Score Strip

  1. League: NBA
  2. Brooklyn vs. Toronto
    12:30 PM
    6 BKN
    3 TOR
  3. Golden State vs. LA Clippers
    3:30 PM
    6 GS
    3 LAC
  4. Atlanta vs. Indiana
    7:00 PM
    8 ATL
    1 IND
  5. Memphis vs. Oklahoma City
    9:30 PM
    7 MEM
    2 OKC
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Ball Don't Lie

The 10-man rotation, starring the Spurs and Thunder, battling for Western supremacy

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan headline Thursday's big showdown. (D. Clarke Evans/NBA/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: Eye on Basketball. Ahead of Thursday's marquee matchup between the top two teams in the Western Conference, Matt Moore breaks down how the San Antonio Spurs' offense against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been different this season than it was during the two teams' 2012 Western Conference Finals series (which, you'll recall, the Thunder won in six) ...

PF: The Point Forward. ... and Rob Mahoney details the massive role Tim Duncan has played in the Spurs' much-improved defense, which will be critical in stopping Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

SF: Daily Thunder. Royce Young riffs on recent comments by ESPN's David Thorpe about the "joyless" basketball the Oklahoma City Thunder have played of late, marked by Durant reportedly taking his efficiency concerns to extremes, coach Scott Brooks' seemingly nonsensical preference for veteran Derek Fisher over sophomore Reggie Jackson despite Fisher's decrepit play, and more. Will bubbling turmoil lead to a flat OKC performance against a Spurs squad playing without Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson, continuing the Thunder's trend of subpar performances against elite Western competition?

SG: HoopChalk Jared Dubin shows us what Carmelo Anthony's 90-points-in-two-nights explosion reveals about how versatile an offensive performer he's become ...

PG: SB Nation. ... and Andrew Sharp tells us why, ultimately, it doesn't matter for Anthony or his New York Knicks. (Kind of a buzzkill, there, young Mr. Sharp.)

6th: SLC Dunk. After a fairly comprehensive waxing by the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, "Yucca Man" (a.k.a. Jon) considers the different paths traveled by the Nuggets and Utah Jazz since trading their respective unhappy franchise players on consecutive days in February 2011 ... and how Denver's clarity of purpose and organizational intent far, far outstrips anything the Jazz have been able to come up with since in terms of roster-building and on-court success.

7th: CLNS Radio. Sure, it was just to shoot around and do some ball tricks with the Harlem Globetrotters, but man, was it nice to see Rajon Rondo back on the floor at the TD Garden on Wednesday prior to his Boston Celtics beating the Detroit Pistons.

8th: Truth About It. One of the Basketball Internet's best team bloggers, Kyle Weidie has developed a reputation for asking the Washington Wizards the tough questions, and this is no exception. Who does each Wizard prefer: Jay-Z or Nas? How about Drake or Wale?

9th: Silver Screen and Roll and Forum Blue and Gold. Drew Garrison shows us just how good and critical Dwight Howard has been defensively for the Los Angeles Lakers of late, and Darius Soriano digs deeper on something I touched on Wednesday — how pivotal Kobe Bryant's help defense will be if the Lakers intend to hang on to the No. 8 seed and make their way into the playoffs.

10th: The Basketball Jones. Finally, that Jesus Shuttlesworth necklace you've been dreaming about can be yours.

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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