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: YouTube user firstandskol, a.k.a. our pal @cjzero. I can appreciate you wanting to show off your run-blocking skills, Nikola Pekovic, but did you have to do it to Brandon Knight? Dude's been through enough this season, y'know?
PF: NBA.com. A good read about the life and legacy of the late Marty Blake, who elevated scouting to a prominent place in pro basketball and within the consciousness of NBA front offices, and who passed away this Sunday. He was 86.
SF: Golden State of Mind. The Golden State Warriors had won five of six and seven of 10 to head into Sunday night's matchup with the Utah Jazz with a chance to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth; they were unsuccessful, thanks in large part to a big night from Mo Williams and poor pick-and-roll defense. Andy Liu takes the good with the bad to consider the state of the Warriors up-and-down D with just five games remaining in the season, and forwards an unconventional idea for shoring it up that coach Mark Jackson can't possibly consider ... can he?
SG: CSNNE.com. After being dogged into an 8-for-20 shooting performance in a Saturday night loss, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall explains what it's like to be defended by Boston Celtics bulldog Avery Bradley: "Not too many that will guard you 94 feet the whole game [...] "I don’t know how he finds the energy to do it."
PG: Bucks.com. The Milwaukee Bucks' campaign to promote big man Larry Sanders — sorry, LARRY SANDERS! — as a candidate for the NBA's Most Improved Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards has begun, involves a baby and a cartoon vanity site, and will net one lucky fan/winner a set of alphabet blocks autographed by the shot-blocking Sanders himself. This is great.
6th: ClipperBlog. "In five months, the Clippers have transformed from a tough second-round out to a surefire championship contender to a possible first-round disappointment." On Sunday, they transformed into division champions for the first time in franchise history with a convincing thrashing that secured a season sweep of the longtime-big-brother Los Angeles Lakers ... and yet it still feels like we don't know who these Los Angeles Clippers are. Seerat Sohi tries to parse the ebbs and flows of L.A.'s play to figure out which Clipper team is the one heading to the postseason, and whether that crew can do serious damage once it gets there.
7th: Bucksketball. The Milwaukee Bucks are going back to the playoffs after two years in the lottery, but considering the squad's still two games under .500 with its top three guards bound for an uncertain summer, Jeremy Schmidt's having a hard time feeling too giddy about it: "Sure the Bucks won more games, but does anyone really feel like the Bucks are closer to being anywhere near a consistently important team in the NBA?" (Also, my two cents: No. But the playoffs are neat.)
8th: CBS Denver. Hey, Danilo Gallinari, how are you feeling about the torn left anterior cruciate ligament that you suffered last Thursday and that has cost you the rest of the 2012-13 season? "I still want to punch somebody in the face — I don't know who, but I still want to punch somebody." ... Yeah, that sounds about right. Sorry, dude. (Hat-tip to Jeffrey Morton of Denver Stiffs.)
9th: 48 Minutes of Hell. Friend of the program Graydon Gordian reflects on the five years that have passed since he founded his dynamite San Antonio Spurs blog, a site that has grown to feature fantastic and gifted contributors like Tim Varner, Andrew McNeill, Jesse Blanchard, Matthew Tynan and more. Congratulations on five years, y'all.
10th: Hickory High. Cole Patty draws our attention to how well Washington Wizards rookie Bradley Beal moves off the ball, with and without the benefit of complicated play design and multiple screens. That's fun to watch.
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