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My Washington Wizards 2009 off season grade is a B-. While the team is stocked with veteran talent, a legitimate inside presence was a need for the Wizards. In an Eastern Conference loaded with perennial interior all-stars including Superman (old and young), Sheed, KG and Chris Bosh the Washington fans were hoping to see an upgrade in the big man department. Not saying the combo of Jamison, Haywood, Blatche, and playoff tested Fabricio Oberto won't give their all, is it going to be enough to hang with the elite competition? Rebounding and interior defense without fouling are the only question marks for the Wizards big men, thanks to the front office improving depth and the skill level at the perimeter positions. Key additions Randy Foye and Mike Miller along with a healthy Gilbert Arenas give the Wiz a boost from last year's regular rotation.

It's going to be interesting to watch the new acquisitions along with the returning players gain chemistry as the year progresses. The most talented group the Wizards could offer would include Arenas, Butler, Foye, Miller, and Jamison. The problem with that combination would be rebounding and the defensive matchups. It will be interesting to see the players Coach Sanders will work into the rotation. The Wizards expect major contributions from their role players also. Mike James is a proven scorer off the bench along with 2007 first rounder Nick Young. Versatile swing man DeShawn Stevenson needs his best performance to stay on the floor this season. My sleepers on the team this year are Dominic Mcguire and Javale Mcgee. I feel these two players can give the Wizards energy and rebounding off the bench.

A lot of fire power this year the for the Wizards. If they are able to stay healthy and gain chemistry the Wizards should earn a playoff spot at season's end. My regular season prediction is the Wizards finish with a 47-35 earning them a 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Brandon Jarman

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