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Catching up on Wizards reading

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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

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).

Overrated/underrated

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.

Miscellaneous stuff