Each week at around this time, we will point to you to what the various blogs on the Bloguin network are saying about their teams. Be sure to check out all the great blogs for more in depth coverage of your favorite team!
When Cleveland selected Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick in the draft, it raised some eyebrows. Waiters had his issues at Syracuse and no one was quite sure where he fit in at the NBA level. Another year in college might have helped.
Making matters worse (or more questionable), Waiters showed up a bit out of shape for Summer League and struggled for the Cavaliers in Las Vegas. He has come to camp looking much better and ready to take on a big role this season.
How big? Brendan Bowers of Stepien Rules believes it could be Rookie of the Year big:
Dion Waiters has a unique opportunity to contend for Rookie of the Year this season. The Cavaliers return a starting unit that has approximately 22 shot attempts per game currently available.
I expect Waiters to start from opening night on and take the majority of those shots. He will replace Anthony Parker at shooting guard and Tristan Thompson will replace Antawn Jamison.
Together, as starters last season, Jamison averaged 16 field goal attempts per game and Parker averaged 6. Byron Scott needs somebody to take those shots. Dion Waiters very much enjoys shooting. See where I'm going with this?
That would be something for the 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 12.6 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting as a sophomore at Syracuse last year. It would be completely unexpected. Brendan is right though, someone is going to need to take those shots. And it will not be Anderson Varejao.
It has been a tough go for Wizards fans the last few years. Washington seems to be looking up with John Wall surrounded by Emeka Okafor, Nene and Bradley Beal. The future is bright.
One thing that certainly has helped Wizards fans get through is the tireless ownership and outreach from Ted Leonsis. As Abdullah Sharif of Wizards Extreme writes, Ted Leonsis is a Wizards fan's best friend:
Throughout his tenure as a DC sports owner, Ted Leonsis has never failed to maintain a direct connection with the media and his fan base (take notes Dan Snyder). On Thursday night, Teddy addressed the media for nearly 40 minutes, touching on several topics including the complete overhaul of the team along with the growth and progression of his players, John Wall’s injury and the lack of having a magic wand.
It was a discussion that fittingly precedes the start of a pivotal third year of the team makeover. Leonsis offered continued optimism about the direction of the franchise and remained content about his conventional method of: “draft, develop, and retain. Add through trades and get free agents at the right time.” He claimed that the Wizards are developing the capacity of a good team which will in turn attract free agents. Leonsis also praised the city of Washington as a stellar market and an area of attraction. Georgetown Cupcake, anyone?
Don from With Malice answers the very serious and intriguing question: Is there enough basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers?
LA. A distributing point who is one of the best outside shooters the game has ever seen. A control-heavy SG control-heavy SG who also has one of the best offensive arsenals in the game. A finesse PF who sometimes plays his best basketball at the anchor... and the best defensive C in the game. Who also happens to play his best game on the offense about 2m away from the basket. Add to that Metta World Peace a small forward who still is one of the better wing-defenders in the game. And who doesn't mind not scoring.
The Magic season will be incredibly interesting for a team that has very little prospect of competing for much of anything. The important story to watch, as I wrote for Orlando Magic Daily, is the opportunity before several players such as Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo to make and re-make their careers.
Players young and old, veteran and rookie on this Magic roster have an incredible opportunity to either be part of the Magic's future or to increase their exposure for their own future. The Magic are not going to roll over and die and there are lots of players hungry to prove themselves this camp.
So in the low-pressure situation of a team not expected even to compete for a Playoff spot, an incredible opportunity presents itself to the players on the Magic roster.
Sean Francois of Hoop Heads North has some great practice video from Raptors training camp in Halifax, Canada.