LeBron James wards off Jimmy Butler and attacks before Carlos Boozer can help. (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports …
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: Heat.com. With plenty of input from Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale, Couper Moorhead offers a really fascinating in-depth look at how the Chicago Bulls use Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson as something like quarterback-spying linebackers in their defense, how the Heat changed up their offensive attack to thwart the Bulls' big men in their Game 3 win, and how Miami's offense continues to adapt and evolve as its players' skill-sets develop. Really interesting stuff.
PF: Grantland. This one dropped before Game 3, but I still like Brett Koremenos' breakdown of how the Oklahoma City Thunder can de-emphasize their frontcourt offensive struggles by going small, and how they can do so without getting pounded by the Memphis Grizzlies' bruising big men. It'll be interesting to see if Scott Brooks goes smaller for longer stretches in search of a series-evening win in Monday's Game 4.
SF: Welcome to Loud City. Even with Kevin Durant playing less-than-celestial basketball, virtually everyone else not named Reggie Jackson struggling and the Grindhouse faithful in full throat, the Thunder still found themselves tied at 81 with about 90 seconds to go and a real shot at swiping back home-court advantage from the Grizzlies. And then, thanks to a couple of critical late mistakes, it all went to pieces. Noted masochist J.A. Sherman revisits the scene of the crimes.
SG: Grizzly Bear Blues. Why did the Grizzlies fire an assistant coach in the middle of the second round of the playoffs after a win? We get some details via Memphis radio host/friend of BDL Chris Vernon, but it definitely sounds like there's more to this story than meets the eye, doesn't it?
PG: Hot Hot Hoops. Hey, know who's gone from being one of the least effective regular players in the NBA to a pretty darn productive backcourt rotation member of a possible back-to-back champion? ... Yes, it's Norris Cole. You got it on the first try. I probably gave too many hints there. I am not good at this game. Luckily, Jay Ramos is pretty good at bringing us up to speed on the recent successes of the flat-topped Cleveland State product, who's shooting 77 percent from 3-point range this postseason. (Totally sustainable!)
6th: SB Nation, The Wall Street Journal and Posting and Toasting. How good was the Indiana Pacers' defense in their 82-71 Game 3 victory over the New York Knicks? Nearly perfect, says Mike Prada, and good enough to leave even Knicks coach Mike Woodson seeming stumped, according to Chris Herring. But there were still some things the Knicks could have done to give themselves a better chance against even the elite Pacers defense, as Dylan Murphy details.
7th: WarriorsWorld. If you've been watching the Golden State Warriors this postseason — and because you're smart, you have — you've probably got some idea of how important the return to health and viability of Andrew Bogut has been for Mark Jackson's squad. But until you take a look at some of the on-court/off-court lineup numbers Jack Winter pulled after Sunday's Game 4 win, you've got no idea. It's insane how much better they are with Bogut on the floor.
8th: SB Nation. After last Friday's news that the Seattle-based group intent on buying the Sacramento Kings upped its offer by $75 million, the Sunday addendum that the Maloofs have agreed to a "backup deal" to sell the Seattle group a 20 percent minority stake in the Kings rather than a 65 percent controlling interest, and subsequent reports that the Maloofs have not totally ruled out selling the Kings to a Sacramento-based coalition that wants to keep the Kings in California's capital, Brian Floyd sets about the unenviable task of trying to figure out where exactly the fate of the Kings stands as the NBA Board of Governors prepares to meet to vote on the proposed sale and relocation on Wednesday. (Whew.)
9th: CBSSports.com and USA TODAY Sports. Neither Ken Berger nor Sam Amick think the NBA's owners are particularly likely to change their plans based on the latest moves by the Hansen-Ballmer group and the Maloofs.
10th: Brooklyn's Finest. As the Brooklyn Nets go about the business of finding their next head coach, Jaime Oppenheim thinks prospective hires' talent for player development — "what type of environment each candidate could instill, and whether his system could be fully accepted at every level of the organization" — should be a major determining factor.
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