Word on the Street (Updated): NBA Draft buzz

Word on the Street (Updated): NBA Draft buzz
April 18, 2011, 1:17 pm
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Monday, April 18, 2011 8:52 a.m.UPDATED - 5:09 p.m.By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comWizards Emaciated Draft OptionsThe thin pool of talent in the upcoming NBA Draft is now reaching Kate Moss waif-like status following the announcement that North Carolina freshman swingman Harrison Barnes announced he will return to the Tar Heels for his sophomore season. It seemed likely that the Wizards would need another lottery miracle for a shot at Arizona forward Derrick Williams. With Barnes joining the likes of Ohio State star Jared Sullinger in returning to campus, Washington now might need to move up simply to avoid being on the wrong end of a steep decline in talent.Sports Final (NBC4): Mike Wise (Washington Post, 106.7 The Fan) was in studio for the Sunday night sports recap show, talking puck with Dan Hellie and Hakem Dervish. Wise did not bring out any of that nasty doom and gloom talk after the Capitals series lead was cut to 2-1. The late and fluky goal was just that, though Wise felt the Capitals got lucky on the waved off second period goal. They were outshot, they were outplayed, they were outhustled a little bit, Wise said. They didnt give it away. They could have easily won it. But you got to come hard in game 4. You have to outshoot and you go to outplay the Rangers in game 4.Darvish reflexively asked about a potential change in goal, but Wise said this current situation with Michal Neuvirth is a different animal than the one Bruce Boudreau had to deal with the previous two postseasons.Youd have to have almost a couple of blowout games for Neuvirth to get the hook, Wise said. I really believe that Boudreaus going to stick with him as long as he can.The Tony Kornheiser show: Mr. Tony and the Washington Posts Barry Svrluga - who we learned previously painted houses in the greater Boston area, including the abode of noted sports columnist Bob Ryan rehashed the weekend that was for the over .500 Nationals and broke down the Capitals-Rangers series (as much as Tony analyses hockey). They briefly switched gears to the weekend story of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis saying the franchise is on course after year one of his ownership (What?!? What?!?!, Kornheiser incredulously blurted out.). All were equally stunned that the jobs of both Flip Saunders and Ernie Grunfeld appear safe (ditto, especially the former. See below). Svrluga noted that the Nationals are going down this same path of building through the draft and then signing veteran players, similar to what Leonsis accomplished with the Capitals. Ah, but as Svrluga also points out, there is no minor league system in the NBA so there is not the building up of talent the way the Capitals have done under George McPhee.Taking a 4 x 4 to the Capitals series leadAnd just like that, the Rangers have life. (New York Times)Growing pains - and penalties - mean additional testing needed of new defensive approach. (Washington Post)Redskins coming or going?Who knows what's true these days when it comes to NFL draft rumors? Case in point, one report implies the Redskins are trying to move up for a quarterback, another says Mike Shanahan and Co. are looking for a way to slide down in the first round. I know everyone is thrilled that the calendar has turned to spring, but burgundy and gold backers need to start chanting fall back.Mock Draft MondaySince I know its a Lock-er youll check out the projected picks for the Redskins, note this mock has four quarterbacks selected in the first 10 picks. Wall-to-Wall comparison shopping leads to Big Ticket itemWhenever folks are looking to assess what John Wall brings to the court, fellow point guards like Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo are mentioned. Flip Saunders sees Kevin Garnett. (Washington Times)The weekend headline read, Ted Leonsis says Washington Wizards exceeded big picture expectations in his first season as owner. But the real takeaway is that it appears the current brain trust will be back intact. Ernie is under contract next year, and Flips got two years. So there honestly is no reason to even be having these discussions, Leonsis said. (Washington Post)Whittington with work to doOakland Mills star and Georgetown recruit Greg Whittington could not help the Capital All-Stars come close to stopping their U.S. counterparts in the 38th Capital Classic. The 6-foot-9 forward has room to grow if he wants to contribute for the Hoyas in the rugged Big East next season.Weekend LeftoversBoston Marathon: For one Bethesda man, Monday will mark his 44th straight 26.2-mile race through the City on a Hill. But as a 21st century Paul Harvey might say, click here for the rest of the inspiring story. (Washington Post)

Olympics: Andrew Valmon won gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a member of the 4 x 400 U.S. mens relay team. Now the University of Maryland coach will pull double duty as he preps the U.S track and field team for the 2012 Games in London.Playoff beards Growing facial hair for the postseason, its not just for the players.