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Washington Wizards Links: NBA Draft Lottery Day Is Almost Here

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It's almost here!  The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday night!  Get excited!  Why can't lightning strike twice!  Rah Rah Rah!

Sorry, just trying to get amped.  Here are today's links:

Wizards

  • This is a few days old, but Jordan Crawford says watching the Hawks in the NBA Playoffs is making him "thirsty" to get there himself. [Michael Lee]
  • UPDATE: Lee writes that the two lessons the Wizards can learn from the NBA Playoffs are that youth can win and that getting players from a winning program should be a priority.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Wizards are monitoring the ongoing labor talks very closely. [Carla Peay, Washington Times]
  • John Wall knows he needs to develop a jump shot like Derrick Rose did. [@jimmywa11]
  • Scott Jackson likes the new uniforms. [SB Nation D.C.]
NBA Draft Lottery
  • Always a must-read at this time of year: Dan Steinberg's look at failed Wizards lottery stunts.  It acted as a reverse jinx last year, so it'll work this year, right?
  • Speaking of: I'm curious what everyone's good-luck charms are for tomorrow.  Send me an e-mail (mikeprada AT sbnation DOT com) if you have any particularly good ones you like to use.
  • On the small forwards in the draft. [Frank Hanrahan]
  • A quick look at the team needs, by those who are employed by the lottery teams. [Wizards.com]
  • An ongoing look at team needs from myself and Tom Ziller.  We'll be updating the next two days. [SBNation.com]

Around the league

  • I wrote a feature on Derrick Rose yesterday and how the reason he's so good is because he is so connected to the game that he can't or won't relate to the way writers and fans try to portray him.  Interesting discussion, based on an email I got: does John Wall have to be more like Rose to be great?  I personally don't think so, because there are tons of stars who work as hard as Rose and still have the capacity to connect better with media and fans.  But it's an interesting discussion.
  • Taj Gibson dunks on Dwyane Wade.  This was awesome.
  • Kevin Durant takes a major step forward in polishing off the Grizzlies. [Chris Mannix, SI]
  • Phoenix Suns team president Rick Welts recently came out and announced he was gay, a landmark moment for the league.  Brian Floyd of SBNation.com writes on why this is such a huge moment in professional sports.  Related: here's the NBA's Think Before You Speak PSA, featuring Grant Hill and Jared Dudley