Whether it was the one-game suspension after the altercation with teammate JaVale McGee or the recent knee problems or the broken foot last summer or his latest bout of on-court struggles, Andray Blatche hasn't been able to free himself from the challenges that have prevented him from asserting his place in the Wizards' long-term rebuilding plans.

A little trade rumor buzz won't help.

"That bothers me some," Blatche said. "But that's the name of the game. I just gotta keep trucking along with it."

Meanwhile, his offensive game has stalled since a 24-point showing at Phoenix on Dec. 5. In the 30 days since, Blatche has missed five of 13 contests (four with injury) and shot only 36.7 percent from the field in the other eight, including a combined 8-for-28 (28.6 percent) in the last two.

"I find myself in a bad groove," said Blatche (16.4 ppg). "I start thinking about my misses and my mistakes, and it's just like a bear getting on my back, and more I think about it, the more I mess up."

Wizards coach Flip Saunders said Blatche has been better defensively of late but hasn't been able to balance it with consistency at the other end of the court.

"I think it's getting in shape, too," Saunders said. "He's been playing catch-up since day one because of his injuries."

Blatche, who signed a five-year, $35 million extension in October, was expected to be one of the Wizards' main racecars. But more than two months into the season, he still isn't on the lead lap.