Let it fly, big man. (Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
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: Hoop76. This is not a drill, people: "Spencer Hawes is attempting more 3-pointers per game than Ray Allen, and he’s hitting them at a higher rate." Tom Sunnergren explores how the Philadelphia 76ers center has become an honest-to-goodness offensive weapon, whether Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie should flip Hawes while his value is (or at least figures to be) at an all-time high or hang onto a surprisingly intriguing modern-NBA player, and more.
PF: ESPN Insider ($). Now that advanced analytics like the ones favored by Hinkie and his ilk have taken deep root in NBA front offices, coverage and (to a certain extent) fandom, Amin Elhassan offers an interesting argument about whether being able to hit the "worst shot in the game" will become an increasingly valuable skill-set: "[...] as more and more teams adopt the type of defensive principles practiced by the Pacers and Bulls, the greater the need for players who are able to exploit the inherent weakness in the system: the midrange jumper."
SF: The Triangle. I dug this story by Charles Bethea about spending Kyle Korver's record-setting game with Korver's parents, then talking to Korver about paddleboarding, and why all that matters. My favorite line? "Worry isn't a Midwestern feeling." (The competition's heavy, though.)
SG: Silver Screen and Roll. C.A. Clark thinks Mike D'Antoni has done a bang-up job with a ragtag collection of Los Angeles Lakers, and thinks it's a shame that none of what he's built means anything now that Kobe Bryant is back in purple and gold.
PG: Salt City Hoops. If you're a Utah Jazz fan wondering why Andris Biedrins is playing over Rudy Gobert and Brandon Rush isn't getting any burn, you're not alone; other people wondering such things include Trey Burke's parents and Brandon Rush.
6th: Hickory High. Rich Kraetsch takes a look at the somewhat surprising impact that losing Andre Iguodala has had on the Golden State Warriors' offense: "With Iguodala, the [Warriors'] starting five had a 118.8 points scored per 100 possessions, [and] in the last nine games without Iguodala — 100.9."
7th: Talking Points. Staying in the Bay Area, Tim Kawakami considers some possible bench-augmentation options for a Golden State team whose second unit has been struggling since Iguodala's injury moved Harrison Barnes into the starting lineup, and once again raises concerns about whether David Lee's the right power forward on either end of the floor for this particular collection of Warriors.
8th: Regressing. So when Kobe Bryant jets over to Germany for platelet rich plasma therapy, what's actually happening? Dr. Matt McCarthy explains, offering insight into the treatment and why it's not really/necessarily/officially "performance-enhancing" in a dubious-legality sense.
9th: CSNNE.com. A good read from Rich Levine on the Boston Celtics' "Reunion Week" schedule — featuring matchups with the Brooklyn Nets and old friends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on Tuesday, and with former coach Doc Rivers' Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday — and how the vicissitudes of the NBA schedule pale in comparison to the true stunner of Boston leading the Atlantic Division after 22 games: "... above all else, the most bizarre and surprising aspect of tonight’s game is just how high the Celtics can and will hold their heads as they walk into to the Barclays Center."
10th: The Diss. There's a four-letter word in the headline of this here post — Jason Kidd scoffs at such entry-level cussin' — but the story of D-League guard Akeem Scott's journey from New York to Finland to Bakersfield to a Blimpie's in Boise is an interesting one, and it's well told by Seth Johnston.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Spencer Hawes
- Kyle Korver