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Ball Don't Lie

The 10-man rotation, starring the return of Andre Drummond (Video)

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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: Detroit Free Press. After 22 games on the shelf with a stress fracture in his lower back, Detroit Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond will be in the lineup tonight when Lawrence Frank's team takes on the Toronto Raptors ... and not only that, he'll be making his first career NBA start, too. Get excited, y'all.

PF: Hardwood Paroxysm, twice. If you're a fan of an team that's headed to the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery, you might be watching the NCAA tournament with great interest in the hope of identifying some players that could give your woebegone squadron a boost come this summer's draft. But which players might match up best with which teams for which purposes? If you want the answers to these and other questions, this two-part roundtable discussion with writers from ProBasketballDraft.com seems right up your alley.

SF: Hickory High. Myles Ma attempted to figure out whether the amount of sleep that J.R. Smith gets at night impacts his productivity for the New York Knicks positively, negatively or not at all. The survey relied primarily on the time and nature of J.R.'s Tweeting, which makes it unscientific, unreliable and absolutely essential.

[Also: Kobe injury adds to Lakers woes as they hobble toward finish line]

SG: Hoop76. No one blames Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins for not wanting to tank the remainder of the season, for continuing to push his team to try to win enough games to make the playoffs as long as they've still got a mathematical and theoretical shot to do so. As Eric Goldwein sees it, the issue is less Collins' competitive drive on the bench and more Collins' reputed flex in the Sixers' organization ... if the coach isn't down with tanking, but taking the foot off the gas might be in the best interest of the franchise, shouldn't there be somebody higher up on the food chain pushing back and extolling the virtues of pumping the brakes?

PG: National Post. With Pistons point guard Jose Calderon about to make his first two appearances against his former team — in Michigan on Friday night, then back in Toronto on Monday — Eric Koreen looks back at the unlikely, somewhat remarkable eight years that Calderon spent with the Raptors, a period in which his flaws were almost always overemphasized and his value was virtually never truly appreciated.

6th: The Associated Press. Remember that lawsuit filed against the San Antonio Spurs for their "deceptive" decision to send Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green home rather than suit them up for a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat back in November? Well, it's been dismissed. Color me stunned.

7th: Ed Kupfer's Twitter. The basketball stat guru (who you should be following on Twitter) charted each NBA team's Player Efficiency Rating by position on both sides of the ball — high numbers are good on the offense end, and not so good on the defensive end. Interesting stuff, neatly visualized.

8th: Grantland. I've recommended several really good pieces recently about the evolution of the Miami Heat's offense and how LeBron James has changed his game, but even if you've read all of them, you're going to love this post from Kirk Goldsberry tracking how LeBron's most common shot locations and most effective spots on the offensive side of the floor have shifted over the past five years. It's a fascinating study in player development.

[Also: Allen Iverson returns to Philadelphia for bobblehead night]

9th: The Sporting News. Sean Deveney looks at the rookies that will could play pivotal roles this postseason, a list headed by Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes.

10th: D.C. Sports Bog. The Washington Wizards are hosting a Cornhole tournament next Saturday afternoon, April 6, before the Wiz take on the Indiana Pacers. This is tremendous news; I can only hope Rajon Rondo shows up and dominates mad DMV residents.

Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.

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