Hilario in 2012-13 with the Wizards:
Trapped in a Glass Menagerie

by Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)

What if you had enough money saved away to buy several small islands (or a small country) and had earned said money through an activity that brought you chronic pain? One would have to assume that at some point you would think: “Enough of this, I shall retire to my small island, where there will be many beautiful women, and hang out with my friend/countryman who had a possibly career-ending injury. We will just laugh about the time we happened to be on the same below-.500 team together.”

Or you could push aside those thoughts and get ready for another season with a team that has marginal chance of making the playoffs, but is in no way prepared to compete for an NBA championship. You could think about the excitement of playing a February game in Milwaukee or Cleveland and being encased in enough ice after games that you look like Mr. Freeze.

If you had those thoughts, you might also be a Brazilian power forward named Nene (with a friend named Leandro Barbosa).

When the trade for Nene went down, there was a lot of speculation about his health and why the Nuggets would be willing to trade a player one year into his very hefty extension. There were a variety of injuries in Nene’s past, but none so dire that the trade of a player who would never reach his potential in Washington (JaVale McGee) were enough to dissuade the Wizards from acquiring a proper second banana for John Wall. Nene arrived in Washington, made an immediate impact, but also got dinged up. There were a few whispers that Nene was a bit of a malingerer and that he only liked to play for winners, but that was quickly forgotten by the effort that he put forth on the court when he was healthy.

Fast forward to this past season where Nene opened the year on the shelf with the dreaded plantar fasciitis, which lingered from his time-spent playing for Brazil at the 2012 Summer Olympics. His “status” became a recurring media obsession as to not only when he would debut (he finally made his appearance on Nov. 21 against the Hawks) but also whether he could play back-to-back games, how many minutes could his feet and knees sustain, and whether he was the same player he was with the Nuggets.

More or less, upon his return, Nene was the same player Wizards fans had glimpsed for 11 games in the previous season. Nene kept the ball moving, had games where he could score at will against opposing power forwards, and eventually developed a chemistry with Emeka Okafor that made them a fearsome defensive duo.

Yet the injuries still remained. Nene became “Mr. Day-to-Day.” Following another stint on the shelf in March, Nene came back and he wasn’t the same Nene the Wizards had seen earlier in the season. His production dropped at an alarming rate, and he became a non-factor in the Wizards offensive scheme. The injuries had piled up to such a point that Nene was a walking game of Operation; you couldn’t point to a part of his body that hadn’t kept him from playing a game during the season. Finally, after dragging his body through several more sub-par performances, Nene shut himself down for the final two games.

And then came this quote following this season about how tough the injuries had been for him during the year:

“How tough? Tough enough to think about the end of my career? Yeah, that’s how tough it was. … It was so hard to play the way I did it. I thought to end my career because it’s so painful, my body can’t support. I’m glad I finished the season, but the way I suffer, I hope, never again.”

Well, yikes.

Obviously, this news probably blindsided the Washington Wizards, though there is no indication that Nene will not be suiting up in D.C. next season. However, at this point, the Wizards have to be wondering if their team is less of a basketball unit and more of a glass menagerie. They hold their breath every time John Wall drives to the basket, Bradley Beal still isn’t cleared for basketball action, and Nene looks like he is breaking down more than a 1991 Honda Accord.

With this in mind, there will be those who will argue that Ernie Grunfeld and Co. were once again hoodwinked into trading in a dent chip for damaged goods. The problem with this line of reasoning is that the only thing that JaVale McGee was worth by the end of his tenure was a player like Nene, a guy who could be a franchise stalwart, but was also a roll of the dice.

Ernie Grunfeld, by nature, is a gambler, as seen by his repeated bets on players getting squeezed by the market or those who never reached their full potential. Nene was supposed to be another Caron Butler trade, the heist of a solid, if unspectacular, player who would get the Wizards to the next level with the only price being a sack of damaged, albeit youthful goods. Unlike Butler, however, Nene is a player whose best days are probably behind him and whose greatest contributions may be in developing the next generation of Wizards bigs, rather than his own contributions on the court.

For now, the Wizards have to hope they can squeeze every bit of the $39 million still owed to Nene (over the next three seasons) without breaking one of their favorite toys. If history is any indication, Grunfeld and the Wizards may have spun the roulette wheel one to many times.

Things Nene can do in a game, sometimes:

Sean Fagan on FacebookSean Fagan on Twitter
Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.