Josh Smith takes a high-percentage shot; we wish he'd do so more often. (Fernando Medina/NBA/Getty Images)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: SB Nation. With Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski (among others) reporting multiple teams are interested in making Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith the biggest name dealt before Thursday's trade deadline, Tom Ziller asks: Is Smoove, a near-All-Star who does a number of things well but isn't truly an elite player, really worth a package of picks, young talent and (likely eventual) max money?
PF: Fast Break. Looking for an explanation for why the Golden State Warriors' defense has gone in the tank over the past few weeks? Adam Lauridsen suggests directing your attention to the short corners, where the Dubs have allowed opponents to shoot a whopping 57.7 percent on 3-point tries in February, and offers analysis of both why it's happening and how Golden State can reverse the trend.
SF: Washington Post. We're on pace to see the lowest number of 20-point-per-game scorers since 1965-66, which, considering the sheer amount of talent in the league right now, seems kind of surprising. Michael Lee talks to stars, coaches and executives to try to put his finger on the reasons behind the decline in prolific individual scorers.
SG: SB Nation. In his final dispatch from Houston, Paul Flannery takes a macro view of All-Star Weekend 2013 — marked by the ousting of Billy Hunter, the final All-Star appearance of David Stern, seven first-time All-Stars and the prime-time emergence of Kyrie Irving — as a transitional moment for the NBA.
PG: The Point Forward. With Monta Ellis' name popping up in trade rumors, Rob Mahoney takes a closer look at the Milwaukee Bucks guard's game. If you're wondering whether Rob regards it positively or negatively, be aware that this post incudes the phrase "something of a dingier Lou Williams or a range-less Jason Terry," which is quite a turn of phrase.
6th: The Oregonian. Nearly five months after an echocardiogram revealed an enlarged heart that would sideline him for the entire 2012-13 season, and possibly beyond, Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye tells Jason Quick about how maddening it is to be forced to do nothing while your career hangs in the balance, but also how revelatory a forced disconnect can be.
8th: ESPN the Magazine/ESPN Insider ($). For the magazine's forthcoming "analytics" issue, Jordan Brenner spent a week with the Portland Trail Blazers to learn how general manager Neil Olshey and basketball analytics manager Ben Falk emphasize data-driven decision-making not only in the front office, but also on the floor, and how head coach Terry Stotts and his assistants funnel the information to Portland's players. A cool read on how theory and research translates into tangible on-court differences.
9th: BuzzFeed Sports. Sam Graham-Felsen has listened to the "Broooooooook-lyyyyyyyyyn" chant promoted by the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center, and he is not a fan: "By forcing the unchantable chant on fans, the Nets brass neuters away half of their fanly vigor."
10th: CSNNE.com. The Boston Celtics have decided to augment their injury-depleted roster by signing 2009 lottery pick Terrence Williams — most recently of the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association — to a 10-day contract. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound wing wasn't able to make a legitimate NBA dent with the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets or Sacramento Kings; it'll be interesting to see if Celtics coach Doc Rivers (and fellow Seattle product Jason Terry, who says he's got Williams' ear and that the 25-year-old looks up to him) — can put a governor on Williams' penchant for running afoul of team leadership and coax a meaningful contribution out of his enticing athleticism and playmaking talents.
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