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: The Point Forward. He's facing an uphill battle as he attempts to lead his banged-up and outgunned Minnesota Timberwolves back toward respectability in a season gone awry, but after a slow start following his lengthy recovery from a torn left ACL, Ricky Rubio's been looking more like the fires of old for the past month. Rob Mahoney breaks down the ramped-up aggressiveness the sophomore point guard's shown on both ends of the floor of late.
PF: PistonPowered. It might not mean he's a bad coach, necessarily, but the fact that — statistically speaking — Lawrence Frank's teams tend to get blown out more often than their winning percentages would suggest probably doesn't exactly inspire a ton of confidence in Detroit Pistons fans. (Luckily, Pistons supporters in search of inspiration might want to set their alarm clocks for "a week or so" from now, because that's when rookie marvel Andre Drummond might be ready to return from his back injury.)
SF: HoopChalk. Jacob Frankel breaks down how the Indiana Pacers have built — by a pretty considerable margin — the league's best defense, a unit that he says combines "cutting-edge schemes" with late-'90s "style and defensive swagger." (TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz has more on how good the Pacers' starting five has been defensively as part of the latest installment in his "Killer Lineup" series, too.)
SG: National Post. Bruce Arthur looks at how Los Angeles Lakers point guard and Canada Basketball GM Steve Nash has blazed a trail for Canadian players dreaming of NBA stardom, but also developed a blueprint for a thriving, competitive program in international play.
PG: The Basketball Champs Belt. "Waiting for Godot" as a metaphor for NBA fandom and a lens through which to view the 1953-54 season. I'm not always sure I get what Michael Hogan and company are doing as they traipse through hoop history, but I always enjoy the trip.
6th: Shark Fin Hoops. If you thought the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend was underwhelming, you might want to avert your eyes when it comes to the Chinese Basketball Association's competition. (Hat-tip to Barry Petchesky at Deadspin.)
7th: TrueHoop TV. Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried discusses his decisions to speak out in support of same-sex marriage and become the NBA's first Athlete Ally, what level of homophobia exists in NBA locker rooms, and more.
8th: Grantland. In the aftermath of a quiet trade deadline, Zach Lowe breaks down which players, coaches and organizations bear watching, and have something to prove, heading toward the end of the season and this coming summer.
9th: The Basketball Jones. In what was, for my money, their crowning All-Star Weekend achievement, Skeets and Tas asked NBA All-Stars to weigh in on a hot-button issue they've discussed on their daily podcast multiple times this season: Is Russell Westbrook more like a cat, or more like a dog? The responses — including the one from the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard himself — may shock you.
10th: Daily Thunder. Now that the deal's done and official and all, Royce Young asks the question on most stat-familiar fans' minds: Um, why exactly are the Thunder bringing back Derek Fisher?
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- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Ricky Rubio