Magic coach Jacque Vaughn and GM Rob Hennigan are two of the league's youngest decision-makers. (Joe Burbank/Orlando …
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: The Point Forward. Rob Mahoney surveys the sweeping changes to the NBA's coaching and front-office landscape, which have seen the league's "five youngest general managers and five of the league’s six youngest head coaches [...] hired (or promoted) since 2012." The youth movement's one thing, but what's really intriguing to Mahoney is the shift in the criteria the even-higher-ups are using when they do their hiring: "Those hired of late come from a wide variety of backgrounds with the only common thread between them being success in their previous endeavors."
PF: Steven Lebron. Alex Wong considers Kevin Garnett's addition to the Brooklyn Nets — already paying verbal dividends, it seems — and his subtraction from the Boston Celtics, thinks about how team chemistry and team performance may or may not be related, and wonders if you can simultaneously be a sabermetrics/advanced stats-interested sort and someone who believes a comparative intangible like chemistry matters. (There is, of course, a movement to try to measure chemistry, as I wrote about from the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference back in February.)
SG: ClipperBlog. In order for the Los Angeles Clippers to truly be "better than any team [Doc Rivers has] ever coached," center DeAndre Jordan has to take a massive step forward defensively. Andrew Han might be a bit more bullish than some on Jordan's chances of doing just that, but you might find yourself nudging closer to his way of seeing things after reading this breakdown/comparison.
PG: Slate. In an interview about the forthcoming "Linsanity" documentary, Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin discusses, among other things, how to reconcile the humility needed to persevere amid career struggles with the confidence needed to command the court when you step on it: "I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. You can be humble in the sense that you treat everybody with respect, you care genuinely about your teammates, you care genuinely about team success. But at the same time, you can also be realistic and say, 'This is what I’m really good at, this is what I’m not really good at, this is my strength, this is what I’m capable of, and when I get out on the court, I’m going to do what I’m best at.'”
6th: CelticsHub. On one hand, the Boston Celtics' relative paucity of established NBA players with clear, defined roles and primary skill sets would seem to make new head coach Brad Stevens' job significantly harder. On the other, as Tom Westerholm writes, having a variety of guys who can play different positions at different times against different alignments could open the door for the former Butler coach to greatly increase the flexibility of Boston's offense.
7th: A Wolf Among Wolves. Another year, another frontcourt injury (this time to Chase Budinger), another round of questions as to whether Derrick Williams can step in and take advantage of the opportunity to see more floor time for the Minnesota Timberwolves and head coach Rick Adelman. So can the 2011 draft's No. 2 overall pick make it work at small forward? Adelman: "He’s going to play there. We’re going to find out what he can do."
8th: Funny or Die. "27 GIFs of the Greatest Slam Dunk Attempts the Internet has Ever Seen." You're never going to believe this, but some of the attempts are less than successful.
9th: Denver Post. During his time as an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, Brian Shaw was especially involved in the development of swingman Paul George from tantalizing collection of size and skill into one of the NBA's best two-way players and a max-contract-worthy All-Star. As the new head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Shaw sees similar growth potential for one of his young players ... and who it is might surprise you.
10th: CultureMap Houston. As Moisekapenda Bower sees it, both Kevin McHale and James Harden are more than versatile and flexible enough to make successfully integrating Dwight Howard into the Rockets' high-powered offense a non-issue come the regular season.
Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- Boston Celtics