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: Sports Illustrated. "The first time I met Hubie Brown, here's what he said to me: 'Your magazine ruined my f---ing life.'" Jack McCallum writes about why legendary NBA coach-turned-ESPN/ABC color commentator Hubie Brown is the greatest. This is peanut butter and chocolate and a nice, tall glass of milk, friends. (Seriously: That's the LEDE. It only gets better from there.)
PF: The Onion. America's Greatest News Source explains why we hate LeBron James. It's funny because it — all of it — is true.
SF: The Classical. What, you thought just because FreeDarko closed up shop (RIP), we weren't going to get 2011-12 FreeDarko Player Rankings? Well, you thought wrong, Slick. Bask in the dominance of Rondo, be somewhat surprised by the exalted spot of Stephen Curry, find yourself disgusted by the placement of Carmelo Anthony. Drink deep of the dark psychosocial sciences at work.
SG: Grantland, The Point Forward and The New York Times. OK, I cheated. Sebastian Pruiti, Zach Lowe and Rob Mahoney — three of the smartest basketball dudes in this bloggin' thing — explain why this "playing two bigs at the same time when Miami's going small" thing isn't working for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the start of games, like, at all, and why Scott Brooks should consider switching up his starting five before Game 3. All must-reads before Sunday.
PG: Justine's Inside Voice. A plea for LeBron James to never stop driving: "We as spectators all know, every team knows, every coach knows, every player knows, and apparently after tonight, LeBron knows that when LeBron goes to the hole with the basketball, he can. not. be. stopped. Period."
6th: Washington Post. Consensus top-five draft pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tells Washington Wizards beat man Michael Lee that he thought the version of MJ who played in D.C. "was good Mike," and that if Ted Leonsis and crew tap him with No. 3 overall, the Wiz are a playoff team next year. Confidence is a lovely thing, young fella.
7th: Heat.com. Couper Moorhead on Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's tendency to go back to plays, sets and matchups he likes, especially late in games. Trust — Couper will learn you somethin'.
8th: Project Spurs. Congratulations to Tiago Splitter on becoming a new dad! (Pro tip, Tiago: Those middle-of-the-night screams are actually your baby now, and not just Gregg Popovich-helmed nightmares.)
9th: WEEI.com. After being just one quarter away from the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics now have a boatload of question marks on their depth chart. Paul Flannery breaks down the decisions facing Danny Ainge and company.
10th: Wages of Wins. "Will Shane Battier wins Finals MVP?" Four days ago, this would be considered sheer nonsense trolling. But now ... so far, it makes some sense, doesn't it? Andres Alvarez crunches the numbers to consider the No-Stats All-Star's case.
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- Hubie Brown
- LeBron James