Stephen Curry draws and kicks. (Thearon W. Henderson/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: San Jose Mercury News. Marcus Thompson II with a good read on Stephen Curry's growth as a facilitator, which often gets overlooked as a result of his lights-out shooting, and why that bothers him: "In any situation, when anybody sees you in a different way than you see yourself, it's frustrating."
PF: Daily Dime. About that lights-out shooting: Tom Haberstroh asked the Miami Heat how to stop Curry, and if you were watching his Human Torch act on Thursday night, it will come as no surprise to you that nobody had an answer.
SF: Hang Time. Curry wasn't the only thing the Heat had trouble stopping on Thursday night — as John Schuhmann shows, the Golden State Warriors gave the Miami pick-and-roll coverage fits all night, thanks in large part to the ball-handling, passing and playmaking skills of power forward David Lee.
SG: NetsDaily. Reed Wallach details how some strong Brooklyn Nets defense — no, really! — stymied the Oklahoma City Thunder down the stretch on Thursday, helping Jason Kidd's team claw back from a double-digit deficit and giving Joe Johnson the chance to do what he does best. (Another Nets note, via ESPN.com's Marc Stein: Kidd's hand has been forced a bit by injury, but he found something with a small-ball lineup featuring Paul Pierce at the four and a two-point guard backcourt of Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston.)
PG: Bullets Forever. Speaking of Atlantic Division defense — and when aren't we? — Umair Khan does a nice job here of laying out a schematic difference between last year's Washington Wizards defense (which ranked eighth in points allowed per possession) and this year's model (tied for 14th thus far), and how it's hurting Randy Wittman's team on the defensive glass.
6th: San Antonio Express-News and Pounding the Rock. After a home loss to the scuffling New York Knicks, Gregg Popovich said his San Antonio Spurs "should be embarrassed about how soft we played" for the second time this week. Perhaps Pop would do well to read Jesus Gomez's handy "guide to avoid the post-loss freak outs."
7th: Brew Hoop. Dan Sinclair considers what the strengths and weaknesses of a Milwaukee Bucks lineup consisting solely of the team's young guns — Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters in the backcourt, Larry Sanders, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo up front — might look like, should head coach Larry Drew ever get frisky enough to trot it out there for a stretch.
8th: SB Nation. A good explainer from Doug Eberhardt: Who are all the assistant coaches and other assorted guys in suits on and behind an NBA team's bench, what do they actually do during the game, and why are they doing it?
9th: Eye on Basketball. Great stuff from Matt Moore on Jeff Hornacek's approach to coaching, balancing analytical concepts with game-tested implementation to find a middle ground that's gotten the Phoenix Suns off to a much better start than anybody expected.
10th: NBA Trades. It took nearly 16 years, but we've finally got an exhaustive revisiting of the blockbuster deal that sent Brent Barry from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Miami Heat in exchange for center Isaac Austin, guard Charles Smith and a 1998 first-round draft pick that would later be used on Brian Skinner. Good things really do come to those who wait.
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