Several of you have dutifully posted many of these links in FanShots already, but to make life easier for you all to read, I wanted to put a bunch of Wizards-related links in one place so it's easier for you all to read them. Here goes:
A couple leftover links from JaVale McGee at the Team USA minicamp:
JaVale McGee: His length and shot-blocking prowess stood out, especially because that latter component has been conspicuously absent from the Americans' arsenal. Still, he's a long-term project at the bottom of the big man pecking order for now.
JaVale McGee:The Wizards should be happy -- they have a superbly athletic center on their roster. Though a spectacular shot blocker whose offense should develop in time, McGee is a little too raw to be considered for the '10 squad.
Projections, projections, projections
- Hoopsworld: Ranking the Eastern Conference - Basketball News & NBA Rumors. (Hoopsworld normally isn't worth your time, but some guy there ranked the Wizards 10th in the East, behind Chicago and Indiana. I'd be shocked if that happened).
- John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Five teams stand out among future playoff hopefuls.
Etan Thomas stuff
As the Thunder try and build a team around Durant, a superstar in the making, they are beginning to understand they can't allow teams to get too physical defending Durant without providing him with some physical protection, which explains the need for Thomas.
(He forgot to add "...except Thomas can't play anyway")
But more than that, the Thunder has brought in the type of player it lacked — a tough-minded, physical presence who rebounds, defends and blocks shots like his career depends on it. Collison is as close as it gets on the Thunder, but he lacks Thomas’ athletic gifts, shot-blocking skills and physical prowess in the post. Not only does Thomas fill that void, but he can now serve as a mentor to players like Mullens, Ibaka and White. If the Thunder stood pat and you looked around the locker room come October there wouldn’t have been any name plates above cubicles that you honestly could have said would make the young bigs better. They needed someone to challenge them every day by punishing them on the practice court and demonstrating healthy habits on game days.
(So many Etan misperceptions ... wow).
- Wages of Wins Journal: The Underrated in 2008-09. (Mike Miller and Dominic McGuire rank highly. I'm not a fan of WoW, though, because they take their "scoring isn't important" dogma way too far).
Charley Rosen, FOX Sports: Who are the NBA's most overrated players? (Obviously, Gilbert Arenas is on this list, and it's a totally ridiculous list).
Improving by 20 wins isn't easy, but the Wizards look quite a bit like last year's Heat, who went from 15 wins to 43. Washington is getting back Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood, while adding Randy Foye and Mike Miller.
But Washington has lost some frontcourt depth (gone are Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov. That means it will need Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee to improve -- McGee is much more likely to do so -- in order to truly be a contender. But the amount of talent they have now is worthy of the top four in the East.
Michael Lee, Wizards Insider: Southeast Gets Tougher if Odom Joins Heat (yes, that's right)
- Washington Examiner: Wizards cast a summer spell
- D.C. Sports Bog: How Flip Saunders Almost Became a Terp
- Wizards.com: Wizard Girls Visit China
- Washington Wizards Examiner: Wizards 101: Where can I find the Wizards on Twitter? (A comprehensive list of all Wizards-related Twitter accounts from George. Great, great resource for those who love Twitter).
- D.C. Sports Bog: Mike James Discusses the Future
- Hoops Addict: LeBron James Alienating People To Protect His Precious Image
Washington Wizards Examiner: Grunfeld's best off-season in Wizards' history? (uhh, the year Grunfeld got Arenas seems to trump this offseason)
Kelly Dwyer: Admiring LeBron James' Ferrari F430 Spider (tee hee hee, more LeBron bashing)