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: Orange County Register. Kevin Ding — not a bomb-thrower by temperament, but a dude with heavy hands when they're needed — offers a condemnation of Dwight Howard's early-season effort that's sure to stick in the Los Angeles Lakers center's craw: "Dwight never wanted to follow in Shaq's footsteps, but he's already following in some of his missteps."
PF: ClutchFans. If you missed James Harden going off for 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Houston Rockets to a Wednesday night win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, do yourself a favor and watch the bearded maestro work. To the rim, always and forever to the rim, again and again. It's dynamite.
SF: NBA.com. In a discussion of how the point guard's role has evolved the NBA over the years, Isiah Thomas proclaims the Los Angeles Clippers' group of Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups and Willie Green "the most complete set of guards" in the league. With L.A. rolling at an NBA-best 22-6 and riding a 14-game winning streak into Thursday night's matchup with the Boston Celtics, it's hard to disagree.
SG: NYMag.com's The Sports Section. Seth Rosenthal offers the news that a fractured right pinky will keep Raymond Felton out for four to six weeks — and, more specifically, the Knicks' ham-fisted attempts at subterfuge in this and seemingly all injury-related matters — as both an explanation of "why Knicks fans hyperventilate over every single minor injury" and a reason why they're all presently breathing into paper bags over Carmelo Anthony's hyperextended left knee.
PG: New Orleans Times-Picayune. We're not holding our breath just yet — we've been burned too many times before — but Eric Gordon might (might) make his season debut for the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday, if coach Monty Williams "had to guess."
6th: Green Street. There is, of course, a massive difference between performing well in the D-League and consistently doing the same in the NBA. Still, if Fab Melo's burgeoning dominance in the minors is evidence of some honest-to-God development in his very raw game, the Boston Celtics' young center could wind up getting a big-league look-see before too long. WEEI.com's Ben Rohrbach wonders where Melo might fall on a Greg Stiemsma-to-Hasheem Thabeet continuum (a vast continuum, indeed).
7th: SLAM. Tzvi Twersky chops it up with Knicks guard Iman Shumpert about the misery of ACL rehab, why a long stint on the shelf is actually the perfect opportunity to release a mixtape and anticipating a return to Madison Square Garden that's 180 degrees different from the boos he received coming out of Georgia Tech on draft day.
8th: HoopSpeak and Utah Sports Net. Someone get these two collections of lineup data in front of Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin, sit quietly with him while he reads it and then, after he finishes, calmly ask just how incriminating the photos of him that Randy Foye has really are.
9th: PistonPowered. Fantastic Pistons blogger Dan Feldman, a staunch advocate of the "More Playing Time for Andre Drummond and His World-Shaking Athleticism, Please" movement (as most right-thinking folks are), comes face-to-face with Detroit coach Lawrence Frank and asks some Drummond-related questions. Imagine his shock when Frank's explanations for why the pace of Drummond's development is a bit on the slow side — which the rookie big man himself sounds pretty cool with — actually made sense.
10th: The Associated Press. With his team mired in a horrendous 16-game losing streak, Charlotte Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap doesn't plan on freaking out, and will continue to play his young building blocks — Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Byron Mullens and Jeffery Taylor — as much as he can so that they can learn. On one hand, this is good news, because the only way the Bobcats are going to stop being horrendous is if those young talents develop into legitimate professionals who can win games; on the other, you might want to buckle up for some more inconsistent, mistake-filled losing ahead, Bobcats fans.
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