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's a madman with too much time on his hands, but at least he's our madman with too much time on his hands, because that means we get to benefit from stuff like this exhaustive visualization of the ripple effect that Dwight Howard's decision to sign with the Houston Rockets has had throughout the NBA. You're crazy, Rob, and I dig that about you.
PF: Bucksketball and Brew Hoop. A pair good, kind of depressing reads (which feels like a phrase I have used before to promote posts about this team) from Jeremy Schmidt and Dan Sinclair about how overblown expectations, underwhelming team-building and stagnant development led to Tuesday's perhaps-past-due split between Brandon Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks. Two pull-quotes:
Schmidt: "Milwaukee was starved and Jennings looked like prime rib. But Jennings was more of a hamburger."
Sinclair: "Belief ran up against the cold concrete wall of an $8 million contract extension and 2,732 missed shots."
SF: PistonPowered. On the other side of Tuesday's trade, Patrick Hayes has decided, for the time being, to ignore all the statistical and efficiency-based reasons that the revamped Detroit Pistons might not work on the floor and just enjoy what seems like it'll be a very fun collection of talented weirdos: "This team is the eye test’s dream."
SG: Hardwood Paroxysm. Conrad Kaczmarek strikes a similar note about the new-look Pistons, even going so far as to say Detroit's offseason skews closer to sensible than inexplicable: "[...] while you can question all of the specifics regarding the additions of Jennings and Smith, I don’t think you can sincerely question that they increase the overall talent on the Pistons’ roster."
PG: Blog a Bull. With the Pistons adding Jennings, Josh Smith and lottery pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Chicago Bulls bringing back Derrick Rose and bringing in Mike Dunleavy, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafting Anthony Bennett, signing Andrew Bynum and importing Jarrett Jack, and the defending division champion Indiana Pacers only getting stronger, Ricky O'Donnell wonders if the Central just became the best division in the Eastern Conference.
6th: Bullets Forever. The Washington Wizards have operated this offseason as though full, healthy seasons from the just-maxed-out John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene, combined with the re-signing of Martell Webster and the drafting of Otto Porter, make them a playoff team. But with most of the rest of the Eastern Conference's lower lights looking improved, too, is a postseason return really a sure thing in D.C.?
7th: Philadunkia. With Philadelphia 76ers fans still working to wash the bad taste of the Andrew Bynum era out of their mouths and 2013 lottery selection Nerlens Noel diligently dancercising his way back from ACL surgery, Michael Kaskey-Blomain considers whether the Sixers should keep their prized pick on ice until this time next year or try to get him acclimated to the league this season.
8th: 20 Second Timeout. Julius Erving really had a way with words when it came to describing the great players he battled over the years, man.
9th: Eye on College Basketball. Erick Green led the NCAA in scoring and earned ACC Player of the Year honors last season at Virginia Tech, but slipped to the middle of the second round, and recently signed a one-year deal to play for Italian team Siena rather than the Denver Nuggets next season. As Matt Norlander details, Green's far from the first top NCAA scorer to have a tough time breaking through to the NBA; in fact, such struggles are common enough to make you wonder whether collegiate scoring is worth paying too much attention to in prospect projections at all.
10th: Grantland. Zach Lowe and Steve Nash had a bit of a chat pegged to the Los Angeles Lakers point guard's "tryout" for Inter Milan, but it extended and expanded to a wide array of NBA topics, which made for quite a fun read.
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