By now, you all probably know about Etan Thomas' cardiac problems. Obviously, I hope this isn't anything serious, and since we really don't know anything, we shouldn't speculate on why that could have happened, because anything we say sounds insensitive. Needless to say, even though we're not the biggest Etan fans here, this team needs him to provide depth up front.
Onto the late links.
- Stop me if you've heard this before. The main focus in training camp will be defense.
"That's one of those things where I'm not going to talk about it because like everyone else, I'm pretty much tired of just talking about it," [Antawn] Jamison said. "Everyone knows what our weaknesses are, so we just have to go out there and get it done. We have to be more consistent at that end of the court, especially late in games. It's something we have to take seriously."
Like last year, I'm psyched that they're talking about it, but that didn't do any good last year, so I'm obviously dubious.
Still, this line from Caron Butler intuitively makes sense."We don't have to go over the plays so much," Butler said. "Guys know what's going on, they know the system, and they know the style of play we want."
To be continued...
- Someone alert John Mitchell that you can think of a better storyline for the first day of training camp than injuries. Yes, it's important to have a clean bill of health, but that could apply to pretty much every team in the league.
- I'll have more on Mike Wise's column later, because he hits on a theme that really deserves a closer look, but for now, you can read it here.
- SI's Chris Mannix penned another Gilbert Arenas post-injury story. Apparently, Arenas has been working out like crazy.
The end of the line for the Wizards, however, was just the beginning for Arenas, whose approach to rehab this summer was as maniacal as the way he prepares for a basketball season. Once he was allowed to resume physical activity in June, Arenas rehabbed his knee four hours per day, running the steps at the Verizon Center in Washington and strapping 10- and 15-pound weights to his left ankle and dangling his leg off a table to regain full extension. The rehabilitation had an added benefit: Arenas dropped 16 pounds since the end of last season and enters training camp this week at a svelte 209 pounds.
I actually think this will make a major difference. Arenas' explosiveness really wasn't there as much last year as before. Quick, how many times did he dunk the ball last year? You could probably count the number of times on one finger.
More on Brendan Haywood, from the Examiner.
- SB Nation added it's lucky 13th NBA site yesterday. Say hello to Orlando Magic site Third Quarter Collapse.
- Wages of Wins professor David Berri calls the Wizards "the anti-Nets. The whole article, and premise, is really interesting. Berri is basically saying that the Wizards' problem is that they have too much balance, and that Arenas isn't good enough as a "superstar." Needless to say, I'm dubious.
DC Sugar Gliderz, Unite!.
Gilbert vs. AD. Who wins?
- The Wizards are 15th in Marc Stein's first power rankings. Yawn.
- The Sporting News has a feature on Tony Massenberg, who will play for a record 14th team if he makes the roster.
More of Dave Johnson's live-blog.
I'll be back later, but needless to say, I can't tell you how excited I am to have basketball again. We'll start our daily countdown to the season opener tonight, so stay tuned.