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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
There has been a lot of movement and change in the Eastern Conference this offseason, enough so that the Chicago Bulls have emerged as challengers for the NBA title with a healthy Derrick Rose and an added big man in Pau Gasol. The Cleveland Cavaliers now hold Vegas’ highest odds to win the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy, having reeled in hometown hero LeBron James and All-Star power forward Kevin Love. The Charlotte Hornets are also getting consideration as a challenger in
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
Is the white American player making a comeback this summer? All of the recent offseason buzz is centered around Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love and which team can put together the most appealing trade package to acquire him. Meanwhile, two of the top three salary bumps also went to white American players – Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward. As restricted free agents, both got max salary offer sheets and cashed in. So while white men can’t jump, they certainly can jump in
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
Brazil entered Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal match against Germany facing extreme obstacles. Their captain, Thiago Silva was due to miss the match having accumulated two yellow cards, and star forward Neymar had suffered a fractured vertebra in their quarterfinal match against Colombia. Even with such losses, they were still expected to play well, perhaps carrying out the role of underdog to move on to the finals. The match was highly anticipated and was garnering a lot of media attention and hype.
After missing the entire 2012-2013 season due to an enlarged heart – a career-threatening condition – Channing Frye came back this past season seemingly without skipping a beat. The floor-spacing big man averaged 11.1 points – including two 3-pointers per game on 37 percent shooting – and 5.1 rebounds to show that his game was still very much intact. Despite failing to make the playoffs in the ultra-competitive western conference, Frye was an instrumental piece in helping the Phoenix Suns to an impressive