It's at the point where we even miss Hip-Hop. Sort of. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/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: Philadunkia. I stand firmly with Jake Fischer here: As we near the two-year mark since the Philadelphia 76ers began their search for a new mascot, it's high time that the organization actually moved the ball forward on it, even if that means scrapping the three terrible options that resulted from the initial search. The Sixers will stink this year, and perhaps for even longer than that. Their fans will need something to boost their spirits. The Sixers need a mascot, as soon as possible.
PF: SB Nation. Speaking of the Sixers, the great Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com explains why it doesn't actually matter, even a little bit, if they don't get above the so-called "salary floor" mandated by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
SF: Suns.com. Some soul-bearing from friend of the program Ben York: "One day while listening to Ace of Base’s 'I Saw the Sign' in a boombox the size of a small filing cabinet (which is another humiliating story in and of itself), I had what I thought at the time was a brilliant epiphany. I should get a Phoenix Suns player’s name shaved into my head. That would make me so cool and all the girls will love me."
SG: Grantland. Zach Lowe considers seven ways in which the league-wide installation of STATS LLC's SportVU cameras (which I've written about before) in every arena could result in massive changes to the NBA.
PG: Bucksketball. I liked Jeremy Schmidt's take on what a difference two months can make when it comes to reacting to a move like the Milwaukee Bucks' recent acquisition of small forward Caron Butler.
6th: SB Nation. James Herbert chats with Cory Joseph, whose persistent D-League work earned him a spot with the San Antonio Spurs and whose continued development has made him one of the bright lights of the Canadian men's national team at the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament, where they're vying for a slot in next summer's FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
8th: Denver Stiffs. During his time as an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, Brian Shaw helped construct a top-ranked defense around the rim protection of mammoth center Roy Hibbert. Now, as the head coach of the Denver Nuggets, he'll try to forge a similarly stout D around JaVale McGee, who's a very different type of player. How might that work, and how can Shaw help the 25-year-old McGee reach his full potential as a deterrent?
9th: Posting and Toasting. Instead of inviting J.R. Smith's younger brother, Chris Smith — whom you might remember from "insisting on being the White Ranger" — to training camp, New York Knicks, why not invite someone who may or may not be Pablo Prigioni's brother? (Let's hope he is Pablo's younger brother.)
10th: The Diss. This gets bumped down the bench because it skews more toward media-focused navel-gazing than toward general interest stuff, but Kevin Draper's argument that the increasing use of advanced statistics has hurt basketball writing more than it's helped is worth reading. I'm probably more part of the problem than of the solution, and I'm definitely not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I do think that those of us who use these tools in our coverage need to do a better job of communicating to readers why we're using them and of using them clearly.
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