Kevin Love surveys the floor. (Winslow Townson-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: Squeeze the Orange. Kevin Love's outlet passing has received its fair share of praise lately, but as Adrien Kaeslin sees it — and demonstrates — it's a notable advancement as a passer out of both the high and low post that has made the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward one of the game's most versatile and dangerous offensive players through the first quarter of the season.
PF: National Post and Nothing But Net. Eric Koreen on how the Toronto Raptors' import of slow-but-savvy point guard Greivis Vasquez (and the potential export of Kyle Lowry) could result in a harmonious pick-and-roll marriage with strong screen-setter Amir Johnson, whom Doug Smith identifies as "the guys [Raptors fans will] truly remember and appreciate; guys whose effort and personalities made them stand out."
SF: Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine ($). Lee Jenkins, Brian Windhorst, Tom Haberstroh, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs revisit the final 29 seconds of Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. It is worth your time to do the same.
SG: Daily Thunder. Royce Young (who shows up in that Jenkins feature) breaks down a strong after timeout, or "ATO," play drawn up by Scott Brooks to get the Oklahoma City Thunder an easy bucket to slow down a Denver Nuggets run that could have jeopardized what wound up being a pretty breezy Tuesday victory.
PG: New York Daily News and Wall Street Journal. Stefan Bondy talks to several Brooklyn Nets veterans who credit the team's recent uptick — four wins in the last five games — to "a huge progression" over the first quarter of the season from head coach Jason Kidd, who's reportedly "simplified" Brooklyn's focal points on both ends of the court. Alex Raskin, on the other hand, sees the positive vibes emanating from a recent quickening of the team's pace, fueled by the return of point guard Deron Williams, that has led to many more open 3-pointers. Maybe a little from Column A and a little from Column B?
6th: Eye on Basketball and The Triangle. Royce Young (there's that man again) notes that while LaMarcus Aldridge has been sensational thus far this season for the Portland Trail Blazers, he's not really performing that much better than he did last year; as Kirk Goldsberry details, the big difference for Terry Stotts' team has been the vastly improved long-range bombing of the perimeter troika of Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum.
7th: USA TODAY Tech. Chris Paul, apparently, is super into iPads and TVs. I'm not sure if this makes him a "techie," but it does make him a guy whose house you want to be at if you're into watching multiple things at once or playing a bunch of games at the same time.
8th: 8 Points, 9 Seconds. A quick but instructive read from Jalen Bishop on how Luis Scola and Lance Stephenson have found a rhythm on the offensive end for the Indiana Pacers this season. Have they been spending a lot of time hanging out together to find this rhythm? Please say yes, and please say that you've got a lot of footage of these hangouts.
9th: SB Nation. Seth Rosenthal introduces us to a New York Knicks-themed hip-hop cover of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" produced by Doug E. Fresh, because Seth both loves and hates us.
10th: Centers' Little Helper. I'm not sure if the whole "Andre Drummond needs a nickname" thing ever got decided, but Dennis Hans would like to submit "The Quickster" for reasons that I find very hilarious (probably because it's "The Quickster"). Bad news, though, guys: He's already Big Penguin. Lock it in.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation