Could Michael Beasley be starting to see the light? (Mike Ehrmann/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: Heat.com. Michael Beasley turned some heads on Tuesday with 19 points and some highlight-reel plays, but as Couper Moorhead demonstrates, it's the progress Beasley's made in the quieter, harder-to-immediately-recognize areas of help defense and flat-out effort that have, as Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has put it, earned the former No. 2 overall pick the opportunity to be ready for his next opportunity.
PF: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz on Blake Griffin's attempt to go from All-Star highlight-maker to game-changing presence on both ends of the floor — and all the study, small touches and off-camera gruntwork that goes into it — offers a pretty cool glimpse into how big a gap separates good from great in the NBA.
SF: Arizona Republic. Bob Young talks with first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek and several players about the surprising Phoenix Suns' top-five defense, pointing toward the importance of employing players who've yet to develop bad habits and coaches who can communicate effectively exactly what needs to be done. (On the latter score, ex-Sun Marcin Gortat also spoke glowingly of Suns assistant/defensive coordinator Mike Longabardi in an interview with NBA.com's Jeff Caplan.)
SG: Beyond the Arc. Kevin Lipe on the Memphis Grizzlies' early-season struggles and the apparent short-term cure that might ultimately be worse than the disease: "I'll just put it bluntly: the Grizzlies cannot survive this season if they start playing a short, eight-man playoff rotation in November."
PG: Bourbon Street Shots. Eight games into the first year of a four-year, $44 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, Tyreke Evans is shooting 32 percent from the floor and looking like he's at a loss for how to contribute to an oddball Pelicans team. What's going on here? Mason Ginsberg investigates.
6th: The Diss. Miles Wray identifies 10 players so spectacularly Spurs-y that they simply have to wind up being part of the Kawhi Leonard-led future version of the San Antonio Spurs at some point. All feel like pretty appropriate fits to me, but you get your grimy hands off my Pablo, R.C. Buford.
7th: Wizards Insider. Michael Lee on how the Washington Wizards' bench gave away a lead and helped submarine a shot at a road win against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, and how poor second-unit play has been a consistent problem for Randy Wittman early in the 2013-14 season.
8th: Hardwood Paroxysm and Hickory High. It's not all bad news for the Wiz, though — Andrew Lynch and Bobby Karalla take a look at how Washington has become one of the league's premiere long-distance teams by emphasizing the corner 3-pointer and trying triples in transition.
9th: Boston Globe. Baxter Holmes on the Boston Celtics' recent determination to run on everything — makes, misses, whatever — and push the pace to try to make up for the matchup disadvantages they face night to night. So far, so good, as their recent four-game winning streak attests.
10th: TrueHoop TV. And speaking of pace, Tom Haberstroh with a fun, short video feature on why "101.7" is the Philadelphia 76ers' magic number for tanking.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Michael Beasley
- Miami Heat