Smile time in Houston. (Dan Lippitt/NBA/Getty Images)
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: ESPN. Beckley Mason does a whale of a job taking two seemingly disparate narrative strands — "Man, the Houston Rockets are INCREDIBLY enjoyable to watch with all that run-and-gun, pell-mell-to-the-rim and dot-the-I-3-point-popping offense" and "The Houston Rockets' offensive strategy is the actualization of all the stuff's being talked about at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which is, y'know, less enjoyable" — and weaving them into an excellent story about finding the right star and coach, getting players to take ownership and responsibility for having fun, and putting theory into practice. I'm pretty sure that Beckley had a lot of fun writing this story; it comes through in the fact that it's a really fun story to read.
PF: Grantland. Let's get visual: Kirk Goldsberry breaks down the critical improvement in John Wall's jumper from the right elbow, which is A) the most important recent development in the Washington Wizards franchise and B) a really, really welcome sight for anyone who's been waiting to see the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft break out and become what we all hoped he could.
SF: Red's Army. Hey, Boston-area people: Two weeks from today, on April 19, Voltage Coffee & Art in Cambridge will host "In the Paint," a basketball-themed art show featuring work by the super-talented and wonderful folks behind the hoops art blog Double Scribble. Tickets are free, but $5 donations are requested; proceeds from the show will go to the Boston hoops charity Shooting Touch. Good stuff, fun stuff, cool stuff, helpful stuff — check out the Red's Army link for more details, and go check it out on April 19.
SG: The New York Times. With the New York Knicks set to honor their legendary 1973 world championship team on Friday when this year's model takes on the Milwaukee Bucks, Richard Sandomir tells the intriguing story of how the video footage of the Knicks' '73 Game 5 clincher was lost, found, restored and preserved for a revelatory re-broadcast this year.
PG: Hang Time. Coming off a bad home loss to a short-handed Chicago Bulls team on Thursday, John Schuhmann wonders if the Brooklyn Nets have reached their ceiling as a good, but not great, NBA team ... and why we haven't seen more small-ball, floor-spacing lineups from coach P.J. Carlesimo.
6th: SB Nation. Paul Flannery looks at the possibilities of the Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond pairing going forward and the opportunity (and peril) facing a salary-cap-space-flush Detroit Pistons front office this summer.
7th: Bleacher Report. A detailed, comprehensive breakdown by Jared Wade of whether the old adage — you can't win a championship relying on 3-pointers — really holds water anymore. (SPOILER ALERT: He doesn't think so.)
8th: National Post. There hasn't been a ton for Toronto Raptors fans to be excited about this season, but the late-in-the-year development of Lithuanian rookie center Jonas Valanciunas — fresh off a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in a Wednesday win over the Washington Wizards — is most definitely one of them. Eric Koreen takes a look at the momentum Valanciunas built in March (which has included some sound work in his defensive pairing with Amir Johnson) and hopes to carry into this summer.
9th: ESPN Boston and CSNNE.com. A pair of good reads by Chris Forsberg and Jessica Camerato on Terrence Williams, his journey from Washington to Massachusetts (which included stops in Louisville, New Jersey, Houston, Sacramento and China), and his efforts to finally carve out an NBA niche as a backup point guard on the Boston Celtics.
10th: RogerEbert.com. Roger Ebert reviews "Kazaam." Rest in peace, sir. And thanks.
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
- Houston Rockets
- Washington Wizards