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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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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Kobe, Dirk Among Biggest Pay Cuts of the Offseason

Dirk Nowitzki

Four players – three of them future Hall of Famers – took pay cuts of a staggering eight figures this offseason. Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Paul Pierce all took salary slashes of more than $10 million to extend their careers with contending teams. They head the list of the top 10 individual pay cuts this summer. Our list uses exact salary figures from last season. In some cases, this season’s figures are averages of multi-year deals received by players. For example,

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PODCAST: Wizards Could Be Sneaky Good in Eastern Conference

womanwithboombox

It is very easy to overlook the Washington Wizards. They are in contention for the title about as often as the Earth is under threat of alien invasion, they haven’t had an outsized personality in the locker room since Gilbert Arenas was telling Javaris Crittendon to “Pick One,” and they will undoubtedly be kept off national television next season because they just aren’t sexy. But you know what? They could very well contend for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Many

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Sheridan: Top 10 Players Most Likely to be Traded

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There are three days left until the trade deadline, the best Thursday of the season, no matter what TNT might say. Folks stay glued to their Twitter feeds awaiting word of who is heading where, with 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET the most riveting two hours of the entire season. This season, with so many weak Eastern Conference teams trying to add a difference maker that would allow them to compete with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, and with

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Tweet of the Night: Jamal Crawford in awe of Blake Griffin’s monster dunk against Kris Humphries

Jamal Crawford

Seemingly every year, some poor soul gets viciously posterized by someone from the Los Angeles Clippers. It happened last season when DeAndre Jordan nearly murdered Brandon Knight, and it happened again on Wednesday when Blake Griffin struck against the Boston Celtics. It’s actually been quite a while since Griffin really put someone on a jaw-dropping, signature poster since doing this to Kendrick Perkins a couple of seasons ago. When Griffin rises for a dunk, players simply know better than to stand in his

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SH Blog: Something is off with Curry’s shot, Deng upset with contract rumors, Wallace blasts teammates again

Steph Curry

Something is wrong with Stephen Curry’s shot this season. When the Golden State Warriors guard shoots, it’s almost never considered a bad shot. The reason behind that logic is simple: it’s not considered a bad shot if you make it. In past years, Curry almost always made shots that would be considered a bad shot if anyone else took it, like this one, for example. This season, however, Curry has simply been off his shooting game. For the first time in his

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Bernucca: No extensions will be best thing for Bledsoe, Vasquez

Bledsoe

When the deadline for contract extensions came and went Thursday night, point guards Eric Bledsoe and Greivis Vasquez didn’t get paid. But don’t shed any tears for them. Because when the summer rolls around, they will get their money. And it might be GMs Ryan McDonough of Phoenix and Pete D’Alessandro of Sacramento who are crying. As reluctant as McDonough and D’Alessandro may have been to pony up for point guards with plenty to prove, they should have done so. Both GMs are

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