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: MORE RUDY TALK, Y'ALL! By now, you've probably already read what our guys Kelly Dwyer and Adrian Wojnarowski thought about Wednesday night's deal that landed Rudy Gay with the Toronto Raptors, Jose Calderon with the Detroit Pistons, and the trio of Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis and Austin Daye with the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, some other perspectives:
At SB Nation, Mike Prada says Memphis "made out like bandits," and Tom Ziller thinks the Raptors' decision was laughably nonsensical. At CBSSports.com, Zach Harper argues the Raptors made a smart "sell high, buy low" move.
At A Substitute for War, Julian Rodger calls it a clear win for the Pistons and a failure for the now "indisputably easier to guard" Grizzlies. At Hardwood Paroxysm, Toronto fan Kyle Soppe explains why "no team improved from this trade (now or down the road) as much as the Raptors." At The Point Forward, Rob Mahoney argues that this move merely continues the unchecked momentum of a string of moves that probably should have cost Bryan Colangelo his job a while ago.
And, for some balance, at Grantland and The Basketball Jones, Zach Lowe and Mark Deeks argue that nobody really won or lost the deal last night, loathe as the definitive-take-happy among us might be to admit it.
PF: Brew Hoop. The latest installment of Larry Sanders Block Party, Steve von Horn's ongoing attempt to "revisit and rank" each and every rejection turned in by the Milwaukee Bucks' fearsome rim protector this season, includes the phrases "a grown man blocking a 10-year-old kid" and "Larry genuinely surprised himself by blocking his own block."
SF: Ballerball. A very serious, highly clinical, point-by-point breakdown of Reggie Evans' assertion on Wednesday morning that there's really no difference between LeBron James and Andray Blatche. The results of this purely scientific endeavor may shock you (but probably not).
SG: Posting and Toasting. Heading into this season, the biggest question facing the New York Knicks was whether coach Mike Woodson could figure out how to effectively play the extremely high-priced frontcourt of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire at the same time. Stoudemire's only been back for 13 games, so the sample size is still small, but as Seth Rosenthal learned by digging into the numbers, the early returns have been promising.
PG: ESPN Boston. We probably shouldn't take too much from an 18-point win over a 17-30 team, but the way the Boston Celtics beat the Sacramento Kings in their first game since Rajon Rondo was ruled out for the season with a torn right ACL was encouraging for C's fans — especially the way that the new-look starting backcourt of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee clamped down on D. Chris Forsberg takes a look at how the so-called "Pitbulls" made life miserable for Sacramento.
6th: Wizards Insider. On the occasion of the Washington Wizards' visit to the City of Brotherly Love to take on (and lose to) former Wizard Nick Young and his Philadelphia 76ers, "SwagyP" chops it up with Michael Lee about, among other things, losing a hair-growing contest to Andrew Bynum. Which, y'know, makes sense.
7th: Broken Yellow Lines. This one's a couple of weeks old, but it might be new to you (as it was to me) — some hard thinking about how we've come to view Kevin Durant, both on and off the court; how marketing messages have shaped those perceptions; and the prospect of Durant as "a catalyst for getting us closer" to fully accepting a star's complications without using them as grist for vilifcation. It's an interesting way to spend a few minutes.
8th: SB Nation. James Herbert spends some time getting to know the Golden State Warriors, who have proven to be fun, tough, dangerous and, as he puts it, "electric" in one of the more pleasant surprises of the season's first half. The secret, according to veteran guard Jarrett Jack? "We really have a collective unit. We have a camaraderie that you can't fake at all."
9th: The Two Man Game. The Dallas Mavericks have used 19 different players already this season as general manager Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle have repeatedly shuffled the deck in an effort to find some reliable combinations to overcome injury, age and ineffectiveness. The results haven't always been what the Mavs' brass hoped — Dallas is seven games under .500, sitting in 11th place in the West and 4 1/2 games out of the eighth seed — but it's not for a lack of searching. Ian Levy visualizes the boatload of two-man combinations the Mavs have used for more than 100 minutes this season, trying to sort out which ones have worked well, which ones haven't, and which ones might be worth giving a bit more burn to see if they can produce better outcomes.
10th: FanSided. "The Official Reggie Miller Drinking Game." Adopted carefully and responsibly by reasonable persons of legal drinking age, this seems like it might not be the worst way to ease the pain of white-knuckling it through half of a TNT doubleheader.
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