Bloguin and Out: Wizards rising

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!

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The Wizards are now a chic pick (at least before John Wall's injury) to make the Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. A lot of people like the mix of young talent and veterans that the Wizards have brought in.

The process the Wizards have gone through is in stark contrast to where they were last year when owner Ted Leonsis predicted the Wizards would be as good as the Thunder in three years. Maybe that timeline is a bit far-fetched, but as Charles Lamar of Wizards Extreme notes in his review of that letter today, Washington is well on its way to making good on that promise.

On March 14, 2011, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis wrote a piece on his blog, Ted’s Take,regarding the Wizards rebuilding plan. Most of the comments on that post were skeptical at best and eviscerating at worst. To add fuel to the fire, that night Kevin Durant and company came into the Phone Booth and ran the Wizards out of the gym. The final score was OKC winning 116-89 over the Wiz. I was at that game and remember telling a buddy: “Ted must be crazy if he thinks the Wizards can be as good as OKC in three years."

Well Mr. Leonsis is crazy… like a fox. He made some bold statements and predictions in that article and a year and a half later, Mr. Leonsis might want to consider moonlighting for the Psychic Friends Network, because he hit the nail on the head. Let’s take a look at what he said and how it’s coming into fruition.

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Harry How/Getty Images/ZimbioMookie Schiralli of A Stern Warning asks the question that will need some serious answering this year and in the coming years.

Which cross-town rivalry is the best? New York? Or Los Angeles?

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Cleveland has not had a lot to cheer for lately. The Browns seemed destined for the basement of the AFC North and the Indians collapsed and will miss the Playoffs. The Cavaliers provide some hope (some) that Cleveland can turn things around and begin to win again.

Still, the Cavaliers could also finish last in the Central Division if things don't break right. But the Cavaliers are back and are ready to provide hope for a city that is used to torment, Bill Nagel of Stepien Rules writes.

So as myself and the rest of us in Northeast Ohio get set to watch our beloved Browns’ season debut, and finale, on primetime Thursday night I received an email. An email that brought a rush of excitement. Cavs single game tickets go on sale Friday. I’ve been so caught up with life, family, and the start of football that it hadn’t fully dawned on me that our Cleveland Cavaliers were so close to suiting it up again. While still early in the season, the Browns look to be on their way to yet another losing season. So the Cavs are the next man up for us Cleveland faithful, and frankly they’re the most intriguing of the group at the moment for a few reasons.

Welcome back, Cavs fans.

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NBA.comIn the quest to replace Dwight Howard (not going to happen), I wondered what the Magic can expect from Nikola Vucevic over at Orlando Magic Daily. I project Vucevic to be a bit of a project, but one that could have more potential than Gustavo Ayon.

Entering his second year, nobody is quite sure what Vucevic can do. He spent three years at USC as his role grew steadliy. In his junior year, he averaged 17.1 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. He clearly had plenty of capability when Philadelphia picked him with the 16th pick of the 2011 Draft. His rookie year was a bit of a struggle. He never got consistent playing time in averaging 5.5 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game in 15.9 minutes per game. He played 51 games during the season, starting 15, but appeared in only one of Philadelphia's playoff games.

Vucevic remains a very intriguing prospect.

There will be an opportunity for Vucevic to get some meaningful playing time and get that development. Something he did not necessarily get in Philadelphia. And Orlando wants to know what it has in him as it plans its next move.

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Ed Isaacson begins looking at the juniors for NBA Draft Blog.

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WOAITrevor Zickgraf of Project Spurs writes the Spurs are looking for a mobile big man. And Ryan Richards might be that guy:

It's been written for what feels like two years now that the San Antonio Spurs need a mobile big man that score and play some defense.  After seeing some of his highlight reel, a lot of people thought 2010 second round pick Ryan Richards could, in time, be that guy.  Then, when Richards turned up on the Spurs Summer League team in July, people thought that time could be sooner rather than later.  Richards had his ups, downs and meh's, mostly meh's, but enough ups to maybe get an invite to Spurs training camp.

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We noted it last week, but it is becoming official Monday. Rasheed Wallace will be a New York Knick.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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