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: Roundball Mining Company. Joel Rush looks at the developing chemistry between second-tier-MVP-candidate Ty Lawson and offseason addition Randy Foye, which has given the Denver Nuggets a spark of long-range shooting that many figured would be sorely lacking with Danilo Gallinari sidelined due to injury.
PF: 48 Minutes of Hell. Trevor Zickgraf makes the argument that latter-day Manu Ginobili has become something like latter-day Jason Kidd. Cue San Antonio Spurs fans praying Manu doesn't miss the final 18 shots of his career.
SF: Sports-Reference and Box Score Geeks. Neil Paine delves into the past to contextualize the much-ballyhooed early-season separation between the Eastern and Western Conferences: "In the early stages of 2013-14, we are indeed seeing an historic level of inter-conference imbalance." Devin Dignam visualizes Paine's research so that you can see the inter-conference trends in handy charts.
SG: BrewHoop. Giannis Antetokounmpo is writing about life in the NBA for a Greek sports site, and this translation of the Milwaukee Bucks rookie's most recent post figures to do precious little to stem fans' ever-growing love for him: "With all that's happened these last months I've come to realize, more and more, that I belong here."
PG: The Brooklyn Game. The Brooklyn Nets are changing up their defensive strategy in the aftermath of Lawrence Frank's "re-assignment," according to Devin Kharpertian, and that did not work out super well for them on Thursday. If the Nets are going to run a pack-the-paint, strong-side zone defense similar to what Tom Thibodeau popularized with the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, they're going to need the players to make it work, and unless Kevin Garnett can turn back the clock a few years and Andrei Kirilenko's back starts feeling better very soon, Jason Kidd seems like he's going to come up short there.
6th: Detroit Free Press. Dan Feldman on Andre Drummond's rise to power, and the appropriate reward for the Detroit Pistons' emerging center: "It’s time to give Drummond the credit he deserves, and that should start with an appearance in the 2014 All-Star Game." (I still think I'd take Roy Hibbert as the East's best center right now, though.)
7th: Grantland. Kirk Goldsberry sits down with LeBron James to talk about how the man at the controls of the Miami Heat's high-powered offenses sees its evolution over the years, how each piece fits into it, and his own role as its orchestrator.
8th: New York Times. Good stuff from Beckley Mason on the unmeasurable but unmistakeable team chemistry that has helped propel the Portland Trail Blazers to an eye-popping 16-3 start. As veteran guard Earl Watson puts it: "Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team."
9th: Hickory High and Oakley and Allen. A pair of good reads on Chris Paul — Cole Patty wonders whether, statistical argument and evident mastery aside, CP3 could ever be considered the best point guard of all time without stuff like titles and MVPs, while Micah Wimmer celebrates the Los Angeles Clippers triggerman as "the perfecting of an ideal" when it comes to lead-guard facilitation.
10th: The Triangle. Zach Lowe on one of the early season's biggest surprises — the Charlotte Bobcats skyrocketing from the absolute depths of the NBA's defensive rankings to boast the league's No. 3 stingiest unit thus far this year — and whether such locking-down can sustain.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Jason Kidd
- Manu Ginobili
- Denver Nuggets