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After Semifinals loss, Kara Lawson sees Wizards being Eastern Conference Finals contenders

After Semifinals loss, Kara Lawson sees Wizards being Eastern Conference Finals contenders

The Wizards are ready to get past a painful Game 7 Eastern Conference Semifinals loss to the Celtics and make a run for the Eastern Conference Finals. 

With a solid core of Bradley Beal, John Wall and Otto Porter, that Wizards have the right pieces to make that happen.

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One person who thinks they can be real contenders in 2017-2018 is CSN's newest Wizards primary analyst, Kara Lawson

"For a basketabll fan in general, that was just some of the great, great basketball of the playoffs last year," Lawson said on the Sports Junkies Thursday morning.

"It's been talked about a lot. I know the front office had tried to address it in the offseason but the lack of depth in a seven game series is what really hurt them, I thought last year. You have to have a group of guys that can come in and really help change the game and just give [John] Wall and [Bradley] Beal and [Otto]Porter and those guys a blow, so I thought that hurt them down the stretch, particullary in Game 7."

"I think also being able to have some guys that can knock down shots off the bench as well, being able to have some balance, some offensive balance, because it was so heavy towards that starting group."

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But with offseason changes all over the NBA, Lawson feels the Wizards can be real contenders for the Eastern Conference Finals. 

She threw around names like Mike Scott, Jason Smith, Tim Fraizer, Jodie Meeks, Tomas Satoransky and Ian Mahinmi as players who will be able to take a load off of the Wizards' core offensive players.

"I'm excited. This is going to be a fun season. You guys are from here, growing up there were some lean years, you know, for the Bullets/Wizards. Now you have a team that's going to be able to compete for the Eastern Conference Finals championship. I think that's exciting."

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Utah Jazz make guard Rodney Hood available, would Wizards be a fit?

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Utah Jazz make guard Rodney Hood available, would Wizards be a fit?

Momentum is building towards Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood getting dealt before next month's NBA trade deadline. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Saturday that multiple teams have already expressed interest in the four-year pro:

Hood, 25, is on an expiring contract and would provide scoring for a team in the market for offense. He's averaging 16.7 points this season on 41.3 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three.

Hood isn't a very efficient player, but he can stretch the floor. He's also big for his position at 6-foot-8 and is a very good free throw shooter (86.2%).

The Wizards could use help at the shooting guard position with Bradley Beal logging heavy minutes. They have an improved bench after making several upgrades last offseason, but shooting guard Jodie Meeks has yet to establish a consistent role in their rotation due to his low shooting percentage.

The Wizards don't necessarily need offensive help, but Hood could help take pressure off of Beal. He could also play in lineups with both Beal and John Wall.

It's unclear what the Jazz want in return for Hood and whether the Wizards could make a worthy offer. If Utah is taking the longview to build for the future, that could mean a first round pick and the Wizards have already parted with their last two.

Regardless, if the Wizards decide to target shooting guards in the next few weeks, expect Hood's name to come up.

RELATED: DID THE WIZARDS' TEAM MEETING BACKFIRE?

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Wall: A few teammates didn't respond well to recent team meeting

Wall: A few teammates didn't respond well to recent team meeting

Do NBA seasons even count if an emergency team meeting hasn't taken place yet? 

In what's becomming an annual right of passage for underperforming NBA teams, the Wizards recently held a team meeting to address some of the biggest issues that have been dogging them all year. 

While these meetings typically act as motivating springboards that help bring teams together, the Wizards' recent family therapy session might have done the opposite. 

Enter John Wall. Wall, who's already publically voiced concerns over the team's (lack of) effort this season, recently spoke about how the meeting might have rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way:

"At our team meeting, I think a couple guys took it in a negative way," Wall said after the team's win in Detroit. "It hurt our team. Instead of using it in a positive way like we did in the past and using it to build our team up, it kind of set us back a bit."

That's certainly not a ringing endorsement from Wall, and definitely not something you want to hear after a team meeting. Currently, however, the Wizards are back to their winning ways, coming off a nice road win in Detroit. So maybe it worked! 

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