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NBA Draft radar: Thomas Robinson

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NBA Draft radar: Thomas Robinson

Later this month the Washington Wizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids. Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Up next, Kansas power forward and D.C. native Thomas Robinson. Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. Also, note the NBA draft combine will take place June 7-8 in Chicago and the draft will be held on June 28 in Newark.Thomas Robinson
KansasDraft Express overall ranking: No. 4HeightWeight: 6-9, 240 lb (pre-combine numbers)Key stats: 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in 2011-12.The player: After two seasons spent in the shadows of the Morris twins at Kansas, the former Riverdale Baptist star exploded onto the college scene as a junior. The chiseled one used his relentless rebounding and quality low post moves to lead the nation with 27 double-doubles. Finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds against Anthony Davis and Kentucky in the national title game. Became first unanimous AP-All American first team selection since Blake Griffin in 2009. The fit: Nene is proven and still has miles left on his playing odometer, but turns 30 this season. Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely offers hops and energy at power forward, but their collective offense is still largely dunks and put backs. Even factoring in Kevin Seraphins big body, the Wizards do not currently have a dominate rebounder in the mix; last season they ranked 26th in defensive rebounding percentage. Perhaps a full season of Nene - and no season with JaVale McGee - improves the issue in the Wizards minds. Drafting Robinson at three might as well. The issue: The Wizards already have a potentially viable frontcourt. Draft Robinson and thats some serious roster imbalance - and raises questions about Veselys future. By drafting Robinson, the Wizards are counting on filling their perimeter holes in the second round or in free agency. Then there is the matter of whether Robinsons power game works against NBA men. Of course, if as some fear he measures out any less than his listed 6-foot-9, then we have a different issue.The analysis (interviews with CSNwashington)NBA scout: "The Wizards need shooters. The problem with Vesely and Booker and Chris Singleton is they dont make shots. Robinson is a little bit undersized power forward. Hard worker and rebounder, winning attitude. A bit redundant to some degree.SI.com's Andy Glockner: "With three years of college experience and 21 years of age, you would expect coming out of the shoot his rookie year he would be the more productive player on the pro level. He has a very safe floor. His rebounding numbers are going to translate. I think thats the one thing you can be assured of. I think Robinson is going to be a very good pro player. If youre asking me who will be the best player five years down the road, I would think somebody like a Brad Beal or if you really believe in Andre Drummonds physical traits, then somebody like that might be a better upside pro if youre looking for that.Ed Jacobson, NBA Draft Blog: "Not only was he able to step on the court and do a lot of great things (last season), but I dont even think weve seen half of what hes capable of yet. I was probably the first in line of the doubters before this season started on whether he could translate his strength the first two seasons coming off the bench in seven, eight-minute spurts and going full speed. This year, he not only was able to adjust playing more than double the playing time he was used to, he became a legitimate post option on offense and still kept his energy levels up.The summation: Its easy to understand the attraction, for the Wizards or another team. In a seemingly worst-case scenario, Robinsons rebounding and toughness make him a viable rotation player. The fear is that projection may be closer to the ultimate truth unless T-Rob can bully NBA players the way he did the collegians. Considering the Wizards have young bigs and perimeter needs, its also to understand if they pass on the hometown kid.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Former Hoya great Jeff Green says slow your roll on Mac McClung

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Former Hoya great Jeff Green says slow your roll on Mac McClung

Through three games as a freshman for the Georgetown Hoyas, Mac McClung has lived up to his hype as a social media sensation, at least when it comes to his ability to wow crowds with high-flying dunks. 

McClung has a long way to go to become a true star in college basketball, but the kid can fly. Already, he has provided several viral highlights.

Wizards forward Jeff Green is one of the best players in Georgetown's decorated basketball history, and on Wednesday after shootaround, he weighed in on McClung's flashy start.

Green, now an 11-year NBA veteran, spoke from the perspective of a guy who's been around the block. He says people should calm down a bit and wait to see what McClung becomes.

"Yeah. I've seen a lot of him. The guy has been great, but it's not just him. I think because of the internet people have just focused on him," Green said. 

Green went on to reference McClung's famous YouTube mixtapes some more.

"It's just the way the world is. People are focused on the internet and he's all over the internet and that's all you think about. They have a good collection of guys," he said. "Georgetown is a team. It's not just one person." 

Now, just because Green was downplaying the hype for McClung, who last year set the Virginia state high school scoring record, and did so by passing former Hoya great Allen Iverson, doesn't mean he isn't a fan. Green thinks McClung has a chance to be really good and probably far surpass his three-star recruiting grade.

"It's not hype. The kid is good," Green said. "You can't put these expectations. What have people been calling him? White Iverson. There's no other player that's gonna be Allen Iverson. He's gonna be who he's gonna be."

Green gave a further explanation that seemed to suggest the word 'expectations' had struck a cord. Green himself was a three-star recruit and went on to exceed that grade by becoming the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

"People put expectations on other people and then when they don't grow into those expectations, in their eyes he's a bad player. You can't do that. Let him grow into what he's going to be and then you define him," Green said.

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3 things to watch for improved Wizards vs. Cavs

3 things to watch for improved Wizards vs. Cavs

The Washington Wizards still have John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. The Cleveland Cavaliers no longer employ LeBron James. That makes Wednesday’s first meeting of the season between the Eastern Conference foes curious. The radical change for the visitors also requires a preview. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Sustaining the surge

Monday’s 117-109 victory over the Orlando Magic extended the Wizards’ winning streak to a season-high two. Don't knock the modest uptick after a 2-9 start. John Wall’s stat line took a big leap over the last three games: 24.0 points, 10.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 45.5 percent on 3-pointers. Beyond the numbers, the point guard appears to have knocked off the remaining rust physically. We’re used to his aggressive end-to-end pushes, but now Wall is firing up the court immediately after makes or misses, helping Washington quickly enter its offensive sets. Another strong outing from the five-time All-Star could propel the Wizards to their first three-game winning streak since Feb. 10-22.

Bench support

Starters Wall, Beal, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris had solid games against the Magic, but it was the Wizards’ second unit playing above previous season norms. All five reserves finished with a plus-minus of plus-8 or better. Jeff Green continued his sizzling shooting, sinking 4 of 5 from beyond the arc en route to 18 points. The 6-foot-9 forward is 9 of 13 from beyond the arc overall during the last four games, and 21 of 28 overall. Backcourt partners Austin Rivers and Tomas Satoransky, slow to develop chemistry this season, showed increased comfort during the winning streak. Washington needs more from the pair to help keep minutes for Wall and Beal at reasonable levels. That Green and Rivers, in particular, have provided steady help has contributed to Porter sitting out the fourth quarter in three consecutive games.

Cleveland doesn’t rock

From four consecutive NBA Finals appearances to the NBA’s worst record (2-11, tied with Phoenix). Yeah, the Cavaliers miss LeBron James just a little. They also are down Kevin Love (toe surgery), leaving Jordan Clarkson (15.2) and Rodney Hood (12.9) as Cleveland’s top scorers. That’s not ideal. The Cavaliers are 27th in scoring (103.3) while giving up 113.1 points per game, which is better than Washington’s league-worst 118.5. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton, the No. 8 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, is filling in for the injured George Hill. Sexton is averaging 17.0 points over the last three games.

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