With the Heat taking up about 98 percent of the post-Decision attention devoted to the NBA’s Southeast Division, it’s like everybody forgot that the Bobcats are still on the rise, the Hawks are still pretty good, the Magic are still very good, and the Wizards shouldn’t be slept on as a future problem — and not the “Our three best players all think they’re The Man and want 20 shots a night” kind of problem they’ve been in the recent past … John Wall is the alpha, and if Gilbert Arenas isn’t a distraction, he’ll give you 20-something points a night at the two. Al Thornton will probably start at small forward initially, but when Josh Howard gets healthy, he’ll probably take that spot. Then you have a pair of young super-talented and athletic bigs in Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee; if they act more like Duncan and Admiral and less like Craig and Day-Day, they’ll complete a solid starting five. Throw in Kirk Hinrich (defense, shooting, ball-control), Yi Jianlian (skills, size, shooting) and Nick Young (buckets, buckets, buckets) on the second unit, and the Wizards are looking OK for a move up in the standings. Only everybody else in the division is a playoff contender, so that could be tough … Howard inked a 1-year deal worth $3-4 million yesterday to stay in D.C. But if he comes back strong off the knee injury and the Wizards are lagging in the playoff race after a couple months, don’t be surprised if Howard gets traded to a contender at the deadline. We could see him fitting in with San Antonio for a title run … The Raptors are another young talented team to watch, but right now they’re shrouded in Chris Bosh drama. After GM Bryan Colangelo publicly questioned Bosh’s heart, commitment and ability to be a franchise player earlier in the week, Bosh responded accordingly but respectfully. Bosh put up monster numbers last season (24 ppg, 10 rpg), but plenty of astute Raps observers will tell you they noticed a change in his play down the stretch. And after CB1 let it slip that he, LeBron and D-Wade had been talking about teaming up for “months,” maybe he did have one foot out the door already … Have you seen this? Video of Tyreke Evans doing triple-digits on the freeway before getting arrested for reckless driving a few months ago. You want to just write it off as a new-money rich kid getting out of control with his new fast car, but when you actually see it — damn. And this was in the middle of the day! It’s not like it was 2 a.m. when less people are out and the cops might miss you. Hopefully Tyreke learned his lesson, because this could have been tragic … Most random story of the offseason: Amar’e Stoudemire (right after getting a Star of David tattoo) traveling to Israel this week to study Judaism and the Hebrew language. Amar’e is a pretty deep guy, so it doesn’t totally surprise us, but some cynics think it might just be a ploy to endear STAT to New York’s large Jewish population … The Cavs signed Joey Graham. You do realize this team is going to stink like bum briefs this season, right? We heard they’re working on a 10-story banner that shows Mo Williams covering his eyes … We’re out like traffic school …
Smack / Jul 31, 2010 / 2:37 am
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