Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family have overcome a lot on his path from Greece to the NBA. (David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty …
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: OnMilwaukee.com. It might take us a while to learn what kind of NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo will turn out to be — his head coach is pumping the brakes on whether the rookie will be part of the Milwaukee Bucks' rotation — but this fantastic feature by Jim Owczarski makes it clear that the first-round draft pick from Greece has already experienced an awful lot more than many 19-year-olds, and made me want to see, read and hear an awful lot more about Antetokounmpo in the future.
PF: Sports Illustrated. It's kind of hard to know what to say about Chris Ballard's long feature on the life and death of former NBA player Bison Dele/Brian Williams ... vast reporting, incredible detail, evocative writing, brilliant design. It is haunting, remarkable and worth the time you will invest in it.
SF: Regressing. Kyle Wagner on Stephen Curry — "a player on whom both the basketball romantics and the quants agree, a guy who represents a rare intersection of narrative and analytics" — and how deep dives into his statistical output somehow turn into even deeper sport-as-religious-experience.
PG: D.C. Sports Bog. Apparently, John Wall has already started writing "playoffs" on each of his pairs of sneakers, so update your files w/r/t the number of pairs of shoes on which the Washington Wizards point guard is doing/will do that.
6th: Orlando Pinstriped Post. Good stuff from Evan Dunlap on how the Orlando Magic are working to manage the minutes, reduce the workload and extend the effectiveness of veteran point guard Jameer Nelson in the hopes that he won't fall prey to the same precipitous physical decline that's derailed some other wrong-side-of-30 lead guards in recent memory.
7th: The Sports Fan Journal. Justin Tinsley revisits the relationship between Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen as viewed through the lens of a game that saw them and Michael Jordan all under the same roof, with none of them wearing Bulls jerseys. Also, two players are referred to as "basketball's version of Martin and Pam," which I enjoyed quite a bit.
8th: HoopSpeak. Beckley Mason on how Derrick Rose's fantastic preseason, which continued Wednesday night (much to the chagrin of Reggie Jackson), showcases both what makes the Chicago Bulls point guard such a special athlete and the perhaps overlooked challenge of getting back to an elite skill level after an injury and long layoff: "Confidence in your legs returns before confidence in your handle does." (CSN Chicago's Aggrey Sam's got a good read, too, on how Rose's comeback has even his teammates afraid to look away, lest they miss something awesome.)
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