Mike Conley takes Tony Parker off the bounce. (Joe Murphy/NBAE/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: Gothic Ginobili. Aaron McGuire does a sensational job of breaking down the ramped-up role that Mike Conley has had to play on both ends of the floor for the Memphis Grizzlies thus far this year, how exceptionally well he's done under difficult circumstances, and how — despite a relatively quiet stat line and the Grizzlies' underwhelming 18-19 record — he's got a very legitimate case for All-Star consideration, even though it looks like there's little chance he'll be chosen as a reserve in a conference stacked both at the one and in the frontcourt.
PF: Beyond the Arc. Speaking of Memphis, while Kevin Lipe is basking in the afterglow of Marc Gasol's return and a 90-87 win over the hated Oklahoma City Thunder, he's also a bit bummed out by the way the assembled fans at the Grindhouse elected to shower struggling backup point guard Nick Calathes with jeers on Tuesday, and what that says about the present state of things in Tennessee: "Griz fans are in a weird place this season — it seems like a lot of them are mad about literally everything the organization does."
SF: The Point Forward. Rob Mahoney on how Dirk Nowitzki's ability to not only draw double teams, but also make simple passes that effectively do something with them, helps the Dallas Mavericks construct a consistently elite offense and help limit their liabilities on defense. Really smart stuff, as per usual.
SG: The Dissolve. Might want to bookmark it if you don't have time for it now, but this massive oral history on "Hoop Dreams" 20 years after its release is worth digging into.
PG: Salt Lake Tribune. Aaron Falk on Alec Burks, fresh off a career-high 34-point outing in a win over the Denver Nuggets, making a case that while he's a sixth man for the Utah Jazz right now, he might be worth a look as a starter at the two in Salt Lake (or elsewhere) before too long.
6th: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins on Damian Lillard carrying on the storied tradition of Oakland-bred point guards, which features this choice description by the Portland Trail Blazers triggerman of what being an "Oakland point guard" means: "It means you don't get scared. You want to play one-on-one? We can do that. You want to fight after a game at the park with your cousins? I guess we can do that too."
7th: Pounding the Rock. If you ever find yourself having to interview Gregg Popovich and desperately wanting to avoid being embarrassed, just follow these rules and you'll be home free just kidding you will still probably get embarrassed.
8th: DraftExpress. Jonathan Givony surveys NBA front-office personnel to find out which colleges are most and least accommodating, and which college venues are best and worst, for scouting NCAA talent. Interesting stuff.
9th: CBS New York. John Schmeelk on Mike Woodson returning J.R. Smith to the bench on Tuesday and yet another self-created controversy for the New York Knicks: "This whole episode is simply another perfect example of how chaotic and disorganized the Knicks’ management structure is. Nothing is ever handled the right way."
10th: CSNNW.com. Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews opens up a bit to Chris Haynes about the slow, long process of building a relationship with his father, Wesley Sr., who played 10 years in the NBA but didn't play much of a role in his young son's life: "I had a famous father who wasn’t around and I’m carrying his name. So, yeah, that was my obstacle growing up."
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- Sports & Recreation
- Mike Conley
- Memphis Grizzlies