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.
PF: A Scout's Perspective. Former Chicago Bulls scout Clarence Gaines Jr. offers a history lesson on what made Bill Russell so great, as told by those who played with and against him, and tries to explain why the Boston Celtics legend "would still be a player of impact in today's game."
SF: Raptors Republic. Blake Murphy is wondering whether Masai Ujiri really plans on tanking, or whether the Toronto Raptors' general manager has concocted a long-term plan based on getting him up in the Andrew Wiggins mix through another method.
SG: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz breaks down what's made the Portland Trail Blazers' starters one of the league's best five-man units through the first two months of the season.
PG: A Young Sabonis. Speaking of the Blazers, Dane Carbaugh takes a look at a clever little inbounds play that head coach Terry Stotts used to get Nicolas Batum an easy layup.
6th: Magic Basketball. Spencer Lund runs through the arguments for and against the Orlando Magic moving shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who's played at an All-Star level for head coach Jacque Vaughn this year and has turned himself into an attractive trade piece in the process.
7th: SB Nation. Mike Prada looks at how Goran Dragic's speed on the wing and the floor-spacing shooting of Channing Frye, among other things, have helped the Phoenix Suns turn in the league's sixth-best offense through 27 games.
8th: Detroit Bad Boys. Revisiting the Detroit Pistons' decision to bring in Brandon Jennings, a couple of months down the line.
9th: Hoop76. Eric Goldwein reminds us about the time Doug Collins argued in a passionate op-ed piece that the NBA should stop forcing its teams and players to participate in Christmas Day games. Looks like ol' Doug lost this particular war.
10th: Baltimore Sun. A good read on Aquille Carr, a 5-foot-6 former prep basketball star in Baltimore who skipped out on the NCAA to play professional hoops overseas and now finds himself working to prove that his electrifying quickness and offensive acumen can translate to the big-league level as a member of the D-League's Delaware 87ers, the Philadelphia 76ers' affiliate. Quoth the 87ers' general manager: "The 76ers are looking to use our development team to find out about high-level, high-potential candidates, and Aquille is just that. … He has exceptional quickness and athleticism, instincts you can't teach. But in order for him to play at the professional level, we need to know: Is he a playmaker? Can he make plays for others? Will his body withstand the kind of pounding he takes from bigger, more physical players?"
- - - - - - -