Fortunes can change quickly even in the course of one weekend — really just 24 hours.
One moment, Nene was making the game-winning dunk against the Pelicans as the Wizards climbed to .500.
The next moment, Nene is on the floor with a sprained MCL writhing in pain on the floor at Quicken Loans Arena. The Wizards still won to climb a game above the Mendoza line and continue their Playoff pursuit, but the loss of Nene could be a big one.
The Wizards' center is expected to miss up to six weeks with a sprained MCL, meaning the injury was not as serious as inintially feared. There were talks of serious knee injury and so those fears were allayed. That is good news for the Wizards.
Washington now has to soldier on without one of the team's key players. Nene is averaging 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He has always been a solid post presence and has proven to be a key player for the Wizards in their revival this season. The Wizards are +2.0 with him on the floor.
Losing Nene means Marcin Gortat has to step up and that 10-day signee Drew Gooden is going to have to be a major contributor almost immediately.
In six weeks, it will be early April. Nene will be jumping right in when the Playoff race is at its hottest. Washington is currently fifth in the East, but only five games from missing the Playoffs entirely. That could be even more precarious with Nene out. And then they have to work him back into the lineup.
A great young team was dealt a very big blow. It is yet to be seen whether they can get back up.