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Ball Don't Lie

The 10-man rotation, starring the very-much-alive potential for some first-round upsets

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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How much trouble are the Thunder really in. (Layne Murdoch/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: The Point Forward. The awesome Rob Mahoney evaluates the six active first-round series, all of which are now knotted at 3-2, and ranks the odds of comebacks from most likely ("Upset Threat Level: Moderate") to least likely ("Upset Threat Level: Chilly").

PF: GQ. Friend of the program Jason Concepcion (a.k.a. the great @netw3rk) presents his Lakers Franchise Power Rankings, one-stop shopping for evaluating who's really in control of the Los Angeles Lakers' present and future, and "your character guide to the most fascinatingly [expletived]-up team in sports."

SF: The Brooklyn Game. Devin Kharpertian can't believe he's writing this, but with the Brooklyn Nets' season on the line in a do-or-die Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, he thinks coach P.J. Carlesimo should start Andray Blatche. And you know what? He might just have a point.

SG: Posting and Toasting. Seth Rosenthal, great New York Knicks blogger and solid hugger, on the singular, peculiar pain of watching the Knicks lose to the Boston Celtics: "New York's played and lost plenty close or important games over the last few years, but only the ones against Boston have made my tibias throb."

PG: Bucksketball. While listening to Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond decline to characterize as a disappointment a 2012-13 season in which the team fired two coaches, finished under .500 and traded away a promising young player for a stopgap rotation piece who's likely to leave in free agency, Jeremy Schmidt found himself wondering why he even bothers with the Bucks: "[...] if last season isn’t a disappointment, that means it’s acceptable. And if that’s what’s acceptable, that’s what will continue to happen."

6th: Eight Points, Nine Seconds. Jared Wade breaks down a cool set the Indiana Pacers have been using of late to try to take advantage of an attribute I noted in our Pacers-Atlanta Hawks playoff series preview — Lance Stephenson's freight-train speed and rim-attacking on the break — in half-court sets.

7th: Peachtree Hoops. Jason Walker pinpoints the exact moment the Hawks lost Game 5 of their first-round series with the Pacers — 6:49 left in the second quarter, "when Josh Smith picked up his second foul and left the game — physically and spiritually."

8th: The Basketball Jones. The Houston Rockets' discussion about what does and does not constitute a travel when gathering on the Euro step is probably going to wind up in some kind of Sloan paper soon (word to Daryl Morey).

9th: Deadspin. A little inside-baseball-focused, media-wise, but this Jim Windolf story about the relationship between the New York Knicks' press office and New York Daily News beat reporter Frank Isola is an interesting read.

10th: Cavs: The Blog. Robert Attenweiler looks through the list of prospective 2013 free agents and tries to figure out which players, if any, the cost-and-2014-conscious Cleveland Cavaliers might target now that Mike Brown's back in the fold — led off by a certain grit-and-grind shooting guard who might pair well with All-Star triggerman Kyrie Irving.

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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