Five Things To Watch: Washington Wizards

Nene

It’s been a long, long time since the Washington Wizards were expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference. But after defeating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs for their first postseason series win in nine years, the Wizards are entering a season with high expectations. How high? Well, there is some talk that after last season’s 44-38 mark, the Wizards could win 50 games – which they haven’t done since the 1978-79 season. Here

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Four Wizards Suspended After Exhibition Scrum With Bulls

Nene

When the Washington Wizards open their season on Oct. 29 at Miami, they will be shorthanded in the frontcourt. Four Wizards – including rotation bigs Nene and DeJuan Blair – were suspended one game Wednesday by the NBA for leaving the bench during Monday’s scrum with the Chicago Bulls in an exhibition game. Also suspended were Xavier Silas and Daniel Orton, although they are long shots to make the team. The Wizards have 13 guaranteed contracts plus Glen Rice Jr., last year’s

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SH Blog: GMs see Dallas/Parsons contract helping more restricted free agents swap teams; Pacers extend Vogel

CParsons

Could the unique contract structure arranged by the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban to pry Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets become a template for freeing future restricted free agents? Multiple league GMs think it could, according to a new report from ESPN‘s Marc Stein. The Parsons contract, which is almost-max-level over three years and includes a player option after Year 2 and maximum 15% trade kicker, proved difficult for the Rockets to match on several levels, even though they fully intended

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Washington Wizards enter East’s upper echelon with depth and continuity

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A year can make an enormous difference in the perception of an NBA team. Last summer, the Washington Wizards had the same backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal but they were faced with immense pressure of having to make the playoffs to save the jobs of head coach Randy Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld. Before the season began, Grunfeld made what many perceived as a panicky move and sent its first round pick to Phoenix for Marcin Gortat, who was

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SH Blog: J.R. Smith says Knicks were a confused bunch, Cousins says Rondo is the best point guard

JR Smith

After coming off one of his best seasons ever and winning the Sixth Man of the Year award over Jamal Crawford in 2013, J.R. Smith spiraled down in the wrong direction last season. Due to off-season knee surgery, Smith had no time to work on his game or stay in shape. Consequently, he started the 2013-2014 season comically bad, scoring 11.7 points on just 32.8 percent shooting in November and 12.4 points on 36.8 percent shooting in December.  To be fair, Smith

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Hubbard: Mavericks Quietly off to Surprising Good Start

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A little more than a month has passed in the NBA season, but it seems like we’ve already had a full year of distractions, both good and bad. Portland great; Indiana even better. The Knicks and Nets taking turns who’s bad and who’s worse. Kobe close to returning; Rose out for the year. Dwayne Wade hurting; the Atlantic Division hurting even more. Meanwhile, the last team other than the Miami Heat to win a championship is quietly turning into a solid

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Sixth Man Rankings: Point Guards Reign Supreme

IsaiahThomasSH1

Well, it’s happened. The NBA’s early season darling teams have fallen back to earth. The Phoenix Suns, who started 5-2, are now 5-6 and look poised for the early lottery once again. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division could be historically bad. The Philadelphia 76ers, who have won only twice in their last 10 games, trail the Toronto Raptors by only a half game for first place. And the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are fighting for Gotham’s infamy as they both stand

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Tweet of the Night: NBA Players’ Reactions to Thursday Night Games

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Russell Westbrook pulls up for three in the waning seconds against Golden State. You may think you know the biggest NBA fan…or, perhaps, you think you deserve that distinction yourself. Everyone has their moment, impassioned by the play of their favorite player(s) on their favorite team(s) while watching their favorite sport. Some fans are crazy and have fits of rage when their team doesn’t play to their expectations. Others, however, may be more subdued when facing . They’d

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